Richard's Building, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
I was awarded my PhD from the University of Bath in 2010. I then spent three years as a post-doctoral researcher in the Joint Dept of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina. In 2013 I joined the Centre for Sensorimotor Performance at the University of Queensland as a research fellow specialising in muscle mechanics. I then took up an appointment as a senior lecturer in Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter in 2018.
2010 - PhD in musculoskeletal biomechanics, University of Bath
2006 - BSc(Hons) 1st class in Sport and Exercise Science, University of Bath
Human movement requires that many muscles exert forces on the skeleton in an efficient and coordinated manner. By studying how we coordinate muscle force production to generate bodily movement, we can understand how muscle structure has been shaped by evolution to perform a function. Armed with this knowledge, we can better understand impaired musculoskeletal function, and inform biologically inspired prosthetics or assistive devices.
To investigate muscular function in human movement, my work incorporates ultrasound imaging, motion analysis, electromyography and computer simulation techniques to experimentally and theoretically study muscle mechanics during locomotion. I am also interested in taking inspiration from biological musculoskeletal mechanisms to help develop wearable devices that augment or assist human movement.
Example current projects include:
- Examining the adaptable neuromechanical function of the human foot during walking and running
- Musculoskeletal modelling of human foot function
- Lower limb exoskeletons and their interaction with the human neuromuscular system
- Studying lower limb and muscle mechanics during jumping to understand movement preferences and design a jumping exotendon
- How do muscles with series elasticity contribute to mechanical work in a range of tasks
- How does the human foot interact with different surfaces
- 2017- 2020 - Kelly L, Farris DJ, Lichtwark GA & Brown NAT – Optimising the spring in your step to enhance footwear design. Australian Research Council Linkage with ASICS Oceania and Australian Institute of Sport
- 2014-2017 - Lichtwark GA, Cresswell A, Farris DJ, Brown NAT. - The role of muscle & tendon mechanics in human muscle damage. Australian Research Council Linkage Project with Australian Institute of Sport (University of Queensland)
- 2014 - Farris DJ - modulating muscle mechanics for powering human locomotion. University of Queensland Early Career Researcher Grant
- 2012 - Farris DJ - Modelling the effects of wearing spring-loaded ankle exoskeletons on lower-limb muscle function during two-legged hopping. National Centre for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research Visiting Scholars Program (Stanford University, USA)
- 2020 dstl
- 2017 Australian Research Council
Optimising the spring in your step to enhance footwear design
- 2013 Australian Research Council
The role of muscle & tendon mechanics in human muscle damage
Publications by category
Publications by year
External Engagement and Impact
2018 : present - Honorary Senior Research Fellow - School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland (Australia)
2019 - OpenSim Fellow (National Centre for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research -Stanford University, USA)
2019 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2013 - Outstanding Researcher Award - National Centre for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research
2012 - Visiting Scholar - National Centre for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research, Stanford University
Conferences and invited presentations
2019 Muscular adaptation of ankle-foot function to produce accelerations in human gait. 24th Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Sciences, Prague
2019 Assessment of muscle mechanical properties – how and why? International Symposium on Ultrasound Elastography for Musculoskeletal Biomechanics. Nantes, France
2018 New perspectives on human foot mechanics. Ruhr University – Bochum, Germany.
2017 B-mode Ultrasound Imaging Methods for Investigating Muscle-Tendon Function. Invited tutorial session at the International Society of Biomechanics Congress XXVI, Brisbane, Australia
2016 Introduction to UltraTrack. Invited workshop at American Society of Biomechanics Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
2015 The mechanics and energetics of normal and exoskeleton assisted locomotion: towards a muscle level understanding. Autumn School on Movement Science, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
2015 Putting a spring in your step: studying the role of elastic tendons for robotic bioinspiration. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research Seminar Series, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
2014 Paradoxical effects of elastic ankle exoskeletons on plantar-flexor muscle mechanics and energetics. In 'Elastic Mechanisms' at the 7th World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston, USA
2014 Training for Optimal Power: The Influence of Resistance and Muscle Mechanics on Power Output. Australian Institute of Sport SMART talk, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia. (link to recording)
2014 B-mode ultrasound imaging for studying muscle -tendon interaction in-vivo. in 'An integrative multi-scale assessment of ankle and foot function in human locomotion' at The Gait & Clinical Movement Analysis Society Annual Meeting, Newark, Delaware, USA.
2014 Does unloading muscles save you energy? Paradoxical effects of elastic ankle exoskeletons on plantar-flexor muscle mechanics and energetics. In 'Lower Limb Biomechanics & Muscle Function' at Sports Medicine Australia Be Active Conference, Canberra Australia
2014 An OpenSim framework to estimate muscle dynamics during locomotion with elastic ankle exoskeletons. National Center for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research Webinar Series. (available on the NCSRR website)
2013 Sources of Mechanical Power in Human Locomotion. Australian Institute of Sport SMART talk, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia. (link to recording)
2013 The Mechanics & Energetics of Normal & Robotically Assisted Human Locomotion. School of Human Movement Studies Seminar Series, School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Australia.
2012 B-mode ultrasound imaging for studying human muscle mechanics. Direct measurement techniques to characterize musculo-skeletal performance in animals & humans. Dynamic Walking, Pensacola Beach, FL, USA
2012 Muscle mechanics in human locomotion: implications for injury and function. Sport Health & Exercise Sciences Group Seminar. School for Health, University of Bath, UK.
External doctoral examining nationally and internationally
PhD Examiner for: University of Jyväskylä, Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, University of Western Australia, Griffith University (Australia)
- ESS1006 - Human Anatomy and Kinanthropometry
- ESS1204 - Foundations of Biomechanics
- SHSM005 - Biomechanical Aspects of Lower Limb Injury
- SHSM006 - Laboratory Techniques in Physiology
Supervision / Group
- Jonathon Birch
- Sam Wisdish
- Scott Brennan (University of Queensland - Co advisor)
- Logan Wade (University of Queensland)