Coventry University | Dr. Doug Thake

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Dr. Doug Thake

Senior Lecturer in Applied Human Physiology

My Research Vision

My work focuses on developing our understanding of the physiological and perceptual responses experienced by human in extreme and changeable environments. This is conducted with a view to optimising safety, well-being and productivity in occupational, leisure and sport contexts. It is envisaged that this general theme, alongside appropriate applied research work, will continue with an emphasis on experimental work to characterise tolerance to various environmental stressors (on an individual basis and in combination) and inform our understanding of adaptive mechanisms (physiological and biomolecular) when repeat exposures are experienced. 


Dr Doug Thake is an applied human physiologist with interests in environmental extremes, particularly heat and altitude. He gained a first class degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University (1995); an MSc in Human Applied Physiology from King's College London (1996) and a PhD 'The effect of hypoxia and exercise on aspects of innate cellular immunity and oxidative stress' at Coventry University (2006).

Dr Thake is currently Senior Lecturer in the department of Biomolecular and Sports Sciences and spends two days a week working with Cogent computing on collaorative interdisciplinary projects (currently postural and thermal comfort work for the automotive industry). He has 10 years' experience as the principal investigator in a range of funded occupational physiology based investigations in the area of uncompensable heat stress and personal protective clothing. He has also lead research projects during two field expeditions to high altitude in the Nepal Himalaya.

Dr Thake has had more than 10 postgraduate completions and has examined 5 PhDs to date. He is currently director of studies for 3 PhD students. He is an editorial board member for Extreme Physiology and Medicine and is a regular reviewer for a range of physiology and sport and exercise science-based journals.



  • Characterisation of uncompensable heat strain in Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) protective clothing: Mark 6 EOD suit worn at moderate and high ambient temperatures with and without a dry ice based cooling system. 
  • The effect of heat acclimation on thermal strain during Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) related activity in moderate and hot conditions: Demonstrated reductions in physiological and perceptual strain during simulated operations at 20 and 40 degrees Celsius with acclimation. 
  • Physiological, perceptual and cognitive responses to head compared to torso cooling during explosives ordnance disposal (EOD) activity in moderate and hot conditions: Responses to cooling different body areas whilst conducting EOD based activities and postural challenge tests in different EOD suits were compared. 
  • Thermal response during explosives ordnance disposal operations: optimising the use of phase change material (PCM) vests in hot conditions: To optimise the use of PCM vests garments were worn throughout or changed at operational intervals during simulated EOD activity. 
  • Physiological, perceptual and cognitive responses to conducting nuclear decommissioning related activities when wearing a pressurised breathing air suit (PBAS) in moderate and hot conditions: A simulated activity protocol was developed and used to evaluate responses during current working practice in nuclear decommissioning. (Atomic Weapons Establishment). 
  • Effect Of Seated Restraint And Body Size On Lung Function: A range of restraint positions were evaluated and their impact on lung function studied on a range of participants. (The Youth Justice Board). 
  • Evaluating postural and thermal comfort in cars: Designing and implementing human factors road and laboratory based assessments (Part of PLACES, a technology strategyboard project ran by Jaguar Land Rover). 
  • Research expedition to Nepal Himalaya 2003; 2008: Member of research team, lead project on innate immune responses to high altitude. (Medical Expeditions and Medex). 
  • Embedded sensing and actuation for helmets CO2 levels control: Experimental design and measurement of air flow and CO2 build up during different activities. (Collaboration with Cogent Computing, Coventry University).
Research breakout image

Senior Lecturer in Applied Human Physiology

Building: James Starley
Room: JS349
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