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Dr. Barbara May

Senior Research Fellow

My Research Vision

Biomechanics enables the analysis of whole-body human movement. Research encompasses many disciplines including health, sports, engineering, ergonomics and industrial applications.


My research interests include the improvement of health and well-being of the elderly through age-appropriate exercise, falls prevention for the elderly, postural seating comfort for automobiles, learning and teaching of dance through visualisation of movement and injury prevention/performance improvement for sports men and women. 


  • May, B., Shippen, J., and Woodcock, A. (2013) 'Biomechanical analysis of the walking of encumbered and unencumbered males'. In Anderson, M. Proceedings of the international conference on Ergonomics and Human Factors 2013, 'Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors 2013'. Held 15-18 Apr 2013 in Cambridge, UK. 248-258
  • Andrews, B.J., Shippen, J., Gibbons, R.S., May, B., and Wheeler, G. (2013) 'FES Rowing Biomechanics - Fixed and Floating Stretcher Ergometers'. Proceedings of the The Annual Conference of the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society, 'IFESS'. Held 09-12 Sep 2012 in Banff, Canada
  • Shippen, J., and May, B. (2012) 'A Kinematic Approach to Calculating Ground Reaction Forces in Dance'. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science 16 (1), 39-43
  • May, B., and Shippen, J. (2012) 'Visualisation of Dance Performance using 3-Dimensional Motion Tracking and Muscle Modelling Techniques'. In Visual and Performing Arts. Ed. by Arbury, S.A., and Georgoulia, A. ATINER, 329-342
  • The modification of singular value decomposition characteristics due to fatigue during repetitive vertical jumps 
  • Loss of jump height caused by muscle fatigue
  • Shippen, J., and May, B. (2010) 'Calculation of Muscle Loading and Joint Contact Forces in Irish Dance'. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science 14 (1)
  • Health Implications of the Biomechanical Analysis of Dancers’ Muscle Loads and Joint Contact Forces 
  • Musculoskeletal analysis of vehicle ingress and egress
  • Centre of Mass (COM) excursions for dancers and non-dancers in the STAR excursion balance test


  • Premium Lightweight Architecture for Carbon Efficient Seating: Analysing Postural Seating  Comfort for Vehicles. 
  • Establishing movement standards and injury reduction for dancers within Ballet and Irish Dance: Biomechanical analysis  of balletic and Irish dance movements to prevent injury and increase performance. 
  • Ingress and Egress of vehicles: Analysis of the ingress and egress of vehicles  to prevent injuries and optimise design. 
  • FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) Rowing Biomechanics: fixed and floating stretcher ergometers: FES rowing provides significant cardiovascular health benefits and reduces low energy fractures in spinal cord injuries. 
  • Biomechanical analysis of able-bodied males undertaking four walking journeys – unencumbered and encumbered: Analysis of muscle forces generated whilst walking and carrying increasingly heavy weights.
Research breakout image

Senior Research Fellow

Building: Maurice Foss
Room: MF130