A fully funded PhD studentship to undertake research with Aqua Running International Ltd, to develop sensors and systems 

Are you a PhD student looking to work with an innovative SME, to develop their world-leading wearable technology?

Do you want to make a difference to the way sensor data is collected and analysed within a hostile environment?

If so, then this is the project for you.


  • Job title: A PhD Postgraduate Graduate Researcher
  • Project name: Novel Sensor Design and Application in Hostile Environments
  • Project dates: 3-year position, immediate start possible
  • Project location: University of Liverpool and Sensor City
  • Company: Aqua Running International Ltd
  • Reporting to: Dual supervision by two University experts
  • Key aims: Design, develop and integrate sensors into a wetsuit, capture and process vital biological signals
  • Expected Outcomes: 2 peer reviewed research papers, 2 peer reviewed conference papers and a PhD thesis.
  • Fees and Stipend: Funding will pay for HEU fees (£4,195) and provide a stipend of £14,553.


Terry Nelson, Founder of Aqua Running, was a Liverpool FC youth team player until persistent injury forced him to give up the game. Terry overcame adversity to win numerous gold medals in the British Transplant games, relying on running under water to stay in shape.

As a result of this experience, Aqua Running was formed to harness the powerful benefits of running under water to provide a no impact training, exercise and rehabilitation approach through the production of revolutionary Aqua Running suits.

The company already works with many high-profile companies and sporting clubs across the world and their HBS Training System is officially endorsed by Sanitas Real Madrid C.F. Medical Services.

The company is also proud of their work with children in Spain suffering from cerebral palsy, and are in discussions with the United States Department of Defence to supply their hydro suits to veterans recovering from injury.

This research project is expected to advance the functionality of the suits, linking intelligent sensors, advanced algorithms and data analytics in order to optimise training performance and monitoring, whether it is related to sport or to health.


The successful PhD student will have the opportunity to work on a new sensor suit which will provide the right data linked to the performance characteristic required.

Novel sensors will have to work in a difficult environment, be integrated into the wetsuit and capture vital biological signals in a dynamic environment. Captured data will be used to provide a holistic view of performance.

Further analysis of the information will provide feedback to improve training or optimise the effects of rehabilitation exercise, thereby reducing recovery time with associate cost saving and a better outcome for the patient.

Expected Outcomes

Despite the potential for the research to be covered by patents, it is expected that there will be an opportunity to produce at least two quality peer-reviewed research papers and two peer-reviewed conference papers. The potential for both social and economic impact from the research is high.

Aqua Running are already involved with Real Madrid so there is a clear pathway to develop impact from the research, with other opportunities in health through the interaction with a hospital in Madrid and potentially more locally with Alder Hey, Broadgreen and the new Royal Hospital.

The Post Graduate Researcher (PGR) is expected to develop relevant employability skills during the interaction with Aqua Running related to communication, project planning, delivering to demanding timescales, an awareness of commercial and business processes and developing a clear understanding of the commercial working environment.

Work Pattern

This is a University of Liverpool Studentship and the successful candidate will be a fully registered student at the University.

It is expected that the  work will be carried out in the University of Liverpool and at the company’s premises (Sensor City, which is within 10 minutes walking time of the University).

The PGR will have access to equipment and laboratory facilities in the University and prototyping facilities in Sensor City.

Application process

If you would like to apply for this PhD for this research project, please do so via: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/how-to-apply/

The research for this project is fairly well designed so you do not have to rewrite a research proposal.

Informal enquiries can be made to Professor J W Spencer: joe@liverpool.ac.uk

The deadline to apply is 18th March 2018

For further background information, please visit:

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