Before starting a late career in academia I worked in the field of IT. In 1996 I started a new career path when I came to Leeds to read Sports Science (Outdoor Activities).
After graduating with honours in 1999 I continued in this vein with a PhD which focused on the impact absorbing mechanisms of climbing helmets. Upon completion of my PhD I was employed as a Research Fellow on an EPSRC funded project to investigate, among other things, novel ways to improve the measurement of air permeability and moisture vapour transmission. Since the end of this project I have worked in many areas related to comfort in extreme environments and protection from falls from a height.
My research interests cover the comfort and protection of clothing systems for extreme and hostile environments and the role of textiles in protection in falls from height or from falling objects. This encompasses areas as diverse as the design of waterproof zip fasteners, improving the impact absorption of properties of sports protectors, measuring comfort in outdoor footwear and preventing scalding through firefighter clothing systems. I have also been active in the field of biomimetic textiles, and supervised a PhD on superadhesion using the gecko foot as inspiration. I developed miniature data logging sensors that are unobtrusive enough to allow the measurement of the microclimate in a shoe. Work is ongoing to further develop these to remove wires from the system. I also developed a novel new system for quick measurements of moisture vapour transmission under realistic conditions which was extensively tested by a PhD student.