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Sam gained a First Class BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Sciences from The University of Birmingham in 1996. She then worked in the film and television and finance industries for several years. Along the way Sam gained a Postgraduate Certificate in TV and documentary production from the University of Salford and qualified as a Taxation Technician while working for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. In 2003 she went to the United States to pursue further study in biomechanics and worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant while gaining a Master of Science in Kinesiology in 2004, and a Master's in Applied Statistics and a PhD in Kinesiology in 2007. Sam then gained her Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education in 2010 from Aberystwyth University while working there as Lecturer in Biomechanics.
Sam joined the University of Kent in 2012 as a Lecturer teaching biomechanics and statistics.
Sam's research interests are the mechanical modelling of muscle and tendon in order to understand principles of movement, and the application of biomechanical principles to reduce the harm from falls in older adults.
Sam's previous publications have looked at variability in the in vivo expression of the force-length curves for different muscles.
This work involved initially validating a method for determining the limb of the parabolic force-length relationships that a muscle operated over. She then used a modelling approach to determine general principles for identifying the expected variability in this mechanical parameter for different muscles given a knowledge of relative muscle fibre, moment arm and tendon lengths. In order to better model and understand movement Samantha has since undertaken some work to measure and predict body segment inertial parameters in different populations.
Sam is also interested in the application of algorithms from the fields of statistical physics and non-linear dynamics to biomechanics in order to determine principles of movement and adaptation. Some recent work has quantified changes in biomechanical gait and balance characteristics in older adults following postural stability instruction. The focus of the latter work is to identify how strength and balance training should be deployed in community and health care settings to derive the maximum benefits in terms of reducing the harm from falls in older adults.
Sam is a member of the International Society of Biomechanics and the American Society of Biomechanics.