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My Cardiff

Professor Len Nokes

Professor Nokes is co-director of the Institute of Medical Engineering and Medical Physics, and is the team doctor for Cardiff City Football Club.

Professor Len Nokes

Professor Len Nokes

I travelled to Wembley with Cardiff City Football Club on Saturday May 17th. I'm the Club's team doctor and I was with them when they took on Portsmouth in the FA Cup final.

Itís a role I thoroughly enjoy, and one that has been perfectly matched by my background - I qualified as a doctor, and have an engineering qualification. My research interests at the University, particularly in bioengineering, help me to make decisions when I'm on duty at Cardiff City.

Iíve been at Cardiff City since 1991 and Iím on call 24 hours a day. I attend every game home or away and Iím responsible for playersí medicals, scans, tests, assessments and all other medical matters.

1991 was also the year I came to the University and established a Medical Engineering Unit to promote research and teaching in engineering applied to the medical field.

My role as Cardiff Cityís doctor has undoubtedly been helped by my main scholarly activity at the University, which is in the area of bioengineering, particularly in sports biomechanics and sports injuries and treatment.

Professor Nokes places markers on a footballer to analyse his throwing action

Professor Nokes places markers on a footballer to analyse his throwing action

Iíve extended and applied my research in this area beyond the University, not only with Cardiff City, but with the Welsh Football team, where I was also the senior team doctor (Wales 2 - Italy 1, what a great night!). Iím currently a consultant for the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) and the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) on the biomechanics related to playing football on artificial pitches.

Artificial turf could be used in the next World Cup, and my research focuses on the biomechanics of injuries related to football playing surfaces, and the interaction between players and the pitch.

Forensic engineering is another of my research interests, identifying, amongst other issues, the dating of human remains, the correlation of head injuries with the height of fall and determination of the time of death using temperature and muscle contraction. One book Iíve co-authored (with Bernard Knight, Cardiff emeritus Professor in Forensic Pathology) involves the determination of the early post-mortem period and has been cited in many high profile trials, including the O.J. Simpson case. I wonít say on which side!

The University has given me the opportunity to develop my medical and engineering interests side by side with great success. My work in sports biomechanics and forensic engineering has been practically satisfying, and I hope to further progress pioneering work in these areas. Alongside my colleagues working in the Institute of Medical Engineering and Medical Physics, weíre putting Cardiff at the forefront of the medical engineering field.

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