Department for Health

Dr Aki Salo

Reader in Sport Biomechanics with special interest in athletes’ technique and efficiency of performance

Aki Salo

Reader M.Sc., Ph.D., CSci, FBASES, FISBS

Applied Biomechanics Suite 1.309
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 3569

Highlighted article

Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports

Skeleton sled velocity profiles: a novel approach to understand critical aspects of the elite athletes' start phases
Steffi L. Colyer, Keith A. Stokes, James L. J. Bilzon & Aki I. T. Salo 2017

PhD/Post-doctoral opportunities

  • I consider any self-funded PhD students in the wide area of sport biomechanics.
  • I am also seeking potential PhD candidates for the University's regular call for excellent UK or overseas funded studentships


I joined the University of Bath in March 1998 and I am currently Reader in Sport Biomechanics. I am also the Chair of Academic Assembly for 2015-2018. 

I obtained my MSc from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland in 1991 and PhD from the University of Exeter in 1999. I was awarded the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Fellowship in 2012 and International Society of Biomechanics in Sport Fellowship in 2014.

My main research theme is to characterise athletes' technique. The purpose is to understand the fundamental principles underlying performance in order to improve individual technique and efficiency.

I carry out most of my research in sprint and hurdle events in Athletics, although the same principles can be adapted to other sports as well. For example, a recent project was to enhance start performance in ice-track sports.

I am also a co-investigator in our multi-million pound Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications (CAMERA) project.

I have had a close working relationship with UK Athletics studying and providing support to their sprint, hurdles and relay squads. This involved being a member of the support staff in major championships including the Beijing Olympics 2008 and London Olympics 2012. My relay work has been featured internationally including the Washington Post and the New York Times.

I have also collaborated with British Skeleton Ltd and I am a member of the Technical Advisory Group for English Institute of Sport.

I have supervised six PhD students to successful completion, and the impact of my research was featured in one of the University’s Impact Case Study submissions for the recent REF2014.

I also collaborate with colleagues in engineering using motion analysis systems innovatively, for example, in modelling projects of bi-stable or unsymmetrical composites.

Research interests

  • Sport Biomechanics (especially athletes technique and efficiency of performance)

Current research projects

  • Modelling the sprint start in Athletics
  • The biomechanics of bend running in Athletic sprint events
  • Inverse dynamics analysis of sprinting
  • Enhancing start performance in ice-track sports


Read publications by Aki Salo

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