Doctor of Philosophy candidate
She feels extremely lucky to be based at the AUT Sports Performance Research Institute (SPRINZ), says Enora Le Flao who came to AUT as an international student from France.
“The environment and the culture at SPRINZ, which is based at AUT Millennium, is amazing. This has made my PhD journey very enjoyable. Everyone is super friendly and it has been really easy to arrive and feel good. I haven’t been homesick once since leaving France and coming to AUT!
“We have access to great people who can help us with many topics, and there is high-end equipment to support our research. The multidisciplinary nature of AUT Millennium is an amazing opportunity, with SPRINZ, the Human Performance Centre and High Performance Sport New Zealand all based under one roof.”
For her PhD research, Enora is investigating head impact biomechanics in sport.
“Head impact biomechanics is the analysis of how your head moves when you get hit while playing sport, and how this can be associated with concussion.
“I’ve been interested in sport injury prevention for a long time, but one day at a conference, I realised the extent of the concussion issue in sport. The fact that there is so much that we don’t know and don’t understand about concussion got me hooked on the topic.”
Her research is supervised by Professor Patria Hume, who was a key reason why Enora chose to come to AUT.
“Professor Patria Hume is a true biomechanist and takes part in many projects related to brain health. My supervisors are why I decided to study here; their research topics and work quality were what I was looking for.”
Advice for other students
Follow your passion, Enora advises other students.
“My advice is to find something you’re passionate about. This will drive you and support you along the postgraduate journey, which we all know can be tough sometimes.”
For Enora, it was her passion for research that drove her.
“I want to be involved in research, and a PhD is the international pathway to research careers. I’ve always been curious and wanting to learn more, and for me, research is the perfect way to explore a topic I’m passionate about.”