Erin Feser

Erin Feser

Doctor of Philosophy candidate

A PhD was the natural next step for her, says Erin Feser who enrolled at AUT as an international student from the USA and expects to complete her Doctor of Philosophy in 2021.

“After working for several years in academia, I was looking to continue to advance in my career and it was important to me to choose a programme that focused on applied research. AUT came highly recommended by a good friend of mine who had completed the same degree programme.

“It’s important to me that coaches and practitioners have the resources they need to do their jobs well, and with more and more research being done all the time it’s challenging to understand how to apply all of this new information. I think my coaching and teaching experience along with my research training positions me well to fill the gap between research and practice.”

Wearable technology in sprint training
For her PhD research, Erin is focusing on wearable technology and its effect on training for sprint running.

“Recent inventions in athlete attire have made it much more comfortable to perform sport specific movements with resistance on the limbs. With this, we’ve seen a resurgence of using limb loading as a training tool. Our goal with this research is to help coaches understand how athletes will respond to this type of training, which informs how they can capitalise on its benefits in their training programmes.

“This research was interesting to me as there are so many possibilities of what questions you can continue asking about limb loading related to performance enhancement and potential injury prevention and rehabilitation applications. I really liked the idea of gaining PhD research experience in this emerging area and, through my supervisor, gaining exposure to what others in this area are researching.”

Erin’s research is supervised by Professor John Cronin from AUT’s School of Sport and Recreation.

World-class reputation and support
She would recommend AUT’s postgraduate sport and recreation programmes to others, Erin says.

“I recommend the programme all the time. I study remotely from the US, and balance my studies with my roles as director of education for biomechanics technology company Noraxon USA and as adjunct faculty at Arizona State University. That means I transition between times of more intensive in-person sessions with my supervisors and collaborating remotely. But there’s nothing better than being at AUT Millennium.”

She has been impressed by the care and the calibre of AUT’s sport and recreation staff.

“What I’ve enjoyed most is the care and consideration of the academic staff in ensuring the students are finding success. They really take the time to guarantee that students have what they need academically but also professionally.

“I’ve also been impressed with how fantastic a reputation the AUT Sports Performance Research Institute (SPRINZ) has worldwide, and it’s clear that SPRINZ has many strong connections to research teams and athletic organisations across the world. It’s been amazing to be a part of the SPRINZ family and start working with these connections.”

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