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School of Health and Society

Dr Sibylle Thies

Research Fellow


Sibylle Thies obtained her PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Biomechanics from the University of Michigan, USA, in 2004. She spent six years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Salford, UK. First she worked on the European Framework VI project Healthy AIMS, supporting the design of a movement pattern recognition algorithm to trigger functional electrical muscle stimulation to assist stroke patients with hand opening. Through this she gained extensive experience in use of inertial sensors and signal processing. Next she worked on the EPSRC-funded IDGO TOO project concerned with Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, for which she led the evaluation of older adults when crossing the road and investigated the effect of tactile pavement on their gait. Since 2011 she has been working at the University of Salford as permanent staff on a range of projects concerned with stability and falls of older adults, with a special interest in walking aid ambulation. She has authored and co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications to date, has given talks at international and national conferences and is a very active reviewer for several journals.


Research Methods (Research Design, Measurement, Statistics, SPSS)

Research Interests

Biomechanics, movement analysis, inertial sensors, gait, walking aids, falls, balance, control, irregular surface gait, functional electrical stimulation (FES), upper limb kinematics, stroke, peripheral neuropathy.

Qualifications and Memberships

2000: B.Sc. (Cum Laude), Bioengineering, University of Toledo, USA.

2001: M.Sc., Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, USA. 

2004: Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, USA.



1. Chadwell A, Kenney L, Granat MH, Thies S, Head J, Galpin A, Baker R, Kulkarni J. Upper limb activity in myoelectric prosthesis users is biased towards the intact limb and appears unrelated to goal-directed task performance. Scientific Reports Nature, in press.

2. Thies SB, Kenney LPJ, Sobuh M, Galpin A, Kyberd, P, Stine R, Major M. Skill assessment in upper limb myoelectric prosthesis users: Validation of a clinically feasible method for characterising upper limb temporal and amplitude variability during the performance of functional tasks. Med Eng Phys 2017; 47:137-43.

3. Costamagna E, Thies SB, Kenney LPJ, et al. A generalisable methodology for stability assessment of walking aid users. Med Eng Phys 2017; 47:167-75.

4. Cheng T, Kenney L, Amor, J, Thies SB, Costamagna E, James C, Holloway C. Characterisation of rollator use using inertial sensors. Healthcare Technology Letters 2016; 3: 303–9.

5. Chadwell A, Kenney L, Thies S, et al. The reality of myoelectric prostheses: Understanding what makes these devices difficult for some users to control. Frontiers in Neurorobotics 2016; 10(7).

6. Thies SB, Price C, et al. Effects of shoe sole geometry on toe clearance and walking stability in older adults. Gait Posture 2015; 42(2):105-9.

7. Sobuh MM, Kenney LP, Galpin AJ, Thies SB, et al. Visuomotor behaviours when using a myoelectric prosthesis. J Neuroeng Rehabil 2014; 23; 11:72.

8. Grootveld L, Thies SB et al. Automatic detection of lift-off and touch-down of a pick-up walker using 3D kinematics, Med Eng Phys 2014; 36:255-60.

9. Aung M, Thies S, Kenney L, Howard D, et al. Automated Detection of Instantaneous Gait Events using Time Frequency Analysis and Manifold Embedding. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 2013;21(6):908-16.

10. Thies SB, Kenney L, Howard D, et al. Biomechanics for inclusive urban design: effects of tactile paving on older adults’ gait when crossing the street. J Biomech 2011; 44:1599-604.

11. Thies SB, Tresadern PA, Kenney LPJ, et al. Movement variability in stroke patients and controls performing two upper limb functional tasks: a new assessment methodology. J Neureng Rehabil 2009; 6:

12. Thies SB, Jones RK, Kenney LP, Howard D. Effects of ramp negotiation, paving type and shoe sole geometry on toe clearance in young adults. J Biomech 2011; 44:2679-84.

13. Tresadern PA, Thies SB, Kenney LPJ, et al. Simulating acceleration from stereophotogrammetry for medical device design. J Biomech Eng 2009; 131: Art. No. 061002.

14. Carter SE, Richardson JK, Thies S, et al. The relationship between frontal plane gait variability and ankle range of motion in middle-aged and older persons with neuropathy. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2009; 88: 210-15.

15. JY Goulermas, AH Findlow, CJ Nester, Kenney LPJ, Tresadern P, Thies, SB, et al. An instance-based algorithm with auxiliary similarity information for the estimation of gait kinematics from wearable sensors. IEEE Trans Neural Networks 2008; 19: 1574-82.

16. Tresadern P, Thies SB, Kenney L, et al. Rapid prototyping for functional electrical stimulation control. IEEE Pervasive Computing 2008; 7: 62-9.

17. Richardson JK, Thies S, Ashton-Miller JA. An exploration of step time variability on smooth and irregular surfaces in older persons with neuropathy. Clin Biomech 2008; 23: 349-55. 

18. Thies SB, Tresadern P, Kenney L, et al. Comparison of linear acceleration from three measurement systems during “reach & grasp”. Med Eng Phys 2007; 29: 967-72.

19. DeMott TK, Richardson JK, Thies SB, et al. Falls and gait characteristics among older persons with peripheral neuropathy. Am J Phys Med Rehab 2007: 86: 125:32.

20. Thies SB, Ashton-Miller JA, Richardson JK. What causes a crossover step when walking on uneven ground? A study in healthy young women. Gait Posture 2006. 27: 156-60.

21. Thies SB, Richardson JK, Ashton-Miller JA, et al. Influence of an irregular surface and low light on the step variability of patients with peripheral neuropathy during level gait. Gait Posture 2005; 22: 40-5.

22. Thies SB, Richardson JK, Ashton-Miller JA. Effects of surface irregularity and lighting on step variability during gait: a study in healthy young and older women. Gait Posture 2005; 22: 26-31.

23. Richardson JK, Thies SB, DeMott TK, et al. A comparison of gait characteristics between older women with and without peripheral neuropathy on smooth and unlevel surfaces. J Am Geriatr Soc 2004; 52: 1532-37.

24. Richardson JK, Thies SB, DeMott TK, et al. Interventions improve gait regularity in patients with peripheral neuropathy while walking on an irregular surface under low light. J Am Geriatr Soc 2004; 52: 510-5.