Dr Matt Carré

MEng, PhD, CEng, MIMechE, SFHEA

Matt Carre - resized

Reader in Mechanical Engineering

Second Year Tutor

Department of Mechanical Engineering
B83 Portobello Centre
Congress Street
S1 4ET

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 7839
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 7890

email : M.J.Carre@sheffield.ac.uk


Matt is an alumnus of the department, having completed a Masters degree here in 1996 and a PhD in 2000. He is now a Reader in the department a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has previously acted as editor of the international journal, Sports Engineering.

Matt leads the Human Interactions Group and is a member of the Leonardo Tribology Centre.

Research Interests

Matt's research interests involve applying mechanical engineering concepts to situations that involve physical interactions between humans and products, devices and surfaces. This can be considered as five main themes:

Behaviour of Human Skin and Tissue Under Loading

Work on this area was initially focused on fingerpad-object interactions but has since expanded to cover the biotribology of different skin and human tissues. Further PhD studies have produced numerous papers on the fundamental understanding of the effects of surface roughness, moisture, topical treatments and loading on skin tribology, as well as a range of medical, sports and consumer applications. An EPSRC-funded project combining Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Digital Image Correlation (DIC) and tissue loading experiments has delivered increased understanding through imaging the skin at the surface and sub-surface to determine deformation behaviour and morphological changes to underlying structures.

Development of Synthetic Simulants for Human Interactions

Many of the research projects have led to the development of biofidelic systems that simulate aspects of physical human interaction and can be used in place of human participant testing. These include synthetic test-beds for finger-pad grip, catheter interactions, friction experienced at the foot-sock interface and vibration transmission in fingers.

Hand-Object Interactions

Matt's research on human-object interactions is often concerned with the interface between the hand and a product or device. Recent work has included vibrations transmitted and perceived in hand-held objects and the use of texture on surfaces to enhance perception.

Shoe-Surface Interactions

This research theme was originally concerned with sports footwear but has since diversified to include pedestrian slips, leading to collaboration with the Health and Safety Executive and safety shoe manufacturers. Work so far has included modelling of shoe-surface interactions; the development of biomechanically informed shoe-traction measurement devices; and an improved understanding of the tribological mechanisms at play in a variety of human-floor interactions.

Design Methodologies for Products that Include Human Interactions

This research area is driven by real problems experienced by industry and organisations – often in the sectors of consumer goods, sports products, cosmetics and healthcare. Solving these problems aids the improvement of products and, ultimately, enhances the health and/or experience of consumers.

Research projects

Current and recent research projects led by or involving Dr Carré include:

• Using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to understand the properties that affect the friction of human skin (sponsored by EPSRC).
• Maintaining athlete skin health and performance in preparation for Olympic and Paralympic events (in collaboration with the English Institute of Sport).
• Improving design and performance of medical gloves (sponsored by Synthomer).
• Tennis shoe-surface interactions (sponsored by EPSRC and the International Tennis Federation).
• Improving slip resistance of safety shoes (sponsored by the Tripal Group).
• "UNITISS" - Understanding interactions of human tissue with medical devices (sponsored by a Marie-Curie EU grant and in collaboration with Philips).


• MEC202 Mechanics of Deformable Solids
• MEC421 Sports Engineering

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers



Edited books

  • Dixon S, Fleming P, James I & Carre M (Eds.) (2015) The Science and Engineering of Sport Surfaces. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.