Professor Matt Carré

MEng, PhD, CEng, MIMechE, SFHEA

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Matt Carre
Profile picture of Matt Carre
+44 114 222 7839

Full contact details

Professor Matt Carré
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

Matt is an alumnus of the department, having completed a Masters degree here in 1996 and a PhD in 2000. 

He became a lecturer in the Department in 2001 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2009, before becoming a Reader in 2014 and then being awarded a personal chair in 2020.

Matt is a Chartered Engineer, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an Elected Fellow of the International Sports Engineering Association 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.

Projects combining Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Digital Image Correlation (DIC) and tissue loading experiments have delivered increased understanding through imaging the skin at the surface and sub-surface to determine deformation behaviour and morphological changes to underlying structures.

Work continues in an EPSRC Programme Grant "Friction: The Tribology Enigma" and an EPSRC Centre-to-centre Grant "TrEnT: Tribology as an enabling technology", linking up with world class roboticists.

Development of synthetic test-beds 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 through the use of incontinence products, vibration transmission in fingers and comfort assessment of ear plugs. These have potential to assess products more effectively or can be used for robotics applications.

Hand-object interactions

Matt's research on human-object interactions is often concerned with the interface between the hand and a product or device. Work has included assessment of medical glove performance, vibrations transmitted to hands and is now being applied to the field of robotics.

Shoe-Surface interactions

This research theme was originally concerned with sports footwear including projects sponsored by the International Tennis Federation 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.


Edited books

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

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers


  • Carre M & Lewis R (2012) Special Issue on Tribology of Sport. PROCEEDINGS OF THE INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PART J-JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING TRIBOLOGY, 226(J7), 587-587. RIS download Bibtex download



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

  • TrEnT: Tribology as an Enabling Technology, to be applied in robotics applications (sponsored by EPSRC).
  • Programme Grant "Friction: The Tribology Enigma" (sponsored by EPSRC).
  • Using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to understand the properties that affect the friction of human skin (sponsored by EPSRC).
  • Developing a synthetic test-bed to assess shoulder padding as used in rugby (sponsored by World Rugby).
  • Understanding physical interactions of earplugs to improve comfort (sponsored by IRSST, Canada)
  • Improving design and performance of medical gloves (sponsored by Synthomer).
  • Tennis shoe-surface interactions (sponsored by EPSRC and the International Tennis Federation).
  • UNITISS" - Understanding interactions of human tissue with medical devices (sponsored by a Marie-Curie EU grant and in collaboration with Philips).
Teaching activities
  • MEC202 Mechanics of Deformable Solids
  • MEC456 Human Factors and User-centred Design