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Dr Lei Ren (BSc, MSc, PhD) - personal details

Contact details

Dr Lei Ren

Role: Senior Lecturer in Biomechanics

Tel: 0161 306-4251

Location: Pariser Building-C13
School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering
The University of Manchester
M13 9PL




Lei Ren received a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Jilin University, China, a M.Sc. and his first Ph.D. degrees in Vehicle Engineering from National Laboratory of Automotive Dynamic Simulation. He then came to Centre for Rehabilitation and Human Performance Research, University of Salford, and worked on a UK Ministry of Defense project on human locomotor biomechanics, and received his second Ph.D. in Biomechanics. Thereafter, he worked at Structure and Motion Laboratory, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, as a research fellow on comparative musculoskeletal biomechanics. From 2008 to 2010, he was with King's College London, University of London as a lecturer in the Division of Engineering. Dr. Ren joined the School of MACE, University of Manchester as a lecturer in Biomechanics in 2010, and also works as a research scientist at Structure and Motion Laboratory, Royal Veterinary College. He is a member of the International Society of Biomechanics, European Society of Biomechanics, the Society of Experimental Biology and European Society for Movement Analysis in Adults and Children.

Research Topics

As an engineer with biomechanical background, I am fascinated by the studies of exploring biomechanics and neural control of human and animal movements using multidisciplinary approaches involving mathematical, physical, engineering, biological and physiological methods. The long term aim is to gain comprehensive understanding of the functions of musculoskeletal systems and the interactions between the musculoskeletal and neuromotor systems during normal and pathological movements. Such research will provide solid foundation for the development of novel preventative and rehabilitative programs and devices, clinical diagnostic and surgical techniques, and the optimal design of body-worn products. Some of the areas that we particularly interested in recently are:

Predictive modelling of human movement

Computational musculoskeletal models that are capable of predicting human movement (e.g. human walking, running, reaching etc.) based only on simple task parameters (e.g. walking velocity, targeting point) are particularly valuable in motor control studies, virtual prototyping design of body-worn products, rehabilitation engineering and virtual reality.

In-vivo musculoskeletal diagnostic technique

Integration of medical imaging domains, 3D motion analysis techniques and subject-specific musculoskeletal modellings provides a useful non-invasive diagnostic tool to investigate the internal working conditions of human body, functions of musculoskeletal systems and the underlying biomechanical mechanisms at specific motor tasks in-vivo.

Multi-scale musculoskeletal modelling

This involves the development of computational framework by integrating subject-specific multi-body musculoskeletal models with efficient algorithm to simulate soft tissue deformations and continuum mechanics simultaneously. The aim is to develop a novel biomechanical technique to conduct subject-specific multi-scale physical modelling and simulation of human musculoskeletal system for medical practices and clinical diagnosis.

Human hand and foot biomechanics

The human hand and foot are immensely complex structures comprising numerous bones, muscles, ligaments and synovial joints with complicated musculotendon networks. As the major body components in contact with the environments, they play multiple crucial roles in our daily activities. So far, little is known about the dedicated interactions between their in-vivo biomechanical functions and their musculoskeletal structures.

Biologically inspired mechanisms

The objective is to develop biologically inspired leg and foot designs and physical models based on human anatomical structure and in-vivo biomechanical functions to improve the energy efficiency, rough terrain adaptability and motion stability of humanoid robots and prosthetic legs.