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Dr Ya Huang specialises in human-motion dynamics. He has been a Senior Lecturer in Engineering Dynamics at the University of Portsmouth since 2009. He leads research into 1) human responses to shock and vibration, and 2) ocean wave imaging and modelling for vessel seakeeping, paving ways to human-centred autonomy of future land and marine transports. Before Portsmouth, he work as a research fellow on high strain rate collapse of steel framed structures for 18-month at the Blast and Impact Dynamics Group at Sheffield University. Dr Huang obtained his doctorate degree in human responses to whole-body vibration in 2008 at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), University of Southampton.

Research Interests

Through understanding force and motion experienced by the human body i.e. biomechanics, one of Dr Huang’s research interest has been human factors during whole-body vibration and repeated shocks experienced in different modes of transport on land, in the air and at sea. He has 20-year research experience of whole-body vibration and mechanical shock related biomechanic studies in the laboratory and in the field.

Dr Huang has contributed to new methodologies to reconstruct multiple channels of nonlinear and cross-correlated force and motion signals during whole-body vibration – a key step for modelling ride quality and injury prevention of all transportation systems. These outcomes reduce the computational costs and enhance motion transmission models leading to better design and assessment tools. He has led laboratory and sea trial studies of crew dynamic sitting and bracing strategies on fast lifeboats seating configurations with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. 

Ya's most recent research intends to apply machine learning and vision algorithms to quantify human movement and 3D ocean wave scene reconstruction using stereo vision system. These have led to recent investigation from musculoskeletal modelling of lifeboat crew, optimal bracing and coping strategies on fast lifeboats, all the way to the adaption of the calssic strip theory to calcualte fluid-vessel interaction. He is interested in pushing these tools to accurately and swiftly predict vessel seakeeping performances, driving next generation human-centred autonomy of transports.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
  • Human Response to Motion


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