Dr Gregory Tierney


Dr Tierney received his Mechanical Engineering MEng degree in 2014 from the University of Liverpool. Dr Tierney was the recipient of an annual attainment scholarship for all four years of attendance and received the J.F.Norbury Medal, awarded to the top graduate of the Mechanical Engineering MEng programme. Dr Tierney’s masters project on developing an operational model of the human urinary system for catheter research was awarded runners up in the international CDIO Academy Cup 2014 (Advanced Projects category). 

In 2014, Dr Tierney was awarded the Irish Research Council’s Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship to complete his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Trinity College Dublin alongside Leinster Rugby. The aim of the project was to understand how and why concussion injuries were occurring in rugby union. Using a combination of video analysis, motion capture laboratory trials, computational forward dynamic simulations and a novel approach known as model-based image-matching, Dr Tierney’s research was the first to identify that tackling lower could reduce the risk of concussion for the tackler and repetitive subconcussive head loading for the ball carrier. Dr Tierney received the "Early stage researcher award" at the Bioengineering in Ireland conference in 2015.

During his PhD, Dr Tierney published 12 first author peer-reviewed journal articles and co-authored 2 further articles. Dr Tierney’s article “Could lowering the tackle height in rugby union reduce ball carrier inertial head kinematics?” was selected as Editor’s Choice in the Journal of Biomechanics in 2018. His article “The Effect of Tackler Technique on Head Injury Assessment Risk in Elite Rugby Union”, was acknowledged as “Special Importance” by the American College of Sports Medicine in 2018. Lastly, his article, “Can tackle height influence head injury assessment risk in elite rugby union?” received significant media attention, both nationally and internationally.

Dr Tierney was a teaching assistant in Biomedical Engineering during his PhD and taught on the following modules: Mechanics of Multibody Systems (BA BAI, MAI); Numerical Methods (BA BAI); Engineering Design (BA BAI); Experimental Methods (BA BAI).

In February 2019, Dr Tierney joined the School of Biomedical Sciences as a lecturer in Biomechanics, teaching on the Sport and Exercise Sciences and Sport and Exercise Medicine programme. 

Research interests

Dr Tierney's research explores how a mechanical blow to the head is translated into biological damage of the brain, including both concussion and accumulative subconcussive loading in sports such as football, rugby and American football. Dr Tierney's main research aim is to further understand the mechanism of injury in order to develop prevention strategies and objective diagnostic measures for concussion in sport. His research allows him to work with elite level teams and governing bodies, both nationally and internationally, to ensure sports are played in the safest possible manner without compromising the dynamics of the game. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Biomedical Engineering - Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (2018)
  • MEng in Mechanical Engineering - University of Liverpool, UK (2014)

Research groups and institutes

  • Sport and Exercise Sciences