Staff profile – Associate Professor Peter Kent
Curiosity drove Associate Professor, Peter Kent, to choose a research career. Relatively new to Curtin, Associate Professor Kent hails from Denmark and has been at the University for one year. His research focuses on wearable sensors for people with back pain and, outside work, he has a penchant for classic cars.
Name: Peter Kent.
Title: Associate Professor (Research).
School: Physiotherapy and Exercise Science.
How long have you worked at Curtin?
Where did you work prior to starting at the University?
The University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.
What do you like best about your role?
Working with talented and inspiring students and colleagues.
Why did you choose your current career path?
Curiosity and wanting to do something to advance clinical practice.
What project are you currently working on and what does it involve?
A series of studies to understand the role of wearable, wireless, movement sensors for people with persistent, disabling back pain.
This technology provides the opportunity to easily measure body movements and posture outside of the clinic or laboratory in people’s activities of daily living (work, rest and play). It also allows us to better understand the relationship between pain and movement, which is quite variable across individuals.
Usefully, the sensors are easily programmable to provide individualised biofeedback (sound or vibration) to help people change habituated movement/postural behavior when they are going about their normal daily routine.
These studies are attempting to better understand the strengths and limitations of this technology, and mechanisms by which it might change behaviour (cognitions, motivation, movement awareness etc).
They say that wearable sensors will be ‘as big as the mobile phone’, so it’s great to be exploring one small part of this wave of technology.
Your favourite place in the world and why?
Underneath my classic car fixing something because I get completely absorbed in the process.
Your favourite cuisine and why?
Whatever my wife cooks because she is so fab.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know?
I don’t think so, they would never let me forget it!