Dr Bernard Liew

Senior Lecturer
School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences
Dr Bernard Liew



I am a physiotherapist and biomechanist, with clinical and research interest at the intersection of rehabilitation, movement science, and machine learning. My research vision focuses on prolonging the longevity of healthy and pain-free movements. My primary research expertise is in clinical biomechanics to study movement quality, performance and health. I heavily rely on tools such as machine learning, statistics, and wearable sensors in my research. I am passionate about understanding the causal mechanisms of recovery in musculoskeletal pain disorders (e.g. low back pain) using machine learning and statistics, to help develop better treatments. In addition, I am also interested in developing field-based measurement systems, using wearable sensors and machine learning, that enables clinicians and coaches to easily quantify movement patterns, that would otherwise be possible only in a laboratory. I am interested in supervising students in the following areas of : low back pain, osteoarthritis, lower limb pain, joint replacement, biomechanics, motor control, pain neurophysiology, psychological factors of pain, machine/deep learning, markerless motion capture, wearable sensors. Feel free to contact me to express your interest.


  • PhD Curtin University, (2017)

  • BSc (Physiotherapy) First Class Honours Curtin University, (2011)

  • Diploma (Physiotherapy) Nanyang Polytechnic, (2009)


University of Essex

  • Senior Lecturer (Biomechanics), School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex (1/10/2023 - present)

  • Lecturer (Biomechanics), School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex (20/5/2019 - 30/9/2023)

Other academic

  • Research fellow, University of Birmingham (14/10/2017 - 19/5/2019)

  • Session tutor and research assistant, Curtin University (1/1/2015 - 1/7/2017)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Low back pain, Osteoarthritis, Musculoskeletal pain, Joint replacement, Biomechanics, Motor control, Pain neurophysiology, Psychological factors of pain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine/deep learning, Markerless motion capture, Wearable sensors.

Key words: Low back pain, Osteoarthritis, Musculoskeletal pain, Joint replacement, Biomechanics, Motor control, Pain neurophysiology, Psychological factors of pain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine/deep learning, Markerless motion capture, Wearable sensors.
Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Professional Skills and Development 1 (SE101)

  • Fundamentals of Human Movement (SE102)

  • Professional Skills 2 (SE201)

  • Applied Movement Science (SE206)

  • Research Project (SE309)

  • Further Research Methods in Sport, Exercise and Health (SE738)

  • Research Project (SE740)

  • Postgraduate Research Methods (Distance Learning) (SE747)

  • Musculoskeletal Research: Data collection and analysis (SE785)

  • Neuromechanical basis of strength and conditioning (SE788)


Journal articles (75)

Anarte‐Lazo, E., Liew, BXW., Devecchi, V., Bernal‐Utrera, C., Rodriguez‐Blanco, C. and Falla, D., (2024). Network analyses reveal the interaction between physical features, fear of movement and neck pain and disability in people with acute and chronic whiplash‐associated disorders. European Journal of Pain. 28 (2), 322-334

Van Bogaert, W., Liew, BXW., Fernández-de-las-Peñas, C., Valera-Calero, JA., Varol, U., Coppieters, I., Kregel, J., Nijs, J., Meeus, M., Cagnie, B., Danneels, L. and Malfliet, A., (2024). Exploring Interactions Between Sex, Pain Characteristics, Disability, and Quality of Life in People With Chronic Spinal Pain: A Structural Equation Model. The Journal of Pain. 25 (3), 791-804

Liew, BXW., Rügamer, D. and Birn-Jeffery, AV., (2024). Neuromechanical stabilisation of the centre of mass during running. Gait and Posture. 108, 189-194

Liew, BXW., Pfisterer, F., Rügamer, D. and Zhai, X., (2024). Strategies to optimise machine learning classification performance when using biomechanical features. Journal of Biomechanics. 165, 111998-111998

Pedrero-Martin, Y., Falla, D., Rodriguez-Brazzarola, P., Torrontegui-Duarte, M., Fernandez-Sanchez, M., Jerez-Aragones, JM., Liew, BXW. and Luque-Suarez, A., (2024). Prognostic Factors of Perceived Disability and Perceived Recovery After Whiplash. The Clinical Journal of Pain. 40 (3), 165-173

Liew, BXW. and Darlow, B., (2024). Exploring the complexity of commonly held attitudes and beliefs of low back pain-a network analysis.. Frontiers in Medicine. 11, 1327791-

Liew, BXW., Zhu, X., Zhai, X., McErlain-Naylor, SA. and McManus, C., (2024). Association between fat and fat-free body mass indices on shock attenuation during running.. Journal of Biomechanics. 165, 112025-112025

Liew, B., Crisafulli, O. and Evans, DW., (2024). Quantifying lumbar sagittal plane kinematics using a wrist-worn inertial measurement unit. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living. 6

Evans, DW., Wong, ITY., Leung, HK., Yang, H. and Liew, BXW., (2024). Quantifying lumbar mobility using a single tri-axial accelerometer. Heliyon. 10 (11), e32544-e32544

Moran, J., Liew, B., Ramirez-Campillo, R., Granacher, U., Negra, Y. and Chaabene, H., (2023). The effects of plyometric jump training on lower limb stiffness in healthy individuals: a meta-analytical comparison. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 12 (2), 236-245

Liew, BXW., Hartvigsen, J., Scutari, M. and Kongsted, A., (2023). Data-driven pathway analysis of physical and psychological factors in low back pain. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 153, 55-77

Gevers-Montoro, C., Liew, BXW., Deldar, Z., Conesa-Buendia, FM., Ortega-De Mues, A., Falla, D. and Khatibi, A., (2023). A network analysis on biopsychosocial factors and pain-related outcomes assessed during a COVID-19 lockdown. Scientific Reports. 13 (1), 4399-

Micklewright, D., Liew, BXW. and Kennett, S., (2023). Redirected Attention and Impaired Recognition Memory during Exhaustive Cycling Has Implications for Information Processing Models of Effort-Regulation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 20 (10), 5905-5905

Zhu, X., Boukhennoufa, I., Liew, B., Gao, C., Yu, W., McDonald-Maier, KD. and Zhai, X., (2023). Monocular 3D Human Pose Markerless Systems for Gait Assessment. Bioengineering. 10 (6), 653-653

Tissot, L-PM., Evans, DW., Kirby, E. and Liew, BXW., (2023). Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia may underestimate task-specific fear of movement in people with and without low back pain. PAIN Reports. 8 (4), e1081-e1081

Liew, BXW., Rügamer, D., Mei, Q., Altai, Z., Zhu, X., Zhai, X. and Cortes, N., (2023). Smooth and accurate predictions of joint contact force time-series in gait using over parameterised deep neural networks. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. 11, 1208711-

Altai, Z., Boukhennoufa, I., Zhai, X., Phillips, A., Moran, J. and Liew, BXW., (2023). Performance of multiple neural networks in predicting lower limb joint moments using wearable sensors. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. 11, 1215770-

Black, C., Mallows, A., Waterworth, S., Freeman, P., Hope, E. and Liew, BXW., (2023). A cross-sectional investigation of back pain beliefs and fear in physiotherapy and sport undergraduate students.. PLoS One. 18 (4), e0284754-e0284754

Kirby, E., MacMillan, A., Liew, BXW., Brinkley, A. and Bateman, A., (2023). Characterising the interventions designed to affect the reporting of musculoskeletal imaging: a scoping review protocol using the COM-B model.. BMJ Open. 13 (11), e072150-e072150

Liew, BXW., Kovacs, FM., Rügamer, D. and Royuela, A., (2023). Automatic Variable Selection Algorithms in Prognostic Factor Research in Neck Pain.. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 12 (19), 6232-6232

Liew, BXW., Kovacs, FM., Rügamer, D. and Royuela, A., (2022). Machine learning versus logistic regression for prognostic modelling in individuals with non-specific neck pain.. European Spine Journal. 31 (8), 2082-2091

Liew, BXW., Feller, JA. and Webster, KE., (2022). Understanding the psychological mechanisms of return to sports readiness after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.. PLoS One. 17 (3), e0266029-e0266029

Liew, BXW., Ford, JJ., Briganti, G. and Hahne, AJ., (2022). Understanding how individualised physiotherapy or advice altered different elements of disability for people with low back pain using network analysis.. PLoS One. 17 (2), e0263574-e0263574

Alalawi, A., Evans, DW., Liew, B., Peolsson, A., Heneghan, N., Rushton, A., Peterson, G., Barbero, M. and Falla, D., (2022). Does Pain Extent Predict Ongoing Pain and Disability in Patients with Chronic Whiplash-Associated Disorders?. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 11 (3), 555-555

Boukhennoufa, I., Altai, Z., Zhai, X., Utti, V., McDonald-Maier, KD. and Liew, B., (2022). Predicting the Internal Knee Abduction Impulse During Walking Using Deep Learning. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. 10, 877347-

Pethick, J., Clark, NC. and Liew, B., (2022). Alterations in peripheral joint muscle force control in adults with musculoskeletal disease, injury, surgery, or arthroplasty: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 66, 102696-102696

Liew, BXW., Valera-Calero, JA., Varol, U., Nijs, J., Arendt-Nielsen, L., Plaza-Manzano, G. and Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, C., (2022). Distress and Sensitization as Main Mediators of Severity in Women with Fibromyalgia: A Structural Equation Model.. Biomedicines. 10 (5), 1188-1188

Fernández-de-las-Peñas, C., Liew, BXW., Herrero-Montes, M., del-Valle-Loarte, P., Rodríguez-Rosado, R., Ferrer-Pargada, D., Neblett, R. and Paras-Bravo, P., (2022). Data-Driven Path Analytic Modeling to Understand Underlying Mechanisms in COVID-19 Survivors Suffering from Long-Term Post-COVID Pain: A Spanish Cohort Study. Pathogens. 11 (11), 1336-1336

Devecchi, V., Alalawi, A., Liew, B. and Falla, D., (2022). A network analysis reveals the interaction between fear and physical features in people with neck pain.. Scientific Reports. 12 (1), 11304-

Liew, BXW., Syrett, J., Freeman, P. and Evans, DW., (2022). Pain-related fear of movement dynamics in individuals with and without low back pain participating in weightlifting and/or powerlifting training.. PLoS One. 17 (10), e0276983-e0276983

Syrett, J., Evans, DW. and Liew, BXW., (2022). More Load, Less Harm? Perceived Harmfulness of Daily Activities and Low Back Pain Beliefs in Weightlifters and Powerlifters. Applied Sciences. 13 (1), 220-220

Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, C., Rodríguez-Jiménez, J., Palacios-Ceña, M., de-la-Llave-Rincón, AI., Fuensalida-Novo, S., Florencio, LL., Ambite-Quesada, S., Ortega-Santiago, R., Arias-Buría, JL., Liew, BXW., Hernández-Barrera, V. and Cigarán-Méndez, M., (2022). Psychometric Properties of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) in Previously Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients.. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 19 (15), 9273-9273

Liew, BXW., Palacios-Ceña, M., Scutari, M., Fuensalida-Novo, S., Guerrero-Peral, A., Ordás-Bandera, C., Pareja, JA. and Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, C., (2022). Path Analysis Models Integrating Psychological, Psycho-physical and Clinical Variables in Individuals With Tension-Type Headache.. The Journal of Pain. 24 (3), 426-436

Liew, BXW., de-la-Llave-Rincón, AI., Scutari, M., Arias-Buría, JL., Cook, CE., Cleland, J. and Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, C., (2022). Do Short-Term Effects Predict Long-Term Improvements in Women Who Receive Manual Therapy or Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? A Bayesian Network Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial.. Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Journal. 102 (4), pzac015-

Moran, J., Ramirez-Campillo, R., Liew, B., Chaabene, H., Behm, DG., García-Hermoso, A., Izquierdo, M. and Granacher, U., (2021). Effects of vertically- and horizontally-orientated plyometric training on physical performance: a meta-analytical comparison. Sports Medicine. 51 (1), 65-79

Liew, BXW., Sullivan, L., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2021). Lower-limb stiffness mediates speed but not turning angle during unplanned side-step cutting. Journal of Biomechanics. 115, 110132-110132

Liew, BXW., Peolsson, A., Falla, D., Cleland, JA., Scutari, M., Kierkegaard, M. and Dedering, A., (2021). Mechanisms of recovery after neck‐specific or general exercises in patients with cervical radiculopathy. European Journal of Pain. 25 (5), 1162-1172

Hegyi, A., Csala, D., Kovács, B., Péter, A., Liew, BXW., Yue, Y., Finni, T., Tihanyi, J. and Cronin, NJ., (2021). Superimposing hip extension on knee flexion evokes higher activation in biceps femoris than knee flexion alone. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 58, 102541-102541

Sanderson, A., Wang, SF., Elgueta‐Cancino, E., Martinez‐Valdes, E., Sanchis‐Sanchez, E., Liew, B. and Falla, D., (2021). The effect of experimental and clinical musculoskeletal pain on spinal and supraspinal projections to motoneurons and motor unit properties in humans: A systematic review. European Journal of Pain. 25 (8), 1668-1701

Liew, B., Lee, HY., Rügamer, D., De Nunzio, AM., Heneghan, NR., Falla, D. and Evans, DW., (2021). A novel metric of reliability in pressure pain threshold measurement.. Scientific Reports. 11 (1), 6944-

Liew, BXW., Rügamer, D., Zhai, X., Wang, Y., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2021). Comparing shallow, deep, and transfer learning in predicting joint moments in running.. Journal of Biomechanics. 129, 110820-110820

Falla, D., Devecchi, V., Jiménez-Grande, D., Rügamer, D. and Liew, BXW., (2021). Machine learning approaches applied in spinal pain research. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 61, 102599-102599

Liew, BXW., Ford, JJ., Scutari, M. and Hahne, AJ., (2021). How does individualised physiotherapy work for people with low back pain? A Bayesian Network analysis using randomised controlled trial data.. PLoS One. 16 (10), e0258515-e0258515

Liew, BXW., Rugamer, D., Duffy, K., Taylor, MJD. and Jackson, J., (2021). The mechanical energetics of walking across the adult lifespan. PLoS One. 16 (11), e0259817-e0259817

Moran, J., Ramirez-Campillo, R., Liew, B., Chaabene, H., Behm, D., García-Hermoso, A., Izquierdo, M. and Granacher, U., (2021). Effects of Bilateral and Unilateral Resistance Training on Horizontally-Orientated Movement Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine. 51 (2), 225-242

Pedrero-Martin, Y., Falla, D., Martinez-Calderon, J., Liew, BXW., Scutari, M. and Luque-Suarez, A., (2021). Self-efficacy beliefs mediate the association between pain intensity and pain interference in acute/subacute whiplash-associated disorders.. European Spine Journal. 30 (6), 1689-1698

Liew, BXW., de-la-Llave-Rincón, AI., Arias-Buría, JL., Ortega-Santiago, R. and Fernández-de-las-Peñas, C., (2021). Understanding the Psychophysiological Mechanisms Related to Widespread Pressure Pain Hyperalgesia Underpinning Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Network Analysis Approach. Pain Medicine. 22 (11), 2708-2717

Liew, BXW., Rugamer, D., Stocker, A. and De Nunzio, AM., (2020). Classifying neck pain status using scalar and functional biomechanical variables – development of a method using functional data boosting. Gait and Posture. 76, 146-150

Liew, BXW., Peolsson, A., Scutari, M., Löfgren, H., Wibault, J., Dedering, Å., Öberg, B., Zsigmond, P. and Falla, D., (2020). Probing the mechanisms underpinning recovery in post‐surgical patients with cervical radiculopathy using Bayesian networks. European Journal of Pain. 24 (5), 909-920

Liew, BXW., Sullivan, L., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2020). Mechanical work performed by distal foot-ankle and proximal knee-hip segments during anticipated and unanticipated cutting. Journal of Biomechanics. 106, 109839-109839

Liew, BXW., De Nunzio, AM., Srivastava, S. and Falla, D., (2020). Influence of low back pain and its remission on motor abundance in a low-load lifting task. Scientific Reports. 10 (1), 17831-

Liew, BXW., Peolsson, A., Rugamer, D., Wibault, J., Löfgren, H., Dedering, A., Zsigmond, P. and Falla, D., (2020). Clinical predictive modelling of post-surgical recovery in individuals with cervical radiculopathy: a machine learning approach. Scientific Reports. 10 (1), 16782-

Liew, BXW., Rugamer, D., De Nunzio, AM. and Falla, D., (2020). Interpretable machine learning models for classifying low back pain status using functional physiological variables.. European Spine Journal. 29 (8), 1845-1859

Liew, BXW., Abichandani, D. and De Nunzio, AM., (2020). Individuals with patellofemoral pain syndrome have altered inter-leg force coordination.. Gait and Posture. 79, 65-70

Liew, BXW., Rugamer, D., Abichandani, D. and De Nunzio, AM., (2020). Classifying individuals with and without patellofemoral pain syndrome using ground force profiles - Development of a method using functional data boosting.. Gait and Posture. 80, 90-95

Liew, BXW., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2020). Trunk-pelvis coordination during load carriage running.. Journal of Biomechanics. 109, 109949-109949

Rosewilliam, S., Indramohan, V., Breakwell, R., Liew, BXW. and Skelton, J., (2019). Patient-centred orientation of students from different healthcare disciplines, their understanding of the concept and factors influencing their development as patient-centred professionals: a mixed methods study. BMC Medical Education. 19 (1), 347-

Murillo, C., Martinez-Valdes, E., Heneghan, NR., Liew, B., Rushton, A., Sanderson, A. and Falla, D., (2019). High-Density Electromyography Provides New Insights into the Flexion Relaxation Phenomenon in Individuals with Low Back Pain. Scientific Reports. 9 (1), 15938-

Liew, BXW., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2019). Defining gait patterns using Parallel Factor 2 (PARAFAC2): A new analysis of previously published data. Journal of Biomechanics. 90, 133-137

Liew, BXW., Scutari, M., Peolsson, A., Peterson, G., Ludvigsson, ML. and Falla, D., (2019). Investigating the Causal Mechanisms of Symptom Recovery in Chronic Whiplash-associated Disorders Using Bayesian Networks. Clinical Journal of Pain. 35 (8), 647-655

Liew, BXW., Yue, R., Cescon, C., Barbero, M. and Falla, D., (2019). Influence of experimental pain on the spatio-temporal activity of upper trapezius during dynamic lifting – An investigation using Bayesian spatio-temporal ANOVA. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 48, 1-8

Keogh, JWL., Cox, A., Anderson, S., Liew, B., Olsen, A., Schram, B. and Furness, J., (2019). Reliability and validity of clinically accessible smartphone applications to measure joint range of motion: A systematic review. PLoS One. 14 (5), e0215806-e0215806

Chappell, A., Liew, B., Murphy, AT., Gibson, N., Allison, GT., Williams, G. and Morris, SL., (2019). The effect of joint translation constraint on within-participant variability of kinematics and kinetics during running in cerebral palsy. Clinical Biomechanics. 63, 54-62

Liew, BXW., Morrison, A., Hobara, H., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2018). Not all brawn, but some brain. Strength gains after training alters kinematic motor abundance in hopping. PeerJ. 6 (11), e6010-e6010

Masters, A., Netto, K., Brooker, S., Hopper, D. and Liew, B., (2018). Hip Taping Positively Alters Running Kinematics in Asymptomatic Females. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 39 (14), 1068-1074

Liew, BXW., Del Vecchio, A. and Falla, D., (2018). The influence of musculoskeletal pain disorders on muscle synergies—A systematic review. PLoS One. 13 (11), e0206885-e0206885

Liew, BXW., Drovandi, CC., Clifford, S., Keogh, JWL., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2018). Joint-level energetics differentiate isoinertial from speed-power resistance training—a Bayesian analysis. PeerJ. 6 (4), e4620-e4620

Liew, BXW., Helwig, NE., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2018). Influence of proximal trunk borne load on lower limb countermovement joint dynamics. Journal of Biomechanics. 79, 223-226

Liew, BXW., Morris, S., Masters, A. and Netto, K., (2017). A comparison and update of direct kinematic-kinetic models of leg stiffness in human running. Journal of Biomechanics. 64, 253-257

Liew, B., Netto, K. and Morris, S., (2017). Increase in Leg Stiffness Reduces Joint Work During Backpack Carriage Running at Slow Velocities. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 33 (5), 347-353

Liew, B., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2016). The Effect of Backpack Carriage on the Biomechanics of Walking: A Systematic Review and Preliminary Meta-Analysis. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 32 (6), 614-629

Liew, BXW., Morris, S., Keogh, JWL., Appleby, B. and Netto, K., (2016). Effects of two neuromuscular training programs on running biomechanics with load carriage: a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 17 (1), 1-10

Liew, BXW., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2016). The effects of load carriage on joint work at different running velocities. Journal of Biomechanics. 49 (14), 3275-3280

Liew, BXW., Morris, S., Robinson, MA. and Netto, K., (2016). Performance of a lateral pelvic cluster technical system in evaluating running kinematics. Journal of Biomechanics. 49 (9), 1989-1993

Liew, BXW., Morris, S. and Netto, K., (2016). Joint power and kinematics coordination in load carriage running: Implications for performance and injury. Gait & Posture. 47, 74-79

Conferences (1)

zhu, X., Boukhennoufa, I., Liew, B., McDonald-Maier, K. and Zhai, X., (2022). A Kalman Filter based Approach for Markerless Pose Tracking and Assessment

Grants and funding


Aparito PhD Studentship Match Funded

Aparito Limited

5G4PHealth: Enhanced 5G-Powered Platform for Predictive Preventive Personalized and Participatory Healthcare

Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board)


MRC/FNR Returning Safely to high-impact activities after JOINT replacements (SafeJOINTs)

Medical Research Council


Computational methods towards monitoring in-vivo hip joint loads during physical exercises (CHOOSE).

Academy of Medical Sciences

+44 (0) 1206 873522


ESA.3.14, Colchester Campus