Dr Nikita Nikitin, Associate Professor in the Department of Theory and Methods of Physical Education and Sports, has undertaken an academic visit to the University of Bologna in the framework of the 5TOP100 project.
- Nikita, why the University of Bologna?
- My key research interest is body movement control. In Russia, a considerable volume of research has been conducted in this area. However, today, the world leader is the University of Bologna. The University boasts the School of Pharmacy, Biotechnology and Sports Science. Its laboratories develop the most advanced methods for body movement control and performance assessment. That is why I wrote to Prof Antonio Cicchella form the Laboratory of Biomechanics, asking about academic visit opportunities. He responded quickly and then the 5TOP100 Office helped.
- What is biomechanical control?
- The object of biomechanical control is human body movements. Biomechanics of movement studies the properties and functions of the locomotor system and human movements from the standpoint of classical mechanics. Biomechanics is an allied science, which developed at the interface of biology – the science of life – and mechanics – the science science of mechanic movements of material bodies and associated interactions. There is a great variety of human movements – everyday, work-related, health-promoting, sports, etc. I am interested in health-promoting and sports movement control.
- What is your your research goal?
- Since 2010, I have been studying physical education as part of psychological and pedagogical support for HIV-positive children, under the supervision of Prof Viktor Pelmenyov. My objective is to create a methodology for assessing the physical development and physical fitness in adolescents. This will make it possible to conduct research in Russia and assess the physical development and physical fitness in HIV-positive and healthy children.
My postdoctoral thesis will develop a concept, a model, and a technology for psychological and pedagogical support for students living with HIV. My dream is that a laboratory for biomechanics opens at the IKBFU, for instance, at the Fabrika science park.
- How is you visit going? Are you attending or giving lectures? Are you involved in laboratory research?
- I am not visiting any lectures. I have got a two-month tenure at the Laboratory for Biomechanics. I have my own workplace and an access to the University’ library. When possible, I am attending lectures for postgraduate students. I have given two lectures on the history and organisation of physical education and sports in Russia. I am also taking part in laboratory studies on motor activity.
- You have mentioned Prof Cicchella. Do you work with him or with his assistants?
- Both. Twice a week I’m accompanying Prof C icchella on his way to Rimini, where one of the School buildings is located. There, I’m attending his lectures. Prof Cicchella’s reputation at the University is unrivalled. He is acquainted with every specialist in his field and he has impressive research experience. It is most interesting talking to Prof Cicchella. His Laboratory has forged partnerships across the globe – from the US to China. It also collaborates with a Russian counterpart – the Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health in St. Petersburg.
- Do you speak Italian or English at the University? Do you get on well with your colleagues?
- I am speaking English with colleagues and students. There is an unspoken rule – the whole department have lunch together to talk and discuss work. This makes it easier to get along. On weekends, they all go hiking or take part in competitions. Colleagues told me about hiking routes and how to access the pool and the gym. I was very pleased to learn that Russian sports scientists, for instance, Yuri Verkhshansky and Vladimir Zatsiorsky, are deeply respected here.