Mersha Aftab

My interest is in the role design plays in the strategic innovation process in multinational industries. My ambition is to fit design at the heart of organisations, especially the ones that want to be innovative.

Mark Blythe

Mark is a design ethnographer working in the field of Human Computer Interaction. His research is concerned with the digital revolution we are stumbling and tumbling through and how this changes the ways we live, work, make art and grow old. He likes to write about himself in the third person, like Caesar.

Jo Briggs

I joined the School of Design in early 2012 as researcher on (EPSRC) Digital Originals and took up the role of Anniversary Research Fellow in Interactive Media Design the following year. Before coming to Northumbria I lectured at various universities and art colleges in the UK and Ireland and completed a practice-led AHRC PhD on the 'post conflict' situation in Northern Ireland, as examined through some of the cultural and educational initiatives introduced there after the Good Friday Agreement, including those to promote digital moving image production. This work brought together and expanded a repertoire of acquired experience and training across art and design, creative computing and media broadcast, all of which continues to inform and be further enriched by my ongoing research and practice.

Pam Briggs

I hold a Chair in Applied Psychology at Northumbria University and am a Visiting Professor at Newcastle University. My work primarily addresses issues of identity, trust and security in new social media, seeking answers to three main questions: Why and when do we feel secure in disclosing sensitive identity information about ourselves? What makes us trust an electronic message? How and when do we seek to protect our privacy? In the last five years, I’ve secured over £2m in research funding, have published over forty articles on human perceptions of trust, privacy and security in computer-mediated communication and have developed, with colleagues, a new model of health advice-seeking online. I’m one of the founder members of the UK's Research Institute in the Science of Cybersecurity, funded by GCHQ in association with RCUK's Global Uncertainty Programme and my most recent research awards address both usable and inclusive privacy and security. I have co-authored two UK Government Office for Science reports (The Future of Identity; Using behavioural insights to improve the public’s use of cyber security best practice) and I am associate editor of the journals Trust Management and Frontiers in Digital Health. In 2016 I led an international workshop on Everyday Surveillance (San Jose); was invited to speak at the 4th Infosecurity Leadership Summit (London); the European Information Security Summit (London) and the European Commission’s High Level Group of Scientific Advisors, to contribute to a workshop on Secure Digital Identities as part of the EC’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (Vilnius). I have also been working with Public Health England on the UK’s Pandemic Digital Communication Strategy.

Katie Brittain

Katie is Associate Professor of Ageing & Health in the Department of Nursing, Midwifery & Health. Katie is a social gerontologist and has an educational background in sociology. This has enabled her to pursue her research interests in the social impact that illness can have on the lives of older people. Before joining Northumbria University Katie worked at Newcastle University for sixteen years. During her time as a researcher she has researched and published widely around the impact of ill health on older people and carers. She held an EPSRC 'Discipline Hopping' award that explored 'ageing in place' and the impact of emerging technologies on the lives of older people. This has enabled her to work across disciplinary boundaries and focus on how aspects of the physical, social and technological environment pose challenges and opportunities for older people and their wider community.

Adrian Clear

Adrian Clear is a Senior Research Fellow in Digital Living in the Department of Computing and Information Sciences at Northumbria University. Prior to Northumbria, he was a Senior Research Associate in Open Lab in Newcastle University, working on the EPSRC project, 'Pervasive Sensing for Collaborative Facilities Manangement'. Previously, he worked as a Senior RA in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, where he is a member of the Socio-Digital Sustainability (SDS) research group. At Lancaster, Adrian was researcher co-investigator on the EPSRC-funded Research in the Wild project entitled Encouraging low carbon food shopping with ubicomp interventions. He has recently worked on the EPSRC-funded TEDDI project, Informing energy choices using ubiquitous computing and the ESRC-funded Sustainability project, Sustainable Carbon Counters. Adrian is interested in HCI and sustainability in the home, the workplace, and the city. His work covers various domains including thermal comfort, energy, and food, and involves qualitative and quantitative methods, sensor data analysis, infovis, and designing digital technologies for reshaping everyday practices in more sustainable ways. Prior to his work at Lancaster, Adrian completed his PhD, titled 'Engineering pervasive systems using interactive visualisation', at UCD Dublin before working as a postdoctoral researcher at Orange Labs, Grenoble in the area of sensor data fusion for home automation and sustainable living. Adrian's research interests include ubiquitous computing, HCI, context-awareness, sustainability, quantitative and qualitative study methods, and information visualisation.

Gilbert Cockton

Professor Gilbert Cockton is an internationally renowned researcher with a career spanning over two decades. During that time he has received almost 220 invitations to present in 22 different countries, published over 220 papers, chapters, books, articles and edited proceedings (selection available from, with almost 2500 citations (Google Scholar) and secured millions of pounds worth of funding for research and Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects. Gilbert has been active in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interaction Design research since 1983. With an international research reputation and almost 190 invited presentations in 19 countries, including 8 keynote addresses. He has a broad multidisciplinary background, with an MA/PGCE in History and Human Sciences (Education) and a PhD in Computer Science. His research spans from the theoretical foundations of design and evaluation approaches, to applied work with industry on usability, user experience, accessibility and applications of value-focused design and evaluation approaches. From 1997 to 2009, he was Research Chair in HCI at the University of Sunderland, where he secured funding for research and knowledge transfer projects and research infrastructure with a value exceeding £6M. This included a NESTA Fellowship from 2005-2008 on value-centred design. He has served in many roles within the international HCI community, including Vice-Chair of IFIP TC13 (2004 06), Chair of British HCI Group (2001-2004), Chair of ACM CHI 2003 and BCS HCI 2000 Conferences, and Secretary of IFIP WG2.7 on user interface engineering (1993-99). He is Editor Emeritus of the journal Interacting with Computers, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Usability Studies. Gilbert has published extensively since 1985 on usability, user experience and accessibility, grounded- and worth/value-centred design, and notations and architectures for interactive software. His key focus is on the balance between human-focused practice and creative and technical inventiveness in interaction design and evaluation. His research aims to develop design and evaluation approaches that expose the tacit knowledge underlying the many connections within the design process, e.g., between designs and their beneficiaries, design purpose and evaluation, and more complex connections between multiple aspects of designs and their interconnections.

Lynne Coventry

Lynne Coventry is the Director of PaCT Lab (Psychology and Communication Technology) at the University of Northumbria. Lynne is best known for her work on usable security, particularly biometrics. Her research interests are varied and she is currently involved in research exploring the role of communication technology in the lives of older adults to facilitate mobility and inclusion, the role of trust in student’s use of online information, the usability of medical products and the design of usable security. She is an applied researcher who enjoys working in multidisciplinary teams to solve real problems. She is keen to explore new ways of integrating psychology into design and technology development processes. She has a multidisciplinary background with a BSC in Psychology and Computing Science, an MSc in Software Engineering and a PhD in Human Computer Interaction. While her early career was spent as a research fellow and lecturer at Stirling University, Heriot Watt and Dundee university, the majority of her career has been as a researcher within Industry (both computing and medical products) working to incorporate understanding of people, their use and acceptance of technology into the requirements and design process. Lynne is a founding member of the Scottish Usability Professional Association and previous vice president. Lynne is a founding member of STEPS, and current Editor of Interfaces (A British Computer Society Magazine) and a reviewer for a number of international conferences and journals.

Nick Dalton

I am a Computer scientist with an interest in human computer interaction particularly through making. I have a background working with architects analyzing large networks for a number of social outcomes. I am very interested in the interaction between Computer interaction and architecture. My projects have included intelligent buildings, a smart wineshop and a smart carpet. I have done work looking at public displays embedded in space and I’m currently looking at interacting with computers while using a standing desk. I am also passionate about widening participation in human computer interaction and interaction design to those with physical and cognitive impairments. I have supervised a number of students off the neuro-typical spectrum.

Dmitry Dereshev

Dmitry studies Smart Personal Assistants (Alexa, Google), their embodiments (Echo, Google Home), and existing and upcoming robots for homes (Pepper, Jibo, Buddy).

Abigail Durrant

I’m a designer and researcher based at Open Lab Newcastle University (formally the Digital Interaction group at Culture Lab), pursuing human-computer interaction (HCI) research through design-led inquiry. I have a longstanding curiosity in the design-led study of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) from social and cultural perspectives. This is grounded in my interdisciplinary career spanning the arts, humanities and social sciences. Graduating with a Fine Art degree from Newcastle in 2000, I have worked as a professional artist with gallery representation and run an interaction design consultancy.  Following postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art (RCA) and the University of Surrey (Microsoft Research European PhD Scholarship Programme), I hold specialist applied skills in computer-related design and a deep knowledge of critical and experience-centred approaches to HCI research.  Over the last 16 years, I have developed extensive professional experience in industry, academia and the public sector. In a commercial design research context, I have drawn upon my expertise in ethnography, film making, conceptual design and visual communication to deliver understandings, strategic directions and possible futures for technology innovation in Healthcare, Telecommunications and Government.   My academic research has focussed on the development of digital photography and social media, specifically to support the expression of identity in different contexts and domains, and by different communities and cultures.  My approach is creative, practice-based and interdisciplinary, using design to understand and communicate ideas and experiences. I’m a passionate advocate of dissemination platforms supporting ‘research through design’.   Alongside my Leverhulme Fellowship (ECF-2012-642) I have significant demonstrators of impact in terms of funding, publications, and services to academic communities. I am Principal Investigator at Newcastle of EPSRC Charting the Digital Lifespan (CDL) project (EP/L00383X/1) and previously Researcher Co-Investigator on EPSRC 'Scaling the Rural Enterprise' (EP/J000604/1) and most recently am Co-Investigator on a project internally funded by Newcastle Institute of Creative Arts Practice (NICAP). I was General Chair for the new Research through Design (RTD) 2015 Conference.   I have recently returned from Maternity Leave (July 15 to April 16), previously taking Maternity Leave in 2012.  And it has been worth it to have my two occasionally entertaining children.

Chris Elsden

I’m an interaction design researcher who recently joined the IDEATE group in the School of Design to work on the Ox-Chain project. With a background in sociology, my work employs a wide range of qualitative methods and peculative design research to open up new and alternative design spaces for future relationships with data and technology. My thesis work at Open Lab, Newcastle University, concerned fieldwork about the experiences of living a ‘data-driven life’, in particular, how burgeoning digital traces can mediate remembering.

Enrique Encinas

Tom Feltwell

Tom joined Northumbria University in February 2016, as a research assistant on the CuRAtOR: Challenging online feaR And OtheRing project, which aims to explore how new interactive digital experiences might be designed to counteract the problematic outcomes of Othering and fearful representations. Having completed an undergraduate degree in Games Computing at University of Lincoln, Tom started working as a research assistant on the CuRAtOR project at the University of Lincoln in 2014. He moved to Northumbria University in February 2016 to join Professor Shaun Lawson in the newly formed Northumbria Social Computing Lab (NorSC Lab). He is currently finalising a MSc by Research at University of Lincoln on the subject of user-centred design of game analytics visualisations. His research focuses on the societal and cultural impact of digital and social media technologies, visualisations and mapping of data, and the appropriation and usage of technology for political and activist purposes.

Lars Holmqvist

Lars Erik Holmquist is Professor of Innovation at Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. He is an internationally leading researcher in human computer interaction, interaction design and ubiquitous computing. He has published over 100 articles in fields such as HCI, design methods, mobile applications and ubiquitous computing, which have been cited more than 3500 times. His work has been presented at major scientific conferences including CHI, SIGGRAPH, UIST, UbiComp, Mobile HCI, InfoVis and ECSCW. His first book, Grounded Innovation: Strategies for Creating Digital Products, was published by Morgan Kaufman in 2012, and provides a practical guide to the design-driven innovation process, with many examples drawn from his own research and elsewhere. He was Principal Scientist at Yahoo Labs in Sunnyvale, where he did research in areas such as location-based services, interactive television and augmented reality. Other appointments include Full Professor at Södertörn University, Lab Leader at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science, and co-founder and Research Leader of the Mobile Life Centre in Kista, Sweden. He has led a number of major research projects, from agencies including the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, The Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems, several large European Union projects, and two collaborative grants with Stanford from the Wallenberg Global Learning Network. He has served on technical program committees, including UbiComp, CHI, UIST, NordiCHI, SIGGRAPH, SIGGRAPH Asia and Mobile HCI, and is an associate editor for two journals in ubicomp and robotics. He has supervised two Ph.D. students to completion and served on Ph.D. thesis committees in Sweden and Denmark. He was awarded an Individual Grant for the Advancement of Young Research Leaders (INGVAR) from the Foundation for Strategic Research, one of the most prestigious personal grants for researchers in Sweden. 

Dave Kirk

I am Professor of Digital Living in the School of Computer and Information Science. I study Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and the design of interactive computational technologies. I'm particularly interested in design research methods and the ways in which technology design can be centred on rich understanding of user experiences, cultures and contexts. I have previously held positions as Senior Lecturer of Experience-Centred Design and then Reader in Cultural Computing at Newcastle University, Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction in the Mixed Reality Lab and School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham, and as a post-doc in the Socio-Digital Systems group at Microsoft Research Cambridge. My background is in Psychology (BSc) and Ergonomics (MSc) with a PhD in Computer Science. Over the years my work has been heavily influenced by the sociologists, philosophers and designers that I've collaborated with and consequently I take a design-led, social science orientation to understanding human experience and its application to the design of digital technologies. Accordingly, and although trained as an experimental scientist, my research is increasingly based on qualitative methods and design-research practices.

Shaun Lawson

Shaun joined Northumbria University in November 2015 after leaving the University of Lincoln where he led the Lincoln Social Computing (LiSC) Research Centre for a number of years. After doing a postdoc at the University of Surrey, he took up his first academic post at in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University in 2000. In 2005 he moved to Lincoln first as a Senior Lecturer, then Reader and he was appointed the Uk’s first Professor in social computing in 2011. His research primarily explores the use and significance of social media, and other digital services, in people’s lives and he has conducted applied work in areas such as health and wellbeing, politics and activism, and sustainability. His current focus is on the convergence of broadcast and social media in political and societal context and on how technology is used is support mental health, wellbeing and social support and cohesion. He has held grants totalling over £2million in the past 5 years from funders such as EPSRC, ESRC, the EU and Microsoft Research and is the author, or co-author, of over 100 peer-reviewed publications. He was Chair of British HCI 2015 and is the founding chair of the UK’s SIGCHI chapter.

Jamie Mahoney

Arthi Manohar

I am a designer, researcher and a qualified architect. I am a Research Fellow working on TAPESTRY project, funded by the RCUK Digital Economy. Before joining Northumbria, I worked at the Glasgow School of Art on an AHRC project called Leapfrog. Where I explored co-design in community engagement and creative evaluation approaches through research and project-based learning. Prior to GSA, I worked at the Mixed Reality Lab witihin the University of Nottingham. My Doctorate was a part of an EPSRC Digital Economy project ‘Tales of Things and Electronic Memories’ (TOTeM). My research explored the digital impact of technologies on communities using Participatory Research Methods and Story Cultures. I hold a Master’s degree in Architecture and Digital Media from University of Westminster, London. I also practiced architecture in various leading design and consultancy firms in the UK and India. My research interests are particularly concerned with the role of human values to change the way we engage with communities to help us be more creative, responsive and reflective by investigating the relationship between the social design and technology.

Lesley McIntyre

Lesley joined the School of the Built Environment in August 2016 as a Senior Lecturer in Architecture. Her main teaching responsibilities include design studio across the undergraduate years and module tutor for Design and Communications module. She also contributes to the Technology and Environmental Applications module and supports students at a Masters and PhD Level. Prior to joining Northumbria, Lesley was a Research Fellow at the University of Dundee and was Co-Investigator and Architectural lead on the RCUK funded BESiDE Research Project (EP/K037293/1 - BESiDE: The Built Environment for Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy). Working within a multidisciplinary team (spanning Architecture, Computing, Medicine and Design), this project investigated the impact of the built environment of care homes on older peoples’ wellbeing, mobility and social connectivity. Throughout Lesley’s practice and research portfolio she has been motivated to develop a greater understanding of the interactions between people and their built environments. Her PhD, (awarded in 2012) explored the way-finding experiences of people with a range of visual impairment in public buildings. She has focused on areas such as wellbeing, universal design and accessibility, human building-interaction, physical mobility, way-finding, ageing and ubiquitous technologies. Her research is driven by working with the range of stakeholders (ranging from the residents and staff of care homes, to architects and policy makers) and in refining research methods through working with building users. Lesley is biographer of Selwyn Goldsmith and was awarded a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Research Trust Award to write the monograph, ‘Selwyn Goldsmith (1932-2011) and the Architectural Model of Disability: A Retrospective of the Man and the Model’. She currently holds his archive and is the author of the entry of Selwyn Goldsmith in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Lesley has also held a Martin Jones Scholarship (from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) and a RIBA Research Trust Award (from the Royal Institute of British Architects). Lesley has undertaken invitations to speak at an international level at Rochester Institute of Technologies and at the University at Buffalo (NYC). She has been awarded ‘Best Papers’ from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) at Eco-build (the world’s biggest sustainable construction show) and from Sheffield Hallam’s Design 4 Health Conference. She has also contributed research to computing conferences including CHI and ASSETS (premier Human-Computer Interaction conferences). Working as part of a multidisciplinary team, her work has been exhibited as part of the 2008 Shanghai Biennale and won a Gold Award.

Andrew McNeill

Andrew McNeill is a Research Fellow working on the ACANTO Project at PaCT Lab in Northumbria University. He gained his PhD through studying the discursive enactment of victimhood in post-conflict Northern Ireland. Following this he worked on the INfluENCE project, which explored the dissemination of H1N1-related information during the 2009-10 UK pandemic. Currently he works on the ACANTO project, which is developing a social network system for older adults with a view to improving their social, psychological and physical wellbeing.

James Nicholson

James is a researcher working on the ChAISe project (Choice Architecture for Information Security). James is interested in usable security and authentication, as well as cybersecurity and technology for the ageing population. He obtained my BSc Information Systems from Newcastle University in 2008, and my MRes Psychology from Northumbria University in 2009. James’ PhD work – completed in 2012 – explored user authentication in the context of older adults under the supervision of Professor Lynne Coventry and Professor Pam Briggs.

Kay Rogage

Prior to joining Northumbria, Dr Kay Rogage worked on a range of software development projects from developing software for architects and the construction industry for the commercial arm of the Royal Institute of Architects to developing web solutions for clients such as the NHS, Northern Rock, Metroradio Arena, Sanderson Young and Gateshead Council. She is currently a lecturer at Northumbria University where she lectures on software related topics and gains great satisfaction from the challenge of both developing software and helping students develop their skills in software development.

Elizabeth Sillence

Liz is a Senior Lecturer within the Department of Psychology teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is a member of the PACT (Psychology and Communication Technologies) Lab – part of the Centre for Cognition and Communication. Her research interests are focussed on trust and online interactions particularly within an e-health context. Liz is currently exploring trust exchanges within online health communities and examining the influence of online patient experience on behaviour and decision making. Liz has also written on ethical issues in mobile human-computer-interaction and has a keen interest in qualitative methodologies. She has attracted (as Col) large research council grants both in the UK and jointly with colleagues in the USA. She has published over 20 articles on trust, privacy and online communication and regularly presents her work at national and international conference. She has been a guest editor for the journal of Interacting with Computers and the International Journal of Human Computer Studies.

Selina Sutton

Lisa Thomas

Lisa is a senior researcher currently working on the ReelLives project. Lisa is interested in social media use, identity management online, technologies for ageing and reminiscence, and community psychology. Lisa obtained a BA (Hons) Psychology from the University of Sheffield in 2004, and went on to complete an MSc in Environmental Psychology at the University of Surrey in 2006. She joined the Psychology and Communication Technology (PaCT) research group at Northumbria University in 2008, working on her PhD which explored perceptions of Location-Based Services- completed in 2011. She has since worked on the multidisciplinary research project ‘IMPRINTS’, which asked about the influences on UK and US publics to engage and/or disengage with identity management practices, services and technologies of the future.

David Verweij

John Vines

I’m a designer by background, and most of my current research is located in the fields of human-computer interaction (HCI) and participatory design. My research focuses on the study of how people experience, appropriate and use digital technologies in their everyday lives. I often take a research through design approach, which for me involves designing new digital prototypes, artefacts and “things” with citizens, and studying the creation and use of these prototypes to generate knowledge that is both valuable to designers and advances our understanding of social phenomena. I am specifically interested in how technology is interwoven with issues such as independence and agency in later life, could support informal and relational care for people of all ages, and might help scaffold “friendly” and “caring” communities. I also have experience and ongoing interests in human experience and technology design as it relates to self-care, trust, security and empathic communication. Generally, I’m intrigued by the ways in which digital technologies might support new interactions and engagements between people in relation to these issues, rather than be used to replace human contact (as is often the case). Along with the above, a large amount of my research examines the practical and ethical dimensions of conducting participatory design (and participatory research in general) with citizens, especially in sensitive contexts and with people with heightened vulnerabilities. Therefore I have an ongoing interest in understanding the methods and techniques used for involving people in design and research processes, and have been involved in a series of professional events and journal special issues unpicking the ethical encounters faced when conducting participatory and technology oriented research with participants.

Gavin Wood

Prior to research I worked in the computer games industry for 12 years where I held positions ranging from games designer, graphics programmer and physics programmer before finalising my role as the technical lead of a small games studio. This experience included AA titles developed for PS3, Xbox and Wii and included feature films and world sporting events. I left the games industry but continue to blog and release indie games for iOS and Windows PC under the name BaaWolf. Games like Thatgamecompany’s Flower, and Osmos from Hemisphere Games continue to inspire my interest in this field. I entered into research three years ago and began to apply gaming technology and experience to creating digital prototypes. Magic Land: The Design and Evaluation of an Interactive Tabletop Supporting Therapeutic Play with Children used my own game engine and toolset to deliver a robust and polished digital prototype allowing research to concentrate on the important elements like producing new opportunities for play. I am continuing to develop innovative gaming technologies as my research agenda begins to focus on the experience of play in digital technologies.

Joyce Yee

Joyce Yee is an Associate Professor in Northumbria University’s School of Design. Joyce’s research focuses on the impact and value of design in social spaces and the epistemological and methodological implications of research through design. She is the co-founder of the Design for Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific network (DESIAP) with Yoko Akama, and established the biennial conference series Research Through Design (RTD) with Jayne Wallace. She co-authored a book titled Design Transitions looking at how design practices are changing and co-edited The Routledge Companion to Design Research.

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