UK:PhD research studentship School of Engineering and Built Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University.

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Description:Applications are invited for a full-time PhD research studentship within the School of Engineering and Built Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University. The studentship is for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and provides payment of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate plus an annual stipend of £14,600 [please note that students from outside the EU are required to pay the difference between International and EU fees, currently this would amount to £7,100 per annum]. The successful candidate is expected to undertake up to 6 hours of academic support activity per week. This PhD will be supervised by Dr Martin Halvey, Prof Lynne Baillie and Prof Stephen Brewster.

Project Description
Many modern systems are moving towards user interfaces based on physical interactions e.g. multitouch, gestures etc. As part of this haptic feedback has received a lot of attention, although this has mostly been based on the vibrotactile actuators in phones, games controllers etc. There has been little work in HCI on other aspects of the touch sense, in particular thermal. Thermal stimulation is a rich, emotive and salient feedback channel that is well suited to HCI, but is yet to be fully explored. Numerous potential uses for thermal feedback include augmenting information, affective feedback and ambient notification. In particular thermal provides an extra degree of freedom for haptic interfaces which allows more information to be presented in an eyes-free manner, this is important for information presentation in difficult environments e.g. information from multiple sensors in healthcare/engineering/driving environments etc. Initial research on thermal interfaces by the supervisory team has already shown the benefits of thermal interfaces and provides a strong theoretical foundation. However, more detailed research is needed to fully exploit the opportunities afforded by using thermal interfaces.
This studentship aims to develop thermal interfaces, haptic interfaces that heat and cool, for real world use. Candidates should possess a relevant 1st or 2.1 honours degree. It is anticipated that the candidate will have to travel nationally/internationally for meetings and conference presentations. The candidate will gain experience in a number of skill areas relevant to HCI, including, interface design, user interaction design, experimental design and programming on a wide range of devices and platforms.

 Project Aims
The aim of this project is to create interactive and engaging user experiences with thermal interfaces, potential research includes:
– Investigation of the affective aspects of thermal interaction for use in media etc.
– Combining thermal feedback with other forms of haptic interaction for ‘rich touch’ interfaces
– Investigation of the use of thermal interfaces for ambient always on display
– Development of proxemic thermal interactions, where time and/or distance are mapped to a temperature space
– Creation thermal icons for alerts and reminders

 How to Apply
Application forms are available on request from researchapplications@gcu.ac.uk<mailto:researchapplications@gcu.ac.uk> or viahttp://www.gcu.ac.uk/research/phdresearchopportunities/. Please state the Project Title on the completed application form and return toresearchapplications@gcu.ac.uk<mailto:researchapplications@gcu.ac.uk>

The closing date: for applications is 16th August 2013.

For more information: contact Dr Martin Halvey (martin.halvey@gcu.ac.uk<mailto:martin.halvey@gcu.ac.uk>)
Glasgow Caledonian University is a registered Scottish charity, number SC021474

Winner: Times Higher Education’s Widening Participation Initiative of the Year 2009 and Herald Society’s Education Initiative of the Year 2009.
http://www.gcu.ac.uk/newsevents/news/bycategory/theuniversity/1/name,6219,en.html

Winner: Times Higher Education’s Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers of the Year 2010, GCU as a lead with Universities Scotland partners.
http://www.gcu.ac.uk/newsevents/news/bycategory/theuniversity/1/name,15691,en.html

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