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"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 08:44:30 +0000
Marianna Obrist <[log in to unmask]>
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Marianna Obrist <[log in to unmask]>
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Apply for a PhD Scholarship at the University of Sussex, UK!

Key Facts:

  *   £13,863 tax free 3-year stipend plus fees according to status (a contribution of up to £12,000 towards overseas fees, depending on qualifications)
  *   Applicants should have at least a good 2:1 bachelors degree (or equivalent) relevant to their area of study
  *   Application deadline is 23 February 2015

You would work with Dr Marianna Obrist within the School of Engineering and Informatics, contributing to her multisensory research in Human-Computer Interaction ( You are motivated, ambitious and enjoy working in an interdisciplinary environment across informatics, engineering and neuroscience.

Below you can find 2 Phd Projects you could apply for or get in touch with Dr Obrist if you wish to suggest your own PhD idea within this research field.


[1] Emotions and Embodiment Mediated Through Mid-Air Haptics

Project Supervisor – Dr Marianna Obrist<>

Secondary Supervisor – Professor Anil Seth<>

Touch is a powerful vehicle for communication between humans. The way we touch (how) embraces and mediates certain emotions such as anger, joy, fear, or love; it even helps define the limits of our bodily selves. While this phenomenon is well explored for human-human communication, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research is only starting to uncover the fine granularity of tactile stimulation and responses in relation to certain emotions. This PhD project will explore the communication of emotions through an innovative haptic system that implements tactile stimulation in mid-air (Ultrahaptics). Ultrahaptics uses an array of tiny speakers, which uses waves of ultrasound to create tactile sensations in mid-air.

This PhD project will investigate: How interactive experiences with digital devices (e.g., mobile devices) can be enhanced through Mid-Air Haptics?

This new technology is available in the Department of Informatics (Lab of Dr. Obrist). The supervisor has a strong established collaboration with Ultrahaptics and the PhD student will have the opportunity to tap into that network. The project will also capitalize on facilities and expertise available within the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, in particular their virtual and augmented reality setups and their psychophysiology methodologies (Prof. Anil Seth).


[2] Opportunities for Smell in the Automotive Context

Project Supervisor – Dr Marianna Obrist<>

Secondary Supervisor – Dr Julian Dunne<>

Designers are able to design sophisticated visual user interfaces. With the rapid technological advancement in consumer electronics (e.g., smartphones, touch screens, etc.) pure visual user interfaces are however not sufficient anymore to create a good user experience. Thus, other human senses had to be explored in order to exhaust the potential of the emerging interactive technologies. Most recently, there has been increased interest on how to exploit the sense of smell as a further modality for interacting with technology.

This PhD project will particularly investigate the potential of olfaction in the automotive context and address the research question: How olfactory interfaces can improve in-car interaction experiences?

This project will be carried out mainly within the Department of Informatics, but will also capitalize on facilities and expertise available within the ‘Dynamics, Control, and Vehicle (DCV) Research Group’ and product design facilities at the Department of Engineering and Design. Moreover, both supervisors have established collaborations with Jaguar Land Rover and the PhD student will benefit from such an industrial link.


For more information get in touch with:

Dr Marianna Obrist
Lecturer in Interaction Design
School of Engineering and Informatics
University of Sussex
Chichester 1
BN1 9QJ Brighton, UK

Phone: +44 (0)1273 877837
Mail: m.obrist [at]
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