Research Fellow in Human-computer Interaction

School/department: School of Engineering and Informatics, Department of Informatics
Hours: full time 
Contract: fixed term for 24 months 
Reference:  2665
Salary: starting at £32,548 and rising to £38,833 per annum
Placed on: 26 October 2017
Closing date:  1 December 2017.  Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected start date: 01 March 2018 or soon after


Job description

An exciting new position has become available to join the Interact lab at the School of Engineering and Informatics of the University of Sussex, to assist in the development of novel interactions using manipulation of electro acoustic waves.

This is an FET Open project with e University of Glasgow, Chalmers University, Aarhus University and Ultrahaptics.

The primary goal of this project is to apply the principles of wavefront manipulation and metamaterials to explore a combination of acoustic levitation, mid-air haptics and parametric audio to create dynamic 3D physical shapes made of large collections of lightweight levitating objects that support haptic feedback and directional audio. This will also allow us to explore its potential for human computer interaction and the creation of novel user experiences.

The Interact Lab is at the forefront of this research and has already published several articles on this topic. Some example videos highlight our research can be seen at

-       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcVxRyvipcU   

And

-       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-wAGqZ_Qcg

Within this project, the Research Fellow will be expected to

  1. Use various techniques (like from machine learning) to control devices to create new user experiences that are based on wavefront manipulation
  2. Develop and implement the principles of how create haptics, directional audio and/or levitation systems based on the sculpting of different electro-acoustic fields.
  3. Identify interaction design principles and visualisation techniques that can support users in their interactions with this new technology.

The position will involve a variety of tasks such as the design and construction of light-weight objects that could be levitated, implementing pair-wise combinations of levitation, haptics and directional audio, implement interaction techniques, conduct user-studies to identify interaction principles and publishing these results in scientific venues. The applicant will also be expected to help in the teaching of related units.

The position would be suitable for someone with experience on technical aspects of one or more of the following areas

a)    human-computer interaction (i.e. audio processing, interactive graphics, augmented reality systems and levitation),

b)    computer graphics/ computational acoustics

c)    Machine learning with interest in its applications to hci/ graphics.

Some previous experience with electronics and using maker space tools (e.g. laser cutters, 3D printers) will be essential.

The research fellow will have considerable freedom in shaping the nature of the research project. So we seek a highly organised and motivated individual able to multi-task and work independently with minimal supervision while maintaining excellent attention to detail and bring energy and enthusiasm a vibrant research group. Excellent written and communication skills are also essential.

The Interact Lab is internationally renowned for it research in creating novel interactive devices for enabling new forms of human-computer interaction (HCI). HCI is about applying human abilities to the design of tools, systems, and environments that are safe, effective and comfortable for use.

The lab consists of three permanent members of Staff led by Prof. Subramanian. Alongside these staff members it currently hosts three post-doctoral researchers, 3 PhD students and several visiting researchers. The work of lab members often attracts media attention and offers many public engagement opportunities. One of our successful lines of research is in the field of mid-air haptics and we would draw on our expertise in this topic to propel this area of acoustic levitation.

Employment will be subject to the right to work in the UK. You will work directly with Prof. Sriram Subramanian, with a base in the Department of Informatics. You can find more information about the group at www.interact-lab.com

For informal inquiries please contact Prof. Subramanian, Department of Informatics, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QJ, UK; sriram@sussex.ac.uk.

Download the full job description and person specification Ref 2665 [PDF 132.31KB]


How to apply

Download our academic post application form [DOC 301.50KB] and personal details and equal opportunities form [DOC 162.50KB] and fill in all sections.

Email your completed application, and personal details and equal opportunities form, to enginfrecruitment@sussex.ac.uk 

You should attach your application form and all documents to the email (don't use a web-based upload/weblink service) and use the format job reference number / job title / your name in the subject line.

You can also send your application by post to Human Resources Division, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

Download our terms and conditions summary for Research Faculty Terms and Conditions [DOC 36.00KB]


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