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Leader(s)

Dr Vanja Garaj Dr Vanja Garaj
Reader in Design
Director of Research for Brunel Design School, Tutor for the Professional Design Studio module (DM5534), MSc Integrated Product Design and Module Leader for the Systems Design module (DM2318), BA Industrial Design and Technology. Previously, Head of Department of Design (2018 - 2021) and Director of Postgraduate Research for Design. Before joining Brunel Design in 2017, Programme Director for MSc Digital Design and Branding in Digital Media Subject Area, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Brunel, leading a range of modules on digital design at postgraduate and undergraduate levels—covering product, service and graphic design aspects. Teaching promotes goal-oriented experimentation, while placing emphasis on the design process and practice-based approach in collaboration with industry. Co-ordinated a number of live student briefs, across design fields, with organisations including Cancer Research UK, NHS, Pan Macmillan, Help for Heroes, Friends of the Elderly, Corney & Barrow, Shell, Ibis and BT.

Full members

Dr Federico Colecchia Dr Federico Colecchia
Lecturer in Creative Electronics and Programming
I am a specialist in emerging technologies and innovation. My research focusses on the integration between technology development and user-centred design to facilitate the achievement of positive societal and economic impact. My work has a marked interdisciplinary character and a significant part of it has been carried out in close collaboration with private sector organisations. My current research focusses on machine learning, and artificial intelligence more broadly, the Internet of Things, and immersive technologies. I have 20+ years of R&D experience in academia and in the private sector, which has led to the establishment of a broad international network of academic and industrial collaborators. I have been active in Higher Education since 2002 leading undergraduate and postgraduate modules and am presently in charge of a Year 3 undergraduate module covering electronics and microcontroller programming for product design, as well as of the Brunel Design MSc dissertation module. I also teach Systems Design and electronics to Year 2 undergraduate students. I was awarded a doctoral degree (PhD) in Physics from the University of Padova in 2001, following work on a large-scale physics experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in the USA. I subsequently built an interdisciplinary research and innovation portfolio focussing on applications of artificial intelligence across disciplinary boundaries with an emphasis on the biomedical domain - brain tumour segmentation from MRI scans, protein-DNA binding site prediction, informed decision making in the pharmaceutical industry. Following my work in Padova and at Stanford, I have been a research staff member at University College London (UCL), Brunel University London and Lund University, honorary research scientist with the UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and project leader in the private sector - artificial intelligence and informed decision making for the pharmaceutical industry. My research has been funded by UK Research Councils, the EU, and private investors, and has involved close collaboration with multinational technology companies such as QinetiQ. Over the years, I have collaborated closely with clinicians, biologists, statisticians, mathematicians, sociologists, psychologists, educationalists, and designers, thereby developing a robust understanding of interdisciplinary collaboration dynamics and a deep appreciation of knowledge exchange and research exploitation pathways. I have published research in computer science, human-computer interaction, design, bioinformatics, and physics, and my academic articles have received more than 6,000 citations (ResearchGate, 2020). I am sole inventor on a US patent on distributed storage and visualisation of large relational datasets. I have delivered presentations at international conferences across academic fields, chaired conference sessions, and peer-reviewed scholarly publications in medicine, human-computer interaction, and physics. Research Expertise and Interests: Artificial intelligence, machine learning, embedded electronics, Internet of Things, immersive technologies, human-computer interaction, user-centred design, data mining, information visualisation. ResearchGate: Google Scholar: Teaching Embedded Systems for Design - FHEQ L6 Design MSc Dissertation Project (Integrated Product Design) - FHEQ L7 Electronics, Programming & Interfacing - FHEQ L5 Systems Design - FHEQ L5
Dr Youngok Choi Dr Youngok Choi
Senior Lecturer
Dr Youngok Choi is a senior lecturer and programme director of MA Design and branding Strategy & MA Design Strategy and Innovation, College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, Brunel University London, and a design researcher specialising in Design Management, Design Policy and Social Innovaiton. Her research interests encompass the role of design in economic growth and improving the quality of people’s lives, and hence sustainable development. The strategic use of design underpins much of her research activities. She has developed a range of design research interests which include but are not limited to: Design Management; Design Policy; Innovation in new product development; Social Innovation; and Design Pedagogy. She has been involved in many design research projects including design policy at national, regional and organisational levels, the future of the UK design industry, social values of design and design strategy for businesses. She has collaborated with many businesses including Samsung Electronics, Samsung Design Europe and LG Design Europe. Youngok completed her PhD in Design Management from Lancaster University in 2009 and graduated MA course in Design Strategy and Innovation at Brunel University London in 2005. She earlier qualified in both Business Administration and Communication Design at tertiary institutions in South Korea. Module leader Module Leader, DM5552 Design Research Module Leader, DM5557 Design and Branding Strategy Research Project 1 Module Leader, DM5560 Design Strategy and Innovation Research Project 1 Module Leader, DM5500 Dissertation Project Co-tutor DM5555 Design & Branding Research Project 2 DM5558 Design & Innovation Research Project 2 DM3701 Major Project (BA and BSc Design programmes) - Supervisor Guest lecture & Seminar Entrepreneurship: Entering the Global Market through a Multidisciplinary Approach to Design, Lecture for Design Entrepreneurship, Kookmin University, South Korea (2017) Design Management and Public Sector, Lecture for Design course, Kookmin University, South Korea (2016) Design Value, Social Innovation and CSR, Seminar for MA and PhD design courses, SungKyunGwan University, South Korea (2016) Design Issues: Service Design, Social Innovation, and the Future of design, lecture for Design course, Sungshin University, South Korea (2016) Social Value of Design, lecture for Design course, SungKyunGwan University, UNIST (Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology) and SADI, South Korea (2015) Designing a Good Society, Keynote speaker in UCD 2014 (User-Centred Design Conference) in London (2014) Design Management week, organised and facilitated design management workshops for Korean design agencies, requested by KIDP (Korea Institute for Design Promotion), Brunel University (2013 and 2014) Design Strategy and Innovation, lecture for Design Management master course, SungKyunGwan University, South Korea (2011) Design Strategy for Convergence and Cross Mobile IT experience, organised and facilitated two design research workshops, Brunel University (2011) Design Strategy for Future Design, organised and facilitated a design research workshop, LG design Europe, London (2011) Design Trend and User Experience, organised and facilitated a design research workshop, Brunel University (2010) National Design Policy and Sustainability, seminar for Korean Institute for Design Promotion (KIDP), South Korea (2009) Sustainable Design and Economic Growth, lecture for Korean Ministry for Knowledge and Economy (MKE), South Korea (2009)
Professor David Harrison Professor David Harrison
Professor - Design Research
David Harrison is a Professor of Design Research and lectures in Sustainable Design and Environmentally Sensitive Design. His specialisms include exploring technological solutions to environmental problems. He has a BSc in Engineering Science and a PhD in Robotics. Employment BBC 1980-82 Engineer BBC Education 1984-89 Researcher and Director University of Portsmouth 1990-94 Senior Lecturer Brunel University London 1994-2002 Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader Brunel University London 2002- Chair in Design Brunel University London 2005-06, 2008-2010 Subject Leader, Design David Harrison holds a Chair in Design in the School of Engineering and Design. He is a Chartered Engineer and has research interests in sustainable design and emerging technologies and design, is a Member of the IET, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Current research projects in 2019 are Inclusive Immersion, in collboration with Cambridge University Engineering Design Research Centre and funded by EPSRC, and Storyfutures, funded by the AHRC Creative Clusters Initiative, in collaboration with Royal Holloway University. He worked for fifteen years on innovative approaches to electronic manufacturing, and collaborating with Dr Peter Evans, he developed, patented and successfully licensed a number of new manufacturing processes in printed electronics, yielding approximately £300,000 of license income for Brunel. He was a co investigator with the EPSRC Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre, with particular interests in reducing the environmental impact of electronics manufacturing. He served on the EPSRC/DTI Sustainable Technologies Initiative panel, and is a Member of the EPSRC College of Peers. David Harrison founded the Cleaner Electronics research group and their work on renewable energy has included projects on the design of daylight capture systems, regenerative energy storage systems based on hydrogen fuel cells, and the design of low cost thermoelectric devices. The group has also carried out many research projects in environmentally sensitive design, including the first ecological footprinting of electronic products, and the development of a method for calculating the optimal ecological lifetimes for products, based on analysis of build energy and energy consumption. David Harrison was also a co investigator on two EPSRC projects on the Active Disassembly of products for recycling. He led the second phase of a large Framework 5 project on Active Disassembly, in close partnership with Sony and Nokia, and was a partner on “Paperworks”, a Framework 6 project integrating the digital world with paper. Other projects have included the EPSRC/TSB Empower project, carried out with More Associates and Warwick Manufacturing Group, which aimed to integrate creative, empathic user-centred design techniques with genuinely novel product design innovation, to reduce energy use in commercial buildings. This has developed out of a PhD project in which Daniel Lockton developed the “Design with Intent” method, a suggestion tool offering guidance to designers in choosing design techniques to encourage more sustainable behaviour. Projects with Buro Happold Consulting Engineers included Lifecycle impacts of novel retrofit technologies incorporating translucent silica aerogel – with Mark Dowson. (The aim was to design, build and characterise a new retrofitable building product which reduced the energy use of buildings), and The influence of user interface design on energy consumption in UK residential buildings –with Nicola Combe. This was a project investigating tools and methods to support sustainable and inclusive aspects of building design. Recent projects have included Power Weave - Development of a supercapacitor thread to store energy in clothing DASCIP - A patent knowledge base which enables comparison of an emerging design to existing patents thereby enabling early identification of potential conflict prior art. (Mark Atherton is P.I., EPSRC funded A manufacturing process for a wearable energy storage device using 3D printing of supercapacitors (PhD student work by Milad Arier A robotic and autonomous system that services fluids on passenger train vehicles David Harrison teaches the Sustainable Design module on the MSc in Integrated Product Design, and a third year undergraduate module called Environmentally Sensitive Design. He is module leader for two further electronics modules related to embedded systems.
Miss Youmna Abdel-Qader Atawi Al-Dmour Miss Youmna Abdel-Qader Atawi Al-Dmour
PhD Student
Solidworks / Autocad
Mrs Laila Al Jahwari Mrs Laila Al Jahwari
PhD Student
Laila is a full-time doctoral researcher in Design Integrated PhD program under the supervision of Dr Vanja Garaj (Head of the Department of Design). Her current research is about using virtual immersive technologies to support user testing in new product design process. Qualifications M.Sc. in Advance Multimedia Design and 3D Technologies, Brunel University (2011) BSc in Multimedia Design, College of Applied Sciences, Oman (2005-2010) The use of extended reality technologies, specifically, immersive virtual reality, to support design thinking process and its integration in new product design prototyping.  Global implementations of design and the 3D technologies industry. The opportunities to shift the paradigm of how visual education through the use 3D virtual contexts is approached and taught in design and to non-design students within interdisciplinary product development teams. Multimedia Design Lecturer in College of Applied Sciences, Ibri, Ministry of Higher Education in Sultanate of Oman from 2011.
Mr Rakesh Mohun Mr Rakesh Mohun
Digital Studio Manager
Mrs Aseel Mohammad Irsheid Alja'afreh Mrs Aseel Mohammad Irsheid Alja'afreh
PhD Student
Aseel Mohammed Aljaafreh is a first year PhD student in design department -Brunel University London . My doctoral research investigates inclusive design and revitalization of heritage buildings in Jordan. Aseel hold a double Masters degree : - MA in architecture from University of Liverpool- United Kingdom, that investigated '' regenerate historical buildings in Amman – Jordan'', (2018 -2019). - MSc in Spatial Planning from German Jordanian university- Jordan, In '' Evaluation open space in informal settlement in terms of physical and social dynamics '' (2015-2018) . Worked as a senior architect at a regional professional architectural consulting in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Design framework Design strategies Architecture design Urban Design
Mr Gobi Aroganam Mr Gobi Aroganam
PhD Student
Gobi, is a PhD Design student at Brunel, with an engineering undergraduate and design postgraduate qualifications. Having completed his major projects relating to the sports industry, his current area of research is in Wearable technology for football players. Project Outline For the sports industry it is important to identify, how the gameplay needs improving, and what the user should use as progressive benchmarks. Quantifying these data is what shows progress. We live in a “self obsessed era”, where we are matching quantity data to success (heaviest deadlift rep, number of social media followers). Human centred advancements are making this more of a norm, and people are increasingly desiring this sort of application in their daily lives (e.g. number of calories burned via Fitbit). Data monitoring is easy, but to produce “meaningful data” is hard, and in sports terms, most are very subjective, where stats alone do not define performance. How the device can record data, convert it and send it to the user (APP) is where the study's focus would be. How it educates the significance of a body's movement to improve desired performance attributes, as well as monitoring risky manoeuvres to prevent injury, is where the user's focus would be. It is very important that the wearable system, can produce meaningful data, constantly adapting for new user needs. Reiterating the user centred principles will be the hardest, as the type of consumers vary greatly. Human centred research must be made both as a product, such as the wearable device itself (sensor calibration and electronic advancements to increase data transfer), and UX/UI (APP) which communicates these data to the user. Sports design 3D Printing Sustainability UX/UI Smart Textiles
Mr Zixin Tian Mr Zixin Tian
PhD Student
Zixin is a full-time PhD researcher at the School of Design, working on application design and user experience design for immersive technologies, especially virtual reality technology. He is currently working on his PhD project with Dr. Vanja Garaj and Dr. Federico Colecchia, which is dedicated to exploring and expanding the possibilities and effectiveness of virtual immersion technology in the field of rehabilitation. The application of virtual reality technology in rehabilitation medicine, especially Parkinson's disease, aims to expand the applicability of virtual reality technology. The design of virtual reality application program suitable for rehabilitation training of patients with Parkinson's disease. To explore the behavioral and psychological research of Parkinson's disease patients on the rehabilitation mode based on virtual reality technology.
Dr Arthi Manohar Dr Arthi Manohar
Senior Lecturer in Design
Arthi is a Senior Lecturer and Director for the BSC Product Design in Brunel Design School. She is a design researcher, investigating the relationship between social design and technology. Arthi joined Brunel University in 2018 as a Lecturer in Design. Previous to Brunel, she was a Research Fellow at Northumbria University Newcastle where she explored complex socio-digital problems including designing for trust within TAPESTRY project, funded by the RCUK Digital Economy. She has experience in working across interdisciplinary research groups including Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Nottingham and the Innovation School at the Glasgow School of Art. Arthi’s Doctorate was a part of an EPSRC Digital Economy project ‘Tales of Things and Electronic Memories’ (TOTeM) from University of Dundee’s Socio Digital group. Her research interests include participatory design, co-design, user-centered design and Human Computer Interaction (HCI). Her research and teaching explore the role of human values by investigating the relationship between the social design and technology. Arthi is a reviewer for HCI, CSCW, IEEE, interdisciplinary journals and conference series. She has been part of various conference program chairs including British HCI 2021, Designing Interaction Systems (DIS) 2019 and IndiaHCI 2019. She is also the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Champion for the Department of Design since 2020. Teaching Responsibilities: Programme Director, BSc Product Design Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead Module Leader Level 3 BAs and BSc, Interaction and User Experince Design DM3607 Tutor MSc Integrated Product Design, Professional Design Studio DM5534 Module Leader DM2555 Professional Practice and DM2554 Preperation for Professional Practice - 2019 and 2021 Selected Masters Dissertation supervision: Enhancing the in-store customer experience By using AI and AR - Fahad Alhathal, 2018-19. Heritage Rejuvenation: Design-led Branding strategy to save heritage from obsolescence - Ting Ya Chuang, 2018-19. Exploring the Role of Design Thinking within Artificial Intelligence - Andrea Gomez de la Vara, 2018-19.
Dr Hyejin Kwon Dr Hyejin Kwon
Research Assistant
Dr Hyejin Kwon is a research assistant within the College of Engineering, Design & Physical Sciences. Her research interests centre on design for social innovation, especially focusing on strengthening and activating the role of design in social enterprises, and user experience with immersive technologies. She is currently working on the AHRC-funded international project called ‘Designing the future of UK-China RD&I collaboration in the museums and galleries sector’ Design for economic growth and competitiveness in business Design for social impact Design for systematic change