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Virtual & Augmented Reality Experiences in Digital Arts and Creative Industries

Applications are invited for an interdisciplinary PhD studentship for the project “Virtual & Augmented Reality Experiences in Digital Arts and Creative Industries”, effective 1st of January 2023. Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend of £19,668 plus payment of their full time HOME tuition fees for a period of 36 months. The successful applicants will join the internationally recognised researchers in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, the Brunel Design School and the Games Design team at Brunel University London (BUL).

Project Description:

The use of XR (eXtended Reality; VR/AR/MR) and virtual interactions has revolutionised production and shifted the pipelines and creative workflows in digital arts and creative industries. On the other hand, there have been significant developments in the use of machine learning in understanding user behaviour and optimising user experience. This doctoral research will focus on the application of machine learning techniques in the production of digital content using XR (eXtended Reality) immersive technologies; this may include the creation of realistic virtual objects through capturing the kinetic properties of physical objects, production of AI-driven narrative and AI-driven actors/instruments etc.

The project may examine the use of the developed XR (VR/AR/MR) technologies in film/theatre/games or cultural experiences, looking at how XR can augment an experience while exploring specific issues such as usability, accessibility, inclusivity of online/offline audiences, on/off-boarding user’s experience and multi-user interactions.

The successful candidate will work across the Computer Science and Games Design departments, with support for practical work from Theatre, and supervised by an interdisciplinary team of experts in Machine Learning, Digital Design, Games and Experience Design.


Please contact the principal supervisor Professor Abdul Hamid Sadka at abdul.sadka@brunel.ac.uk

Dr Damon Daylamani-Zad from the Design School at damon.daylamani-zad@brunel.ac.uk

Dr Mariza Dima from Games Design (Department of Arts and Humanities) at Mariza.dima@brunel.ac.uk

for an informal discussion about the project.


The prospective candidates are expected to have received a first or upper-second class Honour’s degree or a Master’s level education in either Computer Science, Engineering, Multimedia Design, Theatre and Digital Arts, or related areas, with demonstrated overview in the field. Candidates are expected to have good knowledge of programming and a good understanding/work experience with MR technologies. Previous experience with AI and ML is desirable. Good knowledge of English language is also expected.

Experience in digital media design, use of multimedia technologies and handling of relevant software packages and digital design tools, will be an advantage. In addition, applicants should be highly motivated, able to work independently as well as in a multidisciplinary team, collaborate with others and have effective communication and technical reporting skills.

How to apply

Please e-mail all the documents listed below as a single PDF file to

cedps-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk by Noon on 31.10.2022:

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your personal statement (300 to 500 words) summarising your background, skills and experience;
  • Your Undergraduate/Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Evidence of your English language skills to IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent, 6.0 in all sections), if appropriate;
  • Contact details for TWO referees, one of which can be an academic member of staff in the College.

Remember to state the title of the project at the top of your personal statement.

Meet the Supervisor(s)

Abdul Sadka - Professor Sadka has been an internationally recognised figure in Visual Media Processing and Communications for over 25 years, pioneering error resilient video communications and 2D/3D visual media processing. He is the Director of the Institute of Digital Futures, the former Head of the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at Brunel University London (2006-2012) and the Head of the Media Communication Research Group. He has 200+ refereed publications, 3 patents and his textbook "Compressed Video Communications", published by Wiley in 2002, is widely acknowledged as a seminal book in error resilient video coding & transcoding. He has attracted over £12m worth of research funding to major projects and supervised over 50 PhD students and Research Assistants to successful completion. He frequently serves on influential advisory boards, evaluation panels and international committees, and provides consultancy as well as expert witness services to international Law firms in the area of Video Compression and 2D/3D Visual Media Systems. He has an industry-acclaimed track record of business engagement into academia through a variety of modes and instruments. His business engagement profile has earned him the only academic seat on the Steering Board of the NEM (New European Media) European Technology Platform (2011-14). He is broadly connected in the Telecom and ICT industries and has several entrepreneurial business engagements. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng), Fellow of HEA, Fellow of IET and Fellow of BCS.

Damon Daylamani-Zad - Damon is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Media, focusing on Creative Computing (AI and Games).

Mariza Dima - Mariza is a Senior Lecturer in Games Design. She specialises in User Experience and User Interface design for developing meaningful and engaging interactions particularly using mobile, AR and haptic technologies. She has worked between academia and the creative industries as an interaction designer and creative technologist in R&D projects combining engineering and design approaches grounded on theoretical contexts of narrative, affective dramaturgy, and audience/player engagement. A keen knowledge hunter, she is often inspired by and experiments playfully with perspectives from different fields that could offer a useful alternative lens on user experience design and then turns them into a tool for designing engaging experiences. Her design approach is holistic and experiential where the designer embeds and immerses herself in a collaborative design process and views it as an educational and transformative experience rather than participating in it as a design expert. She also consults on strategies for devising and developing digital projects and user interactions in the creative industries and has expertise in design methods for collaboration and co-creation.