Broadening Horizons in the Digital Economy

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Broadening horizons in the Digital Economy Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training in My Life in Data: Research and impact

Updated: Autumn 2018

Contents 3 Introduction 4 CDT partners 5 PhD studentships 6 Horizon CDT programme 7 CDT internships 9 CDT alumni 11 Case studies

Acknowledgements The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in My Life in Data is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant reference EP/L015463/1. Horizon CDT Management Team: Professor Steve Benford and Professor Sarah Sharples - Horizon CDT Directors Dr Sarah Martindale - Horizon CDT Training Programme Manager Dr Andrea Haworth - Horizon CDT Centre Manager Felicia Black - Horizon CDT Impact Officer and Digital Economy Network Manager Monica Cano - Horizon CDT Impact Officer

Author: Felicia Black Design: Creative Triangle


Introduction The Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training was initially established in Autumn 2009 as a doctoral training centre, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to train cohorts of research students within the digital economy ubiquitous computing arena. In 2014, the CDT was successful in receiving renewal funding from the EPSRC with 'My Life in Data' becoming the core research theme for the University of Nottingham based Centre. As of Autumn 2018, we have recruited over 120 CDT students; grown a network of 100 supervisors across various disciplines and universities; and collaborated with more than 40 industry partners who have contributed over £1.2M cash funding so far.

Connected Technologies

Privacy Hacktivism


Policy Labs Entrepreneurship

Rail Computer


Internship Life Devices Design

DigitalImpact Reality Project Collaboration Social


Science Data Economy Mixed Consent




Citizens Games Societal Systems








53 students have submitted their thesis to date, (with 47 students successfully passing vivas). The CDT has published over 300 academic research papers; and received multiple awards, including two best paper awards at the ACM CHI Conference and an Internet Society ‘Global 25 under 25’ award for Kate Green (2016 cohort), which recognises 25 young people around the world who are shaping the internet as a force for social good. Employers of CDT alumni include Sony, United Nations, World Bank, Microsoft Research, BBC R&D, Airbus and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as many remaining in academia in world-class Universities, or choosing to start-up their own businesses or consultancies. The multidisciplinary environment, the breadth of training, the extent of opportunities available to students, and the wide range of impacts including media coverage, prizes, awards and case studies are noted as key successes. In September 2018, PhD candidate Alexandra Young was the first student of the renewed CDT to submit her PhD thesis entitled 'A Qualitative Study of Internet Use Comparing the Experiences of People with Physical Disabilities and Early Onset Dementia'. This brochure has been produced to:  highlight the breadth of innovative multidisciplinary digital economy research that is undertaken in the CDT, with the support of industry partners and world-class supervisors  showcase the career paths of Horizon CDT alumni and describe how an Horizon PhD has equipped them to progress to professional positions in the thriving digital economy, and contribute to real-world impact  demonstrate the various opportunities that are available for students within the My Life in Data CDT, and the plethora of skills, expertise and knowledge they can expect to gain as an Horizon CDT student We have included case studies from existing students and alumni that we hope you find interesting and inspiring.


brain Interdisciplinary Smart Public Objects




Professor Steve Benford CDT Director

Professor Sarah Sharples CDT Director


CDT partners The Horizon CDT is fortunate to have collaborated with and receive support from over 40 partners from industry, government, innovation centres, creative agencies and not-for-profit organisations. Examples of current partners include BBC, Digital Catapult, GlaxoSmithKline, Internet Society, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Ordnance Survey and Unilever. Collaborations with digital economy organisations help contribute to the ways that CDT students will establish the technologies, applications and principles to enable citizens to construct digital identities from personal data and effectively manage them to derive economic and social value. The PhDs that emerge from our CDT are therefore distinct from conventional PhDs; we produce rounded individuals with the skills to work in transdisciplinary teams, including technologists who appreciate the societal context for emerging technologies, and social scientists who are able to shape new technologies. Each recruited CDT student is carefully matched with an industry partner based on their skills, qualifications and experience, with the aim of establishing and delivering strong mutual benefit for both the organisation and the student. The CDT student carries out a three month PhD internship with their partner organisation.

Why collaborate? Industry partners have continual involvement at all stages of the PhD programme including the recruitment of the student, co- creating the research projects and hosting student internships. In addition, collaborators are able to contribute and help shape the CDT including contributing to doctoral training and strategic input into the Centre via Advisory Board membership. Specific benefits of partnering with the Horizon CDT:  It is a cost-effective way for organisations to be involved in relevant leading edge research in digital identity where you may not have the resource or expertise to undertake this alone  The research project is co-created with the partner so the research is of real commercial significance to their organisation  Our students are graduates who possess excellent academic track records and are highly committed to solving real world research problems. They experience broad training in transdisciplinary research and professional skills ready for careers in industry as well as delivering a relevant and innovative PhD thesis  By hosting the student for internships, partners are helping shape the employees of the future who can make a significant impact in the global digital economy  Through the CDT, partners have access to a network of expert supervisors across a range of disciplines, and opportunities to work with other industry partners

the Horizon CDT there is a whole been very impressed with “hostWithin “theWeCDThavestudents; of disciplines that we value, from in terms of their work Human Factors through to English Studies, and the opportunity to bring those together in a multidisciplinary environment is extremely valuable to us.

Jeremy Morley, Chief Geospatial Scientist, Ordnance Survey

want students who come from “theWeperspective of balancing technology development with the trusted use of personal health data.

Lindsay Edwards, Head of Data & Analytics, GSK


ethic, background knowledge, ability to quickly assimilate new project ideas and develop them to make a real difference. They have integrated well with the team it has been a pleasure to host them. Brian Newby, Scientist, Unilever

I can say it’s a real pleasure work with PhD students “from the CDT, and immerse them in BBC research and partnerships, via the projects that play to the focus of the PhD and the overlap between research directions. Phil Stenton, Research Scientist, BBC

PhD studentships The technologies of digital identity and personal data pose some of the most profound technical and social challenges facing our digital society today. Our digital identities will define the interfaces to future services we will use for entertainment, wellbeing, government, transport, energy, retail and finance. They will be constructed from our personal data, digital records that capture who we are, and the histories of our digital, physical and social interactions.

We are at an exciting moment in time where there are a vast range of opportunities for research in personal data. The Horizon CDT offers the opportunity to shape the future by recognising a growing public awareness of the value of personal data, presenting exciting opportunities to address concerns over how data is being created, analysed and used. Our vision is to create digital identity technologies that operate in a fair and transparent manner to empower their users. This is a transdisciplinary challenge, one that needs to bring together expertise in digital technologies, perspectives on digital identity from the social sciences and humanities, and a deep understanding of real-world applications. The Horizon My Life in Data CDT provides a community of PhD students with the interdisciplinary skills to drive the digital identity and personal data agenda for the twenty-first century. While we do not expect every student to be an expert in all of the areas mentioned above, our aim is to train people to work in multidisciplinary teams, and be ready to become future leaders in industry, the third sector and academia.

More information on our current research can be found at


Horizon CDT programme Horizon adopts a radical approach to training that combines taught elements with industry engagement and practice-led research in a highly flexible manner.

PhD research topics will be developed during the first year of the programme, drawing on ideas and discussions involving the students, potential supervisors and external partners.

Under the guidance of a personal mentor, each student will undertake a journey from an initially narrow disciplinary focus to a point where they are fully equipped for a career within industry or academia.

 An exploration of factors that influence desire to share genomic information

This will involve developing transdisciplinary skills in the human-centred design of ubiquitous computing, as well as transferable skills in research, innovation and appreciation of societal impact. Our Centre for Doctoral Training programme comprises three core elements: The taught programme involves 180 credits of modules covering interdisciplinary and transferable skills.

The following list offers a few illustrative research topics that would fall under the overarching agenda of the CDT:

 Brain controlled film  Using personal data to configure navigation support for blind and partially-sighted people  Understanding rail travel through the curation of personal data  Enchanted smart objects for health behaviour change  Studying the potential effects of smart packaging on customer brand engagement within the fast-moving consumer goods industry

Each student undertakes a three-month internship with an external partner during their first 36 months of study, contributing 20 credits to the 180.

 Human-Machine Interface design for navigation systems in future highly automated vehicles

The research programme involves a 20-credit PhD research proposal with supervisors and external partners from multiple disciplines and follows a proposal developed during the first year of training.

 Embedding digital interventions into everyday life – Measuring mood with wearable technology


 Using data to support citizen-centric smart cities

CDT internships Horizon CDT students benefit from a three month internship with their sponsoring industry partner, or with an organisation that will be of benefit to the student's research and collaborating organisation.

Examples of organisations where Horizon CDT students have already completed internships include:

Students have completed internships in countries such as Denmark, India, Japan, Malta, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

 Experian

 BBC Research & Development  Cambridge University Press  City Arts Nottingham  Digital Catapult Centre

 International Institute of Information Technology – Bangalore (India)  Microsoft Research Lab – Cambridge  Nottinghamshire County Council Public Health  Ordnance Survey  Satellite Applications Catapult  Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)  Thales  The Insight Lab/Bionical  The People for Change Foundation (Malta)  The World Bank (USA)  Transport Systems Catapult  Unilever  University College London  University of Southern Denmark  Worcester Polytechnic Institute (USA)


CDT alumni The Horizon CDT is extremely proud of the success it has achieved since its launch in 2009 and takes pride in the fact that graduates have left the CDT with not only a PhD, but with high-level doctoral skills, expertise, experience and knowledge to progress to professional careers around the world in a variety of sectors.

Employing organisation types of Horizon CDT graduates

Media/entertainm Freelance


1 2 Start-Up






Employing sectors of Horizon CDT graduates

 47 PhD graduates


Examples of Horizon CDT alumni employers: Freelance


 Airbus

1 2

6 University of London  Goldsmiths, 3

 Microsoft Research



The Arts

 Jaguar Land Rover UK


Online Retail



IT/Systems Design


 Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

8  Royal College of Art




2 1





 United Nations  New York University  University of Edinburgh  University of Leicester

International employment destinations of Horizon CDT graduates

 University of Nottingham  The World Bank





Austria Saudi Arabia


IT/Systems Design


Horizon CDT has:  53 PhD thesis submissions to date


The Arts





8 3


2 1

Case study: Horizon CDT collaboration with BBC Research and Development Personal data and trust in TV media experiences (Neelima Sailaja, 2015 cohort)

Neelima Sailaja commenced her Horizon CDT PhD programme in October 2015, after completing a Masters in Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA.

As part of her PhD, Neelima commissioned user studies to carry out a short evaluation of a new type of EPG which was being collaboratively explored by researchers at BBC R&D and the University of Nottingham.

In collaboration with BBC Research and Development, Neelima's humandata interaction research has focused on the challenges of personal data and trust in developing user experiences with personalised Electronic Programme Guides (EPGs). Neelima completed a three month internship with the BBC at the Manchester based MediaCityUK in 2016.

Research participants were asked to complete a short questionnaire on their current viewing habits and were then introduced to the novel adaptive EPG, and its use of personal data to deliver tailored personalised viewing content, and were also asked to rate it’s features at the end of the session. At ACM TVX2018, the ACM International Conference on Interactive Experiences for Television and Online Video, Neelima had a collaborative researcher paper published with the BBC R&D Team entitled 'Explicating the challenges of providing novel media experiences driven by user personal data', and she travelled to Seoul, Korea to present this at the conference in June 2018. Neelima has also collaborated with BBC Research Scientists on their immersive Living Room of the Future project, which was exhibited at the V&A in London and FACT in Liverpool during 2018. This project aims to explore the impact of a hyper-personalised and multi-sensory living room space of the future.

The BBC R&D team has worked with Neelima on personal data and trust, “which is a significant theme for the BBC. Neelima has interviewed people from

different genres: from Sport to CBBC and iPlayer. We have also collaborated on personalised Electronic Programming Guides. Neelima has published at the ACM CHI Conference, co-authored papers with members of our team, participated in organising workshops in London and Sarajevo, and has also featured in our latest demonstration video for Object-Based Media. Phil Stenton, Research Scientist, BBC R&D


Case Study: Securing postdoc success at Sony Dr Panos Koutsouras (2013 cohort) Dr Panos Koutsouras was the first CDT student of his cohort to submit his thesis and passed his PhD viva in January 2018. His thesis was entitled 'Crafting Content: The Discover of Minecraft’s Invisible Digital Economy'. After completing the PhD programme, Panos secured an internal Horizon CDT impact grant to investigate the digital economies that emerge from video game context. He carried out this work between October and March 2018, and the project involved the following:  Exploring Minecraft’s monetisation opportunities

and risks  Delivering workshops and public events to

disseminate findings and inform parents and children of Minecraft’s professional prospects  Engaging with the gaming industry to discuss

design implications of providing monetisation means to players


The impact project resulted in the development of a new Minecraft server; Craft Museum, which operates as a means of communicating what players are capable of creating through the game, as well as providing an overview of the various steps that are involved in constructing a Minecraft build. In February 2018, Panos was delighted to be offered employment as a Junior User Researcher at Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, based in London. Panos is pictured with his main academic supervisor and Horizon CDT Training Programme Manager, Dr Sarah Martindale, at the July 2018 graduation ceremony at the University of Nottingham.

Horizon CDT thesis titles webcomics






Case study: International award for commitment to improve online privacy

Kate Green (2016 cohort)

In 2017, Kate Green, a member of the 2016 cohort, was delighted to be one of only 25 young people worldwide to receive a prestigious award from the Internet Society recognising her work on using the internet to make a positive difference to society. Above: Kate Green (2016 cohort)

Kate was nominated for her dedicated commitment to educating others around the topic of digital privacy amongst online health communities. As Kate has Crohn’s disease, it is her own experience of this that inspired her work. Kate travelled to Los Angeles in the United States in September 2017 to the Society's 25 under 25 Awards Ceremony to accept her award. Over the Summer of 2018, Kate completed her PhD internship at the University of Cambridge Trust and Technology Initiative, focusing on trustworthiness and usefulness of personal data archives.

Case study: Seizing the moment with brain controlled film

Richard Ramchurn (2015 cohort)

Horizon CDT Student Richard Ramchurn has secured both internal and external research impact funding to develop and launch a new brain controlled film entitled ‘The MOMENT’. The film picks up reactions from viewers via an electroencephalogram (EEG) headset which records brain activity and and switches the movie storyline depending on the individuals human response.


The MOMENT was officially launched at Sheffield Doc/ Fest in June 2018, and a tour of the country followed in a specially adapted caravan that was transformed into a mobile cinema. During the film viewers wear small sensors attached to the scalp to pick up the electrical signals produced when brain cells send messages to each other. As people watch the film, changes in attention will alter the signals and trigger a change in the storyline. Richard recently took the caravan to Austria to exhibit The Moment at the international ARS Electronica Festival in Vienna. You can find out more about The MOMENT at

Case study: Mixed Reality Storytelling - the digital footprints of interesting things Dr Dimitri Darzentas (2012 cohort)

Dimitri’s PhD research focused on developing a content creation, presentation and sharing platform using adaptable Photogrammetry 3D scanning technology to create 3D models of physical objects, and then combining them with Mixed Reality techniques to create engaging interaction experiences for the public. In 2016, Dimitri Darzentas was successfully awarded a University of Nottingham EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award to fund a one-year knowledge secondment project to fast-track and enhance the impact of his Horizon CDT research in the area of exploring the digital footprints of physical objects. You can find out more about this project at:

Dimitri has now completed phase II of the Mixed Reality Storytelling project, which commenced with a multi-part public exhibit at The National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham in February 2017. An online virtual scan gallery captured all models and items that were scanned and turned into highly detailed 3D models at the exhibition. In Autumn 2017, Dimitri’s innovative 3D scanning technology was used to create 3D models of objects produced as part of an art exhibition held at Tate in London. 'Factory: The Seen and the Unseen', involved turning the entire floor of the new Tate Exchange Building into a ceramics factory for the public to create and share objects. Models from this exhibition were also uploaded in to the virtual scan gallery. Through a collaboration with the City Arts Nottingham Armchair Gallery project, Dimitri was invited to produce a 3D scan of the Statue of the Veiled Vestal Virgin, which was then displayed at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Dimitri submitted his PhD thesis ‘The Lives of Objects: Designing for Meaningful Things’ in September 2017, and is pictured left graduating in July 2018. He is now a mentor for current CDT students.

Case study: CDT alumni become supervisors and mentors Several of our CDT alumni who have remained in academia at the University of Nottingham and beyond have now become academic supervisors or mentors for current PhD students in the Centre.

Graduates from across the 2009-2012 cohorts are now part of the CDT's core interdisciplinary supervisor and mentor network, and as well as providing research supervision, contacts and advice for current students, are also helping to support the co-design of the CDT vision.


Horizon CDT invests in responsive impact grants for PhD research In Autumn 2017, the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training invested in ten responsive impact grants for Horizon CDT students and alumni, in order to facilitate the extension and acceleration of the impact of their research. These awards were open to Horizon CDT students and alumni only, and designed to support the first investigative steps of taking EPSRC-funded research carried out within the CDT and associated research groups towards commercialisation, or on to other forms of economic, societal, environmental and policy-based impact.

 Dynamic musical listening experiences that respond to spatial exploration (Dr Adrian Hazzard, 2010 alumnus)  Investigating the digital economies that emerge from video game contexts (Dr Panos Koutsouras, 2013 cohort alumnus)  How the convergence between theatre for early years and digital technologies can make performances more multi-sensory, playful, participatory and interactive. (Roma Patel, 2013 cohort)  Development of Amazon Echo usage in the home audio data for use as an open dataset online. (Martin Porcheron, 2013 cohort)  How people can interact with a brain-controlled film both actively and passively using their mind (Richard Ramchurn, 2015 cohort)

After a competitive application process, the project titles and awardees of the internal impact funding were as follows:

 Pain assessment in newborns using new data collection techniques. (Dr Mercedes Torres Torres, 2010 alumna)

 Examining the big data produced through student use of the Ingenuity Online platform (Dr Chris Carter, 2010 alumnus)

 Engagement through play: Investigating the relationship between video games and political engagement (Hanne Wagner, 2013 cohort)

 Creating a content creation, presentation and sharing platform using adaptable Photogrammetry 3D scanning technology to create 3D models of physical objects (Dr Dimitri Darzentas, 2012 alumnus)

You can find out more about the acivities and outcomes from these projects by visiting the Horizon CDT website at

 Trust and calibration of trust in Connected and Automated Vehicles (George Filip, 2013 cohort)


Case Study: Staging the digital - developing interactive spaces for children Roma Patel (2013 cohort) Roma Patel is a scenographer and digital artist, who joined the Horizon CDT as a PhD student in Autumn 2013. Her research, based within the Mixed Reality Lab (MRL) at the University of Nottingham, focused on how the convergence between childrens’ theatre and digital technologies can make performances more multi-sensory, playful, participatory and interactive for younger audiences. Following completion of her PhD, Roma was awarded an internally-funded Horizon CDT impact grant in September 2017 to further engage the public with her research, which involved carrying out the following activities:

 Collaborating with an experienced creative technologist from the MRL to develop the interactive technologies for a performance installation for children, The Enchanted Forest, which premiered at the launch of the new Theatre Hullabaloo venue in Darlington, which opened in Spring 2018. This experience features trees, ponds and lily pads that light up, create noises and tell stories for the young people who interact with it  Working in partnership with Polka Theatre in London to organise workshops and curate an exhibition of work from Horizon and MRL that explores the wider implications of technology and children for their Children’s Theatre Festival which was held in May 2018  Showing the Enchanted Forest interactive installation at the Polka's 'Techtopia' Festival in June 2018, alongside other works from both Horizon and the MRL


For further information or enquiries, please contact: Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training University of Nottingham School of Computer Science Wollaton Road Nottingham NG8 1BB

+44 (0)115 823 2316 @HorizonCDT The University of Nottingham has made every effort to ensure that the information in this brochure was accurate when published. Please note, however, that the nature of the content means that it is subject to change from time to time, and you should therefore consider the information to be guiding rather than definitive. Š University of Nottingham 2018. All rights reserved. Printed October 2018.

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