What was your background and what made you decide to study for a PhD at WMG?
I have previously studied a BSc in Computer System Engineering in Iran and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Warwick. In 2011, I was invited by WMG to study a funded PhD.
During my PhD at WMG I collaborated with several groups, including Virtual Reality and Informatics, Visualisation and the Institute of Digital Healthcare. The diverse nature of WMG allows researchers to communicate with other groups to develop potential collaborative opportunities. Also, as the largest department at the University of Warwick, there is a great investment on research across many disciplines.
Tell us about your research project - what were you working on and in what area?
My main research interests are in Human Computer Interactions, Multisensory Visualisation, and Computer Informatics. My PhD was focused on an innovative multimodal visualisation interface to assist with training and assessment processes in learning complex motor skills.
The aim of my project was to explore the application of a computer-aided educational interface (i.e. visuohaptic displays) in learning complex motor skills, by providing real-time augmented feedback particularly when hands-on interactions are needed. In particular disciplines such as healthcare frequent kinaesthetic practices are key to learning dexterous skills. Thus, new learning methods are required to support conventional teaching such as lectures.
My research was actively supported by senior members of Warwick Medical School, as one of the top organisations in the UK, who were excited to be part of the research. Students from Warwick Medical School participated in the project, during formal training sessions at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, and George Eliot Hospital. The results showed a significant improvement in learning medical palpation skills within the computer-aided training group.
My research was a finalist at Innovative UK, selected as a top paper for an industry conference, and I have been invited to publish the finals in a computer journal.
How did you find the experience of studying for your PhD? Was it what you expected? Any advice for future students?
It was a wonderful journey for me to meet outstanding people in several disciplines during my PhD and to explore my potential as a researcher. Studying for a PhD is not only about the research but also an opportunity to obtain professional skills and to use in your career.
Where are you now? What are you plans?
Since finishing my PhD I have worked as a Research Fellow in Information Systems and have recently started a Senior Teaching Fellowship at WMG in Digital Health Innovations.