People

CENTRAL ACADEMICS

Clara Mancini is a Senior Lecturer in Interaction Design at The Open University’s School of Computing and Communications, founder and head of the Animal–Computer Interaction Lab. She has led and supervised a range of ACI projects, including ambient interfaces for mobility assistance dogs, communication systems for medical detection dogs, interactive enrichment for captive elephants, and wearable animal biotelemetry. Her research interests cover the design of systems to support multispecies cohabitation, collaboration and participation, animal welfare and ethical conservation. Clara is particularly interested in the methodological challenges and innovation opportunities presented by ACI, and its potential to contribute to human and animal wellbeing, social inclusion, interspecies cooperation and environmental restoration.

Rachael Luck is a Senior Lecturer in Design at The Open University’s School of Engineering and Innovation. Rachael is interested in how design work actually takes place, with a deep analytic interest in interaction. Her research examines how people organise and coordinate their design work, design new realities and participate in collaborative design situations, looking closely at the ways that people inhabit and interact with designed things in built environments. Rachael is supervising PhD research on the canine-centred design of ambient interfaces to support the work of mobility assistance dogs.

Blaine Price is Professor of Computing at The Open University’s School of Computing and Communications. He is interested in mobile and ubiquitous computing, and in lifelogging technologies in particular, including both personal lifelogging and logging energy and resource usage, and how invisible and automatic lifelogging data can be used to gain insights about the wearer’s life. Blaine is supervising ACI doctoral research on how to improve the wearability of animal biotelemetry.

Helen Sharp is Professor of Computing at The Open University’s School of Computing and Communications. She is interested in agile software design particularly within the organisational context. Helen is supervising ACI doctoral research on the design of interactive enrichment for captive elephants.

Janet van der Linden in Professor of Interaction Design at The Open University’s School of computing and Communications. Her research is concerned with the human aspects of ubiquitous computing and her approach combines ethnography of user practices with designing new technologies, in areas ranging from home energy practices, health, music education and animal-computer interaction. Janet has supervised ACI doctoral research on the design of alarm systems for medical alert dogs.

RESEARCH ASSOCIATES

Patrizia Paci did her PhD at The Open University’s ACI Lab. Her doctoral research focused on the development of a wearer-centred design framework to improve the wearability of biotelemetry for free living animals, supervised by Clara Mancini and Blaine Price. Patrizia is now working as a Research Associate with Bashar Nuseibeh and Clara Mancini, investigating evolutionary aspects of privacy behaviour to inform the design of multispecies privacy-aware systems, and with Jake Veasey, Blaine Price and Clara Mancini researching smart systems for the conservation of endangered species. 

DOCTORAL STUDENTS

Luisa Ruge is a full-time PhD student with The Open University’s ACI Lab. Her doctoral research focuses on the canine-centred design of ubiquitous and ambient interfaces to facilitate and support the work of mobility assistance dogs. Luisa’s supervisors are Clara Mancini and Rachael Luck.

Fiona French is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Games at the London Metropolitan University and a part-time PhD student with The Open University’s ACI Lab. Her doctoral research focuses on the design of interactive enrichment for captive elephants. Fiona’s supervisors are Clara Mancini and Helen Sharp.

VISITING FELLOWS

Liz Cox is an experienced veterinary nurse with a Masters in Research in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, as well as teaching experience with children and adults with various disabilities. Liz has joined the ACI Lab as a Visiting Fellow on the Dog-Smart Homes project, working alongside Luisa, Rachael and Clara.