PhD Studentship: Understanding and Designing for the ‘Digital Native’ in the Context of Vehicle Human Machine Interfaces

Loughborough University

A fully funded PhD performed in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover.

Application details:

Start date: ASAP

Interview date: TBC


Primary supervisor: Dr Steve Summerskill

Secondary supervisor: Tracy Ross

Intro (standard):

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Project Detail:

In recent years there has been a growing trend in design which recognises the opportunities that arise from being aware of and designing for the behaviours of ‘digital natives’, otherwise known as ‘Generation Z’.  This trend involves developing an understanding of the aspirations and behaviours of people who have grown up in an environment in which detailed information on practically any topic is instantly available and constant connectivity to others is an expectation. This ‘always connected’ generation has the potential to exhibit challenging new behaviours and expectations in the context of automotive Human Machine Interface (HMI). The project will comprise of two key stages, with the first involving user centred research to develop an understanding of behaviours of digital natives. The second phase of the project will involve the development of exemplar in car HMI which account for the needs and behaviours of ‘digital natives’. Ideally candidates would have a multidisciplinary background in the areas of design, engineering and/or psychology/human factors. We would be willing to receive PhD proposals which focus upon stage 1 only, or the combination of stage 1 and stage 2 depending upon skill set of the applicant. The collaboration with Jaguar LandRover on this project provides an exciting opportunity to work with both academic and industry based supervisors. The PhD supervisors, Dr Steve Summerskill and Mrs Tracy Ross have a diverse range of research experience in the design and testing of novel physical and virtual interfaces and the assessment of existing systems using a range of objective and subjective techniques.

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Entry requirements:

Applications are invited from well qualified students with a first class or upper second class degree and or a Master’s degree, who want to embark upon a full-time research degree programme commencing in October 2017.

Funding information:

The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,296 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.

Contact details:

Name: Dr Steve Summerskill

Email address:

Telephone number: 01509228313

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select  

Please quote reference number: SJS/TR_2017_3

Applicants will be expected to provide an example of academic writing in English, and of design creativity (e.g. a design portfolio) directly to the design school at the following address

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Midlands of England