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Scholarship from CSC: PhD in “Creating intelligent systems, products and related services in a social context”

February 12th, 2012

About Scholarship from China Scholarship Council for Chinese PhD candidates: from TU/e;  from CSC (in Chinese).

The department of Industrial Design (ID) of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is located in a highly industrialized region, known as ‘Brainport’. This region is internationally recognized as a top technology area with a special focus on the integration of design and technology. The department was established in close collaboration with the technological industry, and, because of this, focuses its research on the Design of Intelligent Systems, Products and related Services in a social context. With these intelligent systems it aims at offering new, breakthrough possibilities leading to societal transformations.

The social context for the PhD research in this call is carefree ageing. One of the major problems in modern society is that, due to the continuous increase in life expectancy and the decreasing number of children, we are currently faced with a situation where, if no fundamental change takes place, an increasing number of people will have to rely on increasingly expensive healthcare paid by a decreasing number of people.   Many attempts to try to prevent this negative spiral, such as public education and prevention campaigns, have demonstrated only limited success. A main ambition of this research is to create agents for social transformation that enable people to maintain, for a much longer period than currently, a high quality of life against reasonable costs, and to remain or to get again in control of their home-, work-, and social network-situation without or with a minimum of additional external care.

In the intersection of information technology and life science, this research is based on four pillars:

  1. Understanding motivational principles behind (un-)healthy living
  2. Creating persuasive concepts that will lead to a healthier lifestyle
  3. Creating supporting products and systems that support the above
  4. Creating products and systems to self-control the home-, work-, and social network situation

Applicants to this PhD research shall have a background in industrial design, computer science, information technology or electrical engineering.

The applicants can apply for one of the following projects:

  1. Design for Social Interaction through social computing, in the context of carefree ageing. we explore the impact of Social networks, Internet, multimedia, and virtual reality on ageing society, the impact of the bottom-up power and the much flattened structure of the social media on societal transformations, the impact of the social and systematic perspective of intelligent systems, products and related services on industrial design, and in turn, the possible impact of industrial design on these on-going societal and technical changes. The primary research areas are social computing, social interaction, linking between the virtual and the physical,  the opportunity and challenge brought up by connecting the web of people and the internet of things, and the related cultural and societal issues. For more information about this project, please contact Jun Hu (j DOT hu AT tue DOT nl)
  2. Wearable intelligence prototyping platform. The aim of this project is to design and develop an integrated development platform that enables designers with minimal engineering skills, and especially no software engineering skills, to prototype wearable systems that combine: textile technology, wearable sensors, and actuators, computing and networking. Its aim is to relieve designers from engineering concerns they face when prototyping wearable technologies.   The PhD will create a proof of concept that will be validated with the implementation of concepts typical of the range of applications we examine at industrial design, such as wearables for sport and healthcare for ageing society. For more information about this project, please contact prof.dr. Panos Markopoulos (p DOT markopoulos AT tue DOT nl)
  3. Design for elderly independent living through intelligent mobility product service systems (PSS). The introduction of one child policy in 1979 in China has led to the increase of the ratio of elderly people in the total population. Increased mobility of elderly people can help maintaining their social integration within the community and allowing elderly to live much longer in their own homes. In this project we will explore the use of electronic cars as the basic carrier to integrate ICT based services to further develop collective mobility PSS proposals that aim to not only improve elderly mobility but also support their integration in the community. Cross-cultural insight will be generated and industrial and managerial implications will be obtained for companies in both the Netherlands and China.  For more information about this project, please contact dr. Yuan Lu (y DOT lu AT tue DOT nl)
  4. Design for cultural change to sustain wellbeing (regarding e.g. social inclusion, healthy eating and safety). Design for societal transformation is intrinsically linked to cultural change. The aim of this project is to define how designers can, through their actions, convincingly shape society and thereby change culture. Research is required to define how designers can make a convincing statement regarding the envisioned change by relating the evidence of their actions to their vision. The context to explore how to design for cultural change will be regarded through the observation of social activities that are profoundly embedded in culture such as cooking and eating. Inspired by these explorations the designer researcher will envision, design and evaluate (intelligent) products, systems and related services that may contribute to cultural change in these social activities. The project will rely on an experiential approach of designing in context and requires a thorough documentation of and reflection on the actions that contribute to the development of the vision. For more information about this project, please contact dr. Miguel Bruns (mbruns AT tue DOT nl)

More about research at ID, TU/e.

More examples of research projects at ID, TU/e.

More about the requirements in applying the Scholarship from China Scholarship Council (CSC) for Chinese PhD candidates:

For further questions, feel free to contact Jun Hu: j DOT hu AT tue DOT nl.

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