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  1. ''Stress and Collective Stress''. In today’s highly competitive environment, chronic stress is one of the main reasons for a health problem. To address this, biofeedback techniques have been used to assist in relaxation training and stress management. The intervention solutions for coping with collective stress have been neglected in interaction   1. ''Stress and Collective Stress''. In today’s highly competitive environment, chronic stress is one of the main reasons for a health problem. To address this, biofeedback techniques have been used to assist in relaxation training and stress management. The intervention solutions for coping with collective stress have been neglected in interaction 
  • Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) in User-System Interaction

    at Department of Industrial Design of Eindhoven University of Technology


tue.jpg Department of Industrial Design of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) enables excellent Chinese students to join us with a 2-year scholarship from the CSC, as part of a joint PhD program. With the 2-year CSC scholarship (instead of the scholarship from TU/e) the students will be enrolled in the User-System Interaction program, which will lead to a Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng degree).


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 societal context. With these intelligent systems, it aims at offering new, breakthrough possibilities leading to societal transformations.

The User-System Interaction program is to improve the interaction between people and systems and to make technology truly accessible and beneficial for all people. They are at the forefront of the enabling technologies for the digital society equipped to function at the interfaces between people and technology. They are prepared to work on challenging problems, in multidisciplinary projects and in international environments. Being trained to provide solutions and services for people in their home, work, and social environments by employing user-centered design methodologies, accounting for the benefits for stakeholders and users, and balancing between system functionality and user experience. People are at the heart of the USI program. The key components of the program are related to information and communication technology, user interaction technology, perception and cognition, behavioral sciences, as well as the various design methodologies.

The program will provide the candidates with training in user experience, software engineering basics, interaction technologies, user research methodologies, and user-centered design processes, and engage the candidates in industry-oriented research projects.

Expected Background

Applicants to this program shall have a background in industrial design, digital arts and interactive media, human-computer interaction, computer science, information technology, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering and physics.

Research Topics

We are aiming at recruiting up to 5 Chinese candidates into the 2-year User-System Interaction program. The applicants can apply for one of the following topics in

  • Future Everyday. Research in Future Everyday is concerned with understanding, exploring, and giving shape to an everyday life of networked socio-technical worlds. Connected Everyday encompasses the new reality of working and living in spaces that are responsive, growing and highly experiential.

    1. Smart garments for rehabilitation. This research is concerned with the design of wearable technologies for posture monitoring and correction. Posture monitoring and correction technologies can support prevention and treatment of spinal pain or can help detect and avoid compensatory movements during the neurological rehabilitation of upper extremities, which can be very important to ensure their effectiveness. Specifically, the system combines a garment with integrated smart textiles and wearable electronics and application runs on smart devices. Providing feedback with vibration on the garment, audible alarm signals, visual instruction and training overview. The research aims to contribute new design concepts that will be prototyped and validated both for their clinical relevance, and for their acceptance by patients and health workers. In addition to the prototype garments, we are also interested in developing relevant design knowledge, which we shall try to explicate in terms of reflections, and design patterns, across a range of prototypes.

    2. Fetus Heartbeat Detection and Monitoring in Pregnancy Care. A monitoring system based on the pressure sensor technology being developed by International SmartHealth Lab shows broad possibilities of using this technology in the development of smart wearables for heart rate monitoring. The project goal was to explore the possibility to use the pressure sensor technology in Pregnancy Care. The focus of this project was to come up with concepts of a product that can be used by pregnant women to monitor baby’s heartbeat in home-based context and to explore different ways of representation and visualization of real data.

    3. Stress and Collective Stress. In today’s highly competitive environment, chronic stress is one of the main reasons for a health problem. To address this, biofeedback techniques have been used to assist in relaxation training and stress management. The intervention solutions for coping with collective stress have been neglected in interaction

design because of limited scalability of the physiological measuring methods. This research aims to explore the visual biofeedback design of collective stress and to treat a group of people as an entity. Collective stress, as a certain type of stress, represents the stressful feelings of members of a particular organization. Like individual stress, collective stress could be caused by external stressors such as natural catastrophes, economic crises, and political collapses. Moreover, collective stress may also be affected by some internal stressors like conflict or propagation between individuals. It could lead to less productivity, poor performance, strained relationship, or members’ burnout. Providing suitable biofeedback design of collective stress help the workers dealing with the stress may increase the performances and lead healthier ways of teamworking.

  • Systemic Change. Systemic Change creates socio-technical systems operating in semi-open and near real-life ecosystems or field labs with the aim to address clearly defined societal challenges, and study the nature, drivers and opportunities for sustainable change, induced by these systems, on an ecosystem level.

    1. Social Car. The road environment can be seen as a social situation: In each journey, we encounter other drivers and need to coordinate with them to share the infrastructure. A traditional physical communication method, such as car-body language, lights, horn and speed are the most frequently used means to exchange information, limiting both the range and the bandwidth of the connectivity. This situation may lead to two adverse effects: more conflict in sharing the road and social isolation while driving. Nowadays, everywhere available connectivity, the broad penetration of social network services and the increasing utility of advanced human-machine interaction technology, provide new possibilities for enhancing the communication between drivers on the road, enabling social information to pass through the steel shell of the cars without the physical restriction.

    2. Healthy working space. In this project, you will work on developing contextual aware solutions to stimulate more physical activities between a high level of intensities to the moderate and low level of intensities. “Sedentary behaviour is a new smoking.” Early research has called for promoting a dynamic daily routine and using a social-ecological approach for healthy working space. Many wearable devices are available already in the market for people to sense and monitor their daily activities and promote an active lifestyle. Early research has also demonstrated that personalization motivational strategies are very important to promote healthy working space. How to turn the insights into solutions into acceptable and adoptable interventions in working spaces is the challenge here.

    3. non-obtrusive patient monitoring. The goal of this project is to improve the relationship between patients and the medical staff, to reduce workload and improve the experience of the patient, by development and evaluation of a non-obtrusive patient monitoring system with smart patient beds for hospitals. Piezoelectric sensors will be used to sense heartbeat and respiration using the method ballistocardiography. The candidate will be collaborating with PostDoc researchers who will provide sufficient technical guidance and support.

Application Procedure

If you are interested in applying, please first address your interest to dr. Jun Hu: j.hu@tue.nl as early as possible for questions and guidance, and later prepare the following documents:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Research plan according to one of the aforementioned topics (no more than 4-pages of A4 in English, Including Background, Objectives and Research questions, Methodology, Planning, Expected results, Feasibility, Future Plan after your study, and References).
  3. Motivation letter (no more than 1-page A4).
  4. Copy of Master Degree (if available, or a letter from your university to prove that you are expected to graduate in due time).
  5. Letter of recommendation from your supervisor at the home university.
  6. Any indication of your English level (IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 95, or equivalent) according to the requirements from CSC (http://www.csc.edu.cn/) and TU/e.

  7. If you have a design or art background, portfolio of your design or artwork.


Please notice the deadlines: TBA at TU/e; Deadline for applying at CSC is [TBA] (http://www.csc.edu.cn/article/709). For a better support for your application, we would encourage you to apply as early as possible.

For more information

For more information, please contact dr. Jun Hu: j.hu@tue.nl

More about the User-System Interaction program can found here. Please notice that we expect the candidates will be supported by the CSC scholarship, instead of the TU/e scholarship.

More about the requirements in applying for the Scholarship from China Scholarship Council (CSC) for Chinese candidates: http://www.csc.edu.cn

JunHu: CSC/PDEng (last edited 2020-02-08 18:22:29 by JunHu)