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 * The candidates are expected to publish one SCI indexed paper, or two EI indexed papers, or the equivalent agreed by the supervisors.  * During the program the candidates are expected to publish one SCI indexed paper, or two EI indexed papers, or the equivalent agreed by the supervisors.
  • Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) in User-System Interaction

    at Department of Industrial Design of Eindhoven University of Technology

    in cooperation with Department of Information Product Design, School of Software, Zhejiang University


tue.jpg 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 User-System Interaction 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, and it will lead to a Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng degree).

Both TU/e-ID and ZJU-ID share the research focus on Creating Systems in a Societal Context using Emerging Technology in two research areas: Future Everyday and Systemic Change. Research in Future Everyday is concerned with understanding, exploring, and giving shape to the 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. 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. In these two areas, TU/e-ID and ZJU-ID have established joined efforts in the “International Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship” (IIIE) in both education and research, expecting IIIE to be an incubator for bridging innovation and entrepreneurship bringing excellent student projects and research results closer to the manufacturing and business to create impact. In this context, TU/e-ID and ZJU-ID agree to establish the cooperation in the PDEng User-System Interaction program, with the following aims and requirements:

  • PDEng program prepares the candidates for a high-level position in the industry in User-System Interaction.
  • The candidates will be working on the topics in the research focus areas as described below, and further detailed and specified by TU/e-ID. TU/e-ID reserves the full rights of the quality control in admission to ensure the alignment of topics to these areas.
  • The candidates will be recruited, supervised and graduated following TU/e regulations. The candidates will be supervised by cross-appointed professors from TU/e and ZJU.
  • The candidates must satisfy the admission requirements of TU/e, including a Master degree and a sufficient English language level.
  • The candidates will be enrolled at TU/e, provided with access to the infrastructure needed for education and research, including campus network accounts and digital libraries.
  • A total of 70K EURO Financial support is necessary for the candidate to join the two year program.
  • The candidates will have the status of TU/e employee (hence receive a salary). The programs start with a year of advanced education, followed by a major design project of eight to twelve months in a company.
  • The program consists of roughly 1 year training at TU/e and 1 year graduation project in cooperation with industry. IIIE will seek cooperation with industries to host the design project in China.
  • The candidates must comply with the rules and regulations related to work at the hosting universities.
  • During the program the candidates are expected to publish one SCI indexed paper, or two EI indexed papers, or the equivalent agreed by the supervisors.
  • Living cost: the candidates are responsible for their living and private travel costs.
  • In case of the candidate not being able to graduate in time, extensions can be discussed with and approved by the involved supervisors. The cost of extension shall be covered by the candidate him or herself, based on the calculation of 70K EURO per two years.

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. The Future Everyday cluster investigates the everyday interactions between individual people and the highly interconnected technology that surrounds them. We measure, model and design for the user experience when individuals interact with social-technological network. More about Future Everyday and example projects at Future Everyday.

  • Systemic Change. The Systemic Change cluster focuses on designing innovations that have an impact on systemic structures and groups of people, ultimately aiming to address large-scale issues such as urban health, future mobility and sustainability. Field data is used in novel iterative and circular research-through-design processes involving strategic alliances of stakeholders. More about Systemic Change and example projects at Systemic Change.

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 and send to the same email address, with "IIIE PDEng 2019" in the subject:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Project proposal 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). The aim of this proposal is to show your interest. The final graduation project will be defined according to the alignment of interests of the candidate, TU/e, ZJU and industrial partners.
  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).
  7. If you have a design or art background, portfolio of your design or artwork.


Please notice the deadlines: April 5, 2019. 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 , TU/e) and dr. Cheng Yao (yaoch@zju.edu.cn, ZJU)

More about the User-System Interaction program can found here.

JunHu: PDEngUSI (last edited 2019-02-25 15:31:53 by JunHu)