University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne

School of Computing, Newcastle University was ranked 1st for Impact and 16th for research power in the 2014 REF (UoA 11). The School currently leads two EPSRCs CDTs in: (1) Digital Civics; and (ii) Cloud Computing for Big Data. Newcastle University was recently accepted as a member of the Alan Turing Institute Network and hosts the National Innovation Centre for Data and the National Innovation Centre for Ageing. Open Lab is a cross-disciplinary research group in the School of Computing, Newcastle University, and is home to 9 investigators (in HCI, social computing, machine learning, and media computing), 2 RCUK fellows, 35 postdoctoral researchers and research engineers, and 70 PhD students with disciplinary backgrounds ranging from computer science and engineering, to health and social science.

Open Lab is arguably the leading human-computer research group outside of the USA (after CMU and University of Washington) with 93 papers at ACM CHI over the past five years. Both Open Lab and the School of Computing work closely with the Urban Observatory, the largest set of publically available real-time data in the UK. Open Lab also leads DERC, the ESPRC Next Stage Digital Economy Research Centre, and actively involved in the EPSRC Digital Economy Network (both CDTs and Next Stage Digital Economy Research Centres).



Team members

Vasilis Vlachokyriakos is currently a lecturer at Open Lab, School of Computing at Newcastle University. My work centres on designing, developing and evaluating novel, digitally-enabled models of citizen participation that engage communities in developing the future of local service provision, decision-making and democracy. As a lecturer, I teach Human-Computer Interaction and Digital Civics related modules with a specialisation on research methods. My previous research projects have involved a set of experiments into participatory methods in digital systems. More generally, my research interests involve e-voting, e-participation (e-deliberation, e-contestation), e-democracy and human computer interaction (HCI).

Rob Anderson has a background in computers and tech, with a special interest in making apps and websites.I graduated from Newcastle University in Computing Science, doing my dissertation with App Movement. Here I created a new app template that allows anyone to collaboratively design how-to apps and publish them on the App Store, without needing any coding skills .Among other projects, I’m currently working with the Tyne and Wear Metro on a consultation project, documenting people’s experiences as part of a bid for new Metro carriages. On this project I’m developing an interactive website that allows people to share their own experiences on the Metro and suggest and discuss ideas for the new carriages.Away from the Lab, I enjoy designing and making my own games; I’m particularly interested in creating engaging interactions and telling compelling stories.

Alexander Wilson is a doctoral trainee in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics at Open Lab, Newcastle University. My research explores the intersections of digital technology, design, human–computer interaction and town planning, with a focus on alternative and enhanced tools and methods for participation in planning. These tools and methods include pervasive and wearable computing systems, alongside audio, visual and social media in novel interactive systems.