Sunday, October 12, 2008

PhD Position in Netherlands 2009/2010

2 PhD positions in Creative Design at the User Centered Engineering
group Department of Industrial Design

The position is open to candidates of any nationality, regardless of
gender, race, disability, etc., with the exception that the student
may not have resided in the country of the host institution for more
than one year in the 3 years before appointment.

For additional
information on eligibility, please check Rules of mobility and
conditions of nationality applicable to eligible researchers, pages
13-14. Interested researchers that do not meet this condition are
encouraged to apply to other DESIRE projects that are hosted by
institutes in other countries, see

1) PhD position in Creative Design - I (V51.063)
Project: Develop an interactive system to support communicating
implicit design representations.

Description: Creative thinking revolves around two complementary means
of communicating ideas, opinions and intentions: descriptions, that
can be spoken or written, and depictions, such as gestures, drawings
or pictures. Descriptions are especially useful for expressing the
explicit results of our internal reasoning. Descriptions are often
called extrinsic, because their meaning is determined by externally
defined rules of interpretation that we have acquired in the course of
our lives. In a creative process, where meaning is often not yet known
explicitly, some highly relevant aspects may be impossible to describe
adequately. Unlike descriptions, depictions, such as gestures, images
and sketches, are called intrinsic. Their meaning is not determined by
externally agreed interpretation rules, but instead extracted through
largely the same mechanisms of visual perception and cognitive
inspection that we rely on to function in the physical world.
Depictions tend to contain details that are not explicitly intended,
and that should hence be considered implicit.
This project aims to design and develop a mixed reality platform for
supporting industrial designers in recruiting, constructing and
manipulating depictions during creative design, avoiding premature
commitment to descriptions. Current research into design practice in
industry has proposed a number of concepts for interactive tools in
support of different aspects of design e.g., material collection,
browsing, organizing, creating and communicating designs. This project
will build on this research by developing these concepts into
applications and seeking to deploy them in actual design settings,
improving them iteratively based on feedback obtained from designers.

Outcomes: Working prototype of augmented reality environment to
support ideation by teams; experimental validation of the efficacy of
the tool to support creative design processes.

Requirements: The ideal candidate will have expertise in several of
the following areas: virtual or augmented reality software and
hardware, (industrial) design, (qualitative) research methods.
Important aspects to the work, next to idea generation and publishing,
is implementing ideas in software that involves, due to the nature of
the project, ample visuals (such as computer generated graphics,
images, etc.). Establishing the user experiences with developed
prototypes is another key aspect of the project (this aspect is
supported by much expertise in the team).

For more information on this project, candidates should contact
Jean-Bernard Martens:
You can apply for this job before 31-10-2008

2) PhD position in Creative Design - II(V51.064)
Project: Investigate creative problem solving process:
cross-disciplinary method diffusion.

Description: The proposed research will examine the diffusion of
methods for creative problem solving in multi-disciplinary fields,
such as interaction design. This subfield is the meeting point for
diverse fields of knowledge where engineering, scientific and design
approaches overlap, complement each other, cross-fertilize and
compete. While the transfer of techniques and methods between
disciplines can potentially increase creativity in support of
innovation is can also be fraught with challenges. Methods applied may
have diverse origins, may be shared between disciplines, or may be
applied differently by individuals subscribing to different
intellectual traditions. This whole phenomenon is described below as
method diffusion.
A systematic investigation of the diffusion of methods aiming to
support innovation can unravel how and why different methods are
applied successfully or misapplied, transformed or improved when they
are adopted by a different discipline and what push-back exists:
adoption from a different discipline can lead to revisiting original
ideas, improving them or rejecting them. Current practice regarding
method diffusion will be documented, flagging areas of opportunity and
pitfalls for practitioners. A (multiple) case study approach will
examine creative processes that were demonstrably successful
contrasting them to cases where a large degree of interdisciplinarity
and methodological innovation did not meet corresponding success.
Interventions to support specific design projects will be organised.
Through an action research approach, the effects of these
interventions will be evaluated.

Outcomes: An analysis of current design practices characterizing
pitfalls and best practice. A roadmap for method diffusion to support
creativity and innovation will be proposed, and experiences from its
application will be reported.

Requirements: Candidates should have an interest and background in the
areas of human computer interaction and interaction design. Special
interest and expertise in qualitative research methods,
ethnography/anthropology are a bonus.

For extra information on this project please contact Panos Markopoulos
You can apply for this job before 01-11-2008

Appointment and Salary

The appointment is for four years. As an employee of the university
you will receive a competitive salary as well as excellent employment
conditions (including excellent sport facilities and child care). The
research in this project must be concluded with writing a PhD thesis.
A salary is offered starting at EUR 2000,- per month (gross) in the
first year and increasing up to EUR 2558,- per month (gross) in the
last year. Moreover 8% bonus share (holiday supplement) is provided
annually. Assistance for finding accommodation can be given.

About the university:
TU/e is one of Europe’s leading research universities. The Eindhoven
area, in the southern part of the Netherlands, is one of Europe’s top
‘innovation ecosystems’, with many high-tech companies and institutes,
such as Philips, ASML, NXP, DAF, OCE, and TNO. TU/e is closely
intertwined with many of these companies and institutes, and research
at TU/e is characterized by a combination of academic excellence and
industrial relevance. Culturally, the Netherlands is a very
interesting part of Europe. Historic cities such as Amsterdam, The
Hague, Maastricht, Brussels, and Antwerp are all within easy reach
from Eindhoven. Ph.D. students at TU/e are appointed as temporary
staff members. They receive a full salary and are exempted from
payment of tuition fees.

Further information on the application procedure can be obtained from
Ms. Julma Braat, HR employee, phone +31 (0)40 247 5883, e-mail: .

Interested candidates should send their application either as a
printed version or as a PDF version by e-mail to the mailing address
below. Applications must include a letter explaining the candidate’s
specific interest in the project, extensive curriculum vitae, a list
of three references, and the vacancy code V51.063 or V51.064.

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
Department of Industrial Design
Attn. Ms. J. Braat, room HG 3.92
P.O. Box 513
5600 MB Eindhoven
The Netherlands