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AffecTech Early Stage Researchers

Muhammad Umair (ESR 1)

Lancaster University


Investigating embodied metaphors in depression and anxiety and their role in emotional processing

Muhammad Umair is an Early Stage Researcher at Lancaster University. He earned his MSc from University of Science and Technology (UST), and BSc from National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST). In 2013-2017, he was a graduate researcher at Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI). His research interests in human-computer interaction focus on building interactive systems that support emotions reflection and regulation, interaction at scale; crowdsourcing and human computation, pervasive computing; mobile computing and sensing, energy efficient indoor localisation and IoT applications.

Chengcheng Qu (ESR 2)

Lancaster University


Exploring the organisation and processing of episodic memories in depression and anxiety

Chengcheng is a researcher for the AffecTech project and a PhD candidate at Lancaster University, UK. Her research interest is in affective interaction to support meaningful and longlasting recall of users autobiographical memories. This includes: designing best configuration of wearable contextual sensors to capture memory cues for daily events; designing interaction with captured memory cues, which allow users to reflect on related memories. Interaction with such systems could support alleviating affective disorders and building better cognitive self.

Chengcheng has a master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction from KTH in Sweden and Université Paris-Saclay, and a bachelor’s degree in software engineering from Northeastern University, China. She completed her master’s thesis project at Ex)Situ, a joint INRIA/UPSaclay research group. The thesis project explored expressivity of an emoticon keyboard in mobile phones.


Charles Windlin (ESR 3)

KTH Royal Institute of Technology


Bodily representations for understanding stress in significant others  

Charles is a member of the Somaesthetic Design Team at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm under the lead of Professor Kristina Höök. He earned his diploma in Industrial Design at the FHNW Institute of Applied Science in Switzerland and Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Previously 7 years plus experience working in fields of consumer electronics and software for professionals, Charles has a strong interest in Interaction Design for social impact, and believes technology can improve the human condition significantly especially when the focus lays on designing for and with the human being in mind.

Pavel Karpashevich (ESR 4)
KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Design for family interaction, allowing users to physically, bodily create digital expressions together

Pavel Karpashevich is a PhD student in Media Technology and Interaction Design group at the School of Computer Science and Communication at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. Pavel maintains a systematic approach in solving problems based on his interdisciplinary background combining a specialist degree in Human Factors, Master’s degree in HCI and working experience as an IT project manager. Pavel’s research interests include pervasive gaming, innovative input modalities, wearable technologies and smart textiles for performing arts.

Camille Nadal (ESR 5)

Trinity College Dublin


Mobile applications to support emotion regulation in mental health exploring different strategies for mobile self-reporting

Camille Nadal is an ESR and research student in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College, Dublin. She holds a Masters in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Toulouse (France) and has experience in User-Centred Design for people with special needs. Camille is delighted to have been awarded a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher scholarship to complete a PhD in mobile applications to support emotion regulation in mental health, building on her varied experience in Human-Computer Interaction design, research and developement.


Andrea Patane (ESR 6)
Oxford University

Research into developing novel algorithmic techniques and advanced software to support design in wearable technologies  

Andrea is working as an Early Stage Researcher PhD Fellowship with Professor Marta Kwiatkowska on research into developing novel algorithmic techniques and advanced software to support the design of wearable devices. This research initiative requires close interaction with HCI researchers and access to expertise in affective disorders. The project is expected to develop embedded technologies for stress monitoring and regulation.

Andrea is a Clarendon scholar and a member of the AIMS Centre for Doctoral Training, and has been previously heavily involved in the development of the HeartVerify framework which is the underpinning technology for the Oxford component of the AffecTech project. In particular, he has already worked on heart rate monitoring and stress monitoring using accelerometer sensors.

Shadi Ghiasi (ESR 7)

University of Pisa, Italy


Research investigating the brain heart interaction to develop model of emotion using advanced signal processing techniques

Shadi Ghiasi is a PhD student working in the bioengineering and robotics research center in the university of Pisa, Italy. She gained her master’s degreee in mechanical engineering in the field of dynamic and control systems in Khaje Nasir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. Competing in Physionet/MIT Challenges for two years, she gained great experience in biomedical signal processing and machine learning especially for detecting heart arrhythmias.



Desirée Colombo (ESR 8)

Universidad Jaume I


Mobile technologies for the understanding, assessment and intervention of emotion dysregulation in depression

Desirée Colombo gained her master degree in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at San Raffaele University (Milan) in 2016, with a thesis focused on the role of cognitive distortion in patients with Bipolar Disorder. Since then she has collaborated with the Applied Technology for Neuro-psychology Lab (ATN-P Lab) at Istituto Auxologico Italiano (Milan), working on innovations to improve the knowledge of virtual reality and mobile devices, including application both in clinical practice and evidenced-based research.

Her main research interests concern the use of new technologies as effective tools in the psychological and neuropsychological field, with a big focus on emotional dysregulation and episodic memory, as well as on the development of new clinical interventions through the adoption of virtual reality and mobile devices.

Javier Fernández-Alvarez (ESR 9)

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore


Design, develop and test a VR based biofeedback training protocol to be implemented in mobile devices for stress management

Javier Fernández-Alvarez is a Spanish-Argentinian psychologist previously of the Aiglé Foundation in Argentina, and the  Laboratory of Psychology and Technology in Spain. After completing his undergraduate degree in Argentina, he embarked on his career as a cognitive-integrative psychotherapist and then researcher focused on technologies applied to clinical psychology, including virtual reality, internet interventions, wearable devices. Javier is passionate about achieving a greater integration of science and practice in the clinical psychology realm.

Niaz Chalabianloo (ESR 10)

Bogazici University


Multi-parametric monitoring of mood and sleep quality for stress-management

Niaz is a PhD student in Computer Engineering with backgrounds in Sensor Networks and Data Analysis using Machine Learning techniques. He received his Masters in Computer Engineering from Middle East Technical University in Turkey. He worked as an adjunct lecturer at the Azad University of Tabriz in Iran. His current research interests include Data Science, Pervasive Health, Ubiquitous Computing and Wireless Sensor Networks.

William Primett (ESR 11)

Plux Wireless Biosignals


Designing tools for exploring non-verbal expression and collaborative interaction design

William is a PhD researcher at Plux Wireless Biosignals, holding a Masters degree in Creative Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London. William has developed an interdisciplinary approach towards designing new interfaces for immersive performance environments, collaborating with high-profile musicians and artists. His process takes influence from a wide-range of physical disciplines, exploring the boundaries of embodied interaction modalities and their potential within real-world applications. William’s final research thesis, Dance2Vec demonstrates the use of deep learning frameworks to analyse expressive movements qualities from large-scale video datasets. His research aims to promote the use of physiological sensors and biofeedback for designing expressive interactive systems.


Hristo Valev (ESR 12)

Philips Research


Adaptive wearable systems for emotional processing and cognitive reappraisal in depression

Hristo Valev is a computer science graduate from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. He specialised in Antropomatics and Cognitive Systems. His research interests are in human-machine interactions, medical informatics and machine learning. He has been awarded the Marie-Curie Fellowship and is currently a PhD candidate at Lancaster University, while working at Philips Research in Eindhoven.


Claudia Dauden Roquet (ESR 13)

Lancaster University


Exploring neurofeedback, affective haptics to design, develop interactive personal technology supporting emotion regulation

Claudia, originally from Barcelona (Spain), in 2015, was awarded a Balsells Scholarship to develop her final bachelor project at University of Colorado Boulder (USA). Her investigation of new methods to facilitate the creation of interactive 3D printed objects led to a publication in the conference DIS 2016. After her graduation in multimedia engineering at La Salle – Universitat Ramón Llull, Claudia earned a master’s degree in cognitive systems and interactive media from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Passionate about how human computer interaction and technology can make a positive difference in the world, during that time, she worked with CMTech Lab to study how social interactions affected children with autism during play, mainly through affective technology.


Miquel Alfaras (ESR 14)

Plux Wireless Biosignals


Developing a platform for integrating the wearable systems developed throughout the different AffecTech projects

After completing research stays in Perugia, ESRF-Grenoble and Dublin, Miquel mastered in Neuro-inspired Computing thanks to the expertise of IFISC Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (UIB-CSIC) in Mallorca, Spain, exploring neuro-inspired computation from hardware (Electronics + Photonics) to software implementations, exploiting nonlinear systems to broaden Machine Learning and Biosignal processing capabilities. Miquel was a key member in the NUUBO industrial-research collaboration project devoted to the development of a real time heartbeat arrhythmia classifier for the health-monitoring wearables industry and recently contributed to the founding of AGrowingData, a startup that combines BigData, Business Intelligence and Geolocalised Data Science empowering agents in the southern Spain agriculture production hub.



Dionne Bowie (ESR 15)

Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service Trust


Research into proof of concept studies for real world use, experiences and effectiveness of personal tech for affective health

Born and raised in Barbados, Dionne is a registered Clinical Psychologist (MSc.) with the Paramedical Professions Council of Barbados. She has enjoyed a range of professional roles and experiences, having most recently been employed as Counsellor at the National Council on Substance Abuse (Barbados) and as Clinical Psychologist at the Paediatric Outpatient Department, Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Barbados). She has also been involved in island-wide research in connection with UNICEF, the Barbados Ministry of Health and the National HIV/AIDS Commission.

Dionne is passionate about the power of psychology and psychotherapy as tools to facilitate client empowerment, insight and growth, and as vehicles for promoting personal and social change. She holds a MSc in Clinical Psychology, with Distinction, from the University of the West Indies, Mona Jamaica and was awarded a 2003 Barbados National Scholarship and completed her BSc (Hons) Psychology at the University of Nottingham, UK.

AffecTech is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network funded by European Commission H2020