Pam Briggs

Prof. Pam Briggs

Pam holds a Research Chair at Northumbria University, where she works in social media and interaction design, with a specific focus on identity, trust, security and inclusion. Some of her most recent projects explore these issues in the context of health and ageing. She has given a number of invited and keynote presentations, including a keynote presentation to the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing and e-marketing summits in 2008, an invited address to the World Health Summit 2009, the opening address at the Second International Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (Canada) and the keynote to the 2010 IFIP Trust Management conference in Morioka, Japan. Two of her collaborative projects were showcased in (i) the British Council’s celebration of UK-Canada Innovation ( and (ii) RCUK and UUK‟s Big Ideas for the Future: UK research that will have a profound effect on our future. Most recently, she was instrumental in securing one of only four founding EPSRC/GCHQ awards that will constitute the UK‟s new Institute for Cybersecurity and was commissioned to publish a Driver Review as a contribution for the recently launched Technology Foresight Report on the Future of Identity ( Pam is an experienced project leader and manager who recently stepped into a full-time professorial role, following a period of eight years as a Dean of School, providing leadership to 240 staff and managing a budget with an annual turnover of £25m. She has an excellent track record of research management and of working in multi-disciplinary teams. Her current EPSRC and NIHR funded collaborations with the Universities of Oxford, Warwick, Essex, Dundee, Loughborough and Newcastle embrace the disciplines of design, computer science, political theory, gerontology and health. In her most recent work, she has been exploring the role of film as a science communication medium and its effectiveness as a design probe in the co-construction of new technologies.

Harith Alani

Dr. Harith Alani

Harith is a senior lecturer at the Knowledge Media institute, The Open University, where he is heading a Social Semantics and Web Science group. Previously to joining KMi, he was a senior research fellow at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton. He was also a visiting researcher at Stanford University in 2007, and a fellow of the Web Science Trust. Harith has published around 90 articles in various leading journals and conferences, and currently is the Social Semantics Area Editor for the Journal of Web Semantics, and also an associate editor for the Semantic Web Journal, and for the International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems. He has been involved as a principle investigator in several national and international projects, and is currently the co-ordinator of FP7 DecarboNet. Harith is a frequent member of organisational committees of several leading conferences in his field of research. Recently he was programme co-chair for WWW 2014 Web Science track, ISWC 2013, and ACM Web Science 2013. Harith’s research interests include social semantics, web science, social computing, social media analysis, semantic sentiment analysis, and offline-online social network tracking and analysis.

Matthew Aylett

Dr. Matthew Aylett

Matthew has been involved in speech technology and HCI as a student and researcher since 1994. He obtained an MSc in speech and language processing (Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh in 1995. Subsequently he worked as a research associate on spoken dialogue whilst pursuing a PhD (awarded in 2000) focused on phonetic and prosodic analysis of spontaneous speech. In April 2000, he joined the R&D team of Edinburgh University spin-out Rhetorical Systems Ltd. He played a fundamental role in both designing and building the rVoice speech synthesiser. Other key contributions included work on prosodic modelling and intelligibility. He continued to publish research work over this period at an international level. In 2005 he took a research sabbatical at the prestigious International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), Berkeley, where he worked on the prosodic analysis of dialogue. He returned to Edinburgh and founded Cereproc Ltd in 2006 with the aim of creating commercially available, characterful speech synthesis. In 2007 Cereproc released the first commercial synthesis to allow modification of voice quality for adding underlying emotion to voices. He has remained active both commercially, where he dictates Cereproc’s technical strategy, and academically, as a research fellow at The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, where he was recently was awarded a Royal Society Fellowship looking at speech and personification. Matthew has substantial commercial engineering and product development management experience together with a broad international research background in prosody, dialogue engineering, affective computing, novel interface design and psycholinguistics.

Finola Kerrigan

Dr. Finola Kerrigan

Finola is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham where she researchers and teaches marketing. Her specialism is in arts, non-profit and social marketing and she is chair of the Academy of Marketing Arts, Heritage, Nonprofit and Social Marketing Special Interest Group of the Academy of Marketing. As such, she has undertaken research projects and published her work on arts marketing, ethics and equality in film marketing, social media and new technology in a range of books and journals. In her prior research projects she has used a range of methodologies such as personal interviews, focus groups, documentary analysis, social media analysis and diary methods. Her early work was concerned with issues of exclusion from the market (for film) and she has recently developed expertise in branding and social media marketing. Dr Kerrigan has experience of work in interdisciplinary teams on prior EPSRC projects on digital disruption in the news industry (with management science and computer science colleagues from University of Manchester, University of Aberystwyth and Oxford University). She has been invited to present her work to academic and professional audiences across Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. Recent invitations included a session on understanding audiences at NESTA during the 2011 London Film Festival, a research presentation at TISH School of Performing Arts, NYU, Singapore and University of Mumbai. Her research has been funded by the ESRC, EPSRC, London Centre for Arts and Cultural Enterprise and the London Development Agency.

Lisa Thomas

Dr. Lisa Thomas

Lisa is a Senior Researcher within the Psychology and Communication Technology (PaCT) Research Group in the Department of Psychology at Northumbria University. She has recently worked on the ‘Identity Management – Public Responses to Identity Technologies and Services’ (IMPRINTS) project, looking at influences on the public to engage and/or disengage with identity management practices, services and technologies of the future. Lisa gained her Psychology BA (Hons) from the University of Sheffield in 2004. She then went on to study for her MSc in Environmental Psychology at the University of Surrey, which she gained in 2006. Lisa then studied for a PhD at Northumbria University, exploring the perceptions of Location-Based Services, refining a theoretical model to predict intentions to use this emerging technology. Her research included the perspectives of diverse user groups within the local community to better understand how people feel about privacy and security when using LBS technology.

Smita Choudhury

Smitashree Choudhury

Smita is currently working as a Research Associate in Knowledge Media Institute of UK Open University. She has research experience in various EU projects including NoTube and most recently “Robust : Risk and Opportunity management of huge-scale Business community cooperation. Smita received her PhD from National University of Ireland, Galway in 2011, in the area of Social Semantic Web, exploring the role of social context for semantic enrichment of user generated content.

Andrew Hart

Andrew Hart

Andrew Hart is currently both a Research Associate and a PhD student in the Department of Marketing, Birmingham Business School, at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on film marketing and has subsequently co-authored a book chapter in the area published in The Routledge Guide to Arts Marketing (2013), whilst working on a number of other projects for a range of high quality international journals. Andrew’s previous academic background is in film studies, having examined film from a cultural, textual and production perspective. He studied his undergraduate degree at the University of Hull where he graduated with a BA Hons in American Studies and Film Studies in 2009, before studying for an MA in Producing Film and Television at Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2010. After spend two years working in a sales and marketing environment for a leading outdoor advertising provider, Andrew returned to academia to embark on a Ph.D. His thesis combines knowledge acquired in film studies and work practice, researching the area of audience film consumption through introspective methods, in order to understand how genre and different film types and classifications impact film selection.

Thomas Dickinson

Thomas Dickinson

Thomas Dickinson has recently started a PhD at the Knowledge Media Institute, part of the Open University. His research interests span various different areas of artificial intelligence, particularly within social media analysis and narrative generation.
Prior to starting his PhD, Thomas obtained his BSc in Computer Science from Newcastle University in 2010. After graduating he moved to London to work as a software developer, specialising in web development. Thomas has since been involved in several high profile projects within a number of different industries including: gambling, product recommendation, web content management and publishing.
After three years of software development, Thomas decided to return to academia and pursue a PhD that covered his research interests. His research is currently focused on constructing life stories from people’s social media content and investigating ways of how this can be beneficially utilised.

Elaine Farrow

Elaine Farrow

Elaine is a Senior Research Programmer in the Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation within the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focus is on using technology to investigate, understand and facilitate human communication. Elaine has substantial experience working on multi-site research with partners across the UK, EU and USA, on topics spanning educational technology, health informatics and behaviour change. Her recent work has largely focused on tutorial dialogue systems which use natural language interaction to support learning. Earlier in her career she spent time in industry developing and implementing novel classification algorithms for large scale data analysis. She has extensive experience in public engagement, for which she has won awards. Elaine has an M.Sc. (Distinction) in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh and a B.Sc. from the University of St Andrews.

Miriam Fernandez

Miriam Fernandez