PhD position on methodological implications of adopting emerging technologies in Systemic Design
(How) Can emerging technologies improve our understanding of complex socio-technical interactions involved in addressing societal challenges? We are looking for a highly motivated and passionate candidate for a PhD position to critically examine the implications of adopting emerging technologies such as AI, XR, IoT and Big Data to better understand, visualise and manage complex societal systems.
There is growing academic interest in adopting new technologies to address societal challenges. Although promising, integrating these technologies into design research and practice requires careful consideration of methodological, ethical and practical implications. This PhD position examines the impact of new technologies on Systemic Design by adopting new technological tools to improve our capacity to challenge outdated systems and contribute to more sustainable and equitable futures.
In the context of this research, systems can be described as a way of designing (i.e., systemic, a holistic approach to thinking about reality) and an object of design (i.e., socio-technical systems, interconnected elements that serve a specific purpose). Investigating the way we design systems focuses on critically reviewing and expanding systemic design methods by exploring how emerging technologies can be integrated into the design process. When we look at systems as the outcomes of the design process, our research aims to apply new technologies in socio-technical interventions to address complex societal problems in different domains, for example, healthcare systems (e.g., planetary health), production systems (e.g., circular and distributed), and social systems (e.g., equality and social innovation).
As a PhD candidate, you will first investigate how the academic community has responded to using emerging technologies to generate knowledge addressing complex societal problems. You will then analyse the broader implications of these technologies within the framework of systems thinking approaches (see da Costa Junior et al., 2019). Furthermore, you will collaborate with multiple actors, such as private-public partnerships, non-profit organisations and companies, to identify leverage points, develop solutions to address significant societal challenges and test novel methods, frameworks, and tools.
The ideal PhD candidate should be able to navigate engineering and social science fields and collaborate with a multidisciplinary team within the Interaction Design group, which is part of the Department of Design, Production and Management (DPM) of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences (ET).
The PhD candidate will:
- Conduct research on adopting emerging technologies to better understand, visualise and handle complex systems.
- Explore the implications of adopting emerging technologies in systemic design research and practice.
- Establish collaborations with actors from different sectors, including public services, organisations, industries, and citizens, to conduct transdisciplinary research.
- Present research results at national and international conferences, workshops and in journals.
Information and application
Please submit your application before December 29, 2023. For more information about this vacancy, contact Dr. Jairo da Costa (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Include in your application:
- A motivation letter describing your motivation for applying for a PhD position, your specific interest in this topic, and why you would be the best match for this position (one A4).
- A CV including publications (if any), education and work experience.
- Contact details of at least two referees.
- An academic transcript of BSc and MSc education, including grades.
A first round of interviews (online if necessary) is planned for 10-11 January. A second round of in-person interviews may be scheduled if necessary.
About the organisation
The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. We enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Our educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.