Project Team

Lancaster University

Jon Whittle — Principal Investigator

JonWhittleJon is a Professor in the School of Computing and Communications.  He is interested in using digital technologies to break down barriers and currently works on a number of projects, for example, crowdsourcing local opinions on public safety, serendipity in the digital world and citizen-led digital social innovation.

Ming Ki Chong — Research Associate

MingKiChongMing Ki was a senior research associate at Lancaster University. His research interests include human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, and personal informatics. He finished his PhD in computer science at Lancaster University in 2013, and his thesis examined how people connect wireless devices.

Henry Coggin — Developer

HenryCogginHenry Coggin studied Software Engineering at Lancaster University. His interests lie in user experience and is passionate about good design. He has worked on numerous web projects, including the development of a ‘Smart Environment’ Toolkit.

Debbie Stubbs — Impact and Dissemination Manager

DebbieStubbsDebbie has worked across cultural industries, charitable sector and local government. Originally training as a theatre designer, her previous roles include: project manager for EPSRC multidisciplinary funded project ‘Catalyst! Citizens transforming society: tools for change’, business development at The Dukes theatre, director of two arts centres, arts officer in West London and Buckinghamshire. Family, digging an allotment, and walking, fills the other side of her university research world!

The Open University

Helen Roby — Co-Investigator

HelenRobyHelen is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Social Marketing. Her research interests focus on behaviour change processes within organisations. She has a particular interest in how digital communication technologies are affecting working and travel practices and the impact this has on work-life balance and productivity. She has worked on projects for TfL and is currently working on an EPSRC project, Disruption: Unlocking Low Carbon Travel and another funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Network Fund.

Rebecca Whiting — Research Associate

Rebecca is Reader in Organization Studies in the Birkbeck Business School at Birkbeck, University of London; she was formerly a Research Associate at the Open University Business School working on the Digital Brain Switch project. Her research interests include taken-for-granted aspects of the contemporary workplace, including the discursive construction of work identities (e.g. the older worker), concepts (e.g. work-life balance, age and gender), and the ways in which work is organized. She is also interested in qualitative research methodologies and the particular challenges of using Web 2.0 data and visual analysis.

Royal Holloway, University of London

Gillian Symon — Co-Investigator

GillianSymonGillian is Professor of Organization Studies in the School of Business and Management at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is interested in understanding the relationship between technology, work practices, and identity, and the development of new kinds of (participative) research methodologies that could encompass mobility and connectivity in new digital environments.

Petros Chamakiotis — Research Associate

Petros is Associate Professor of Management at ESCP Business School (Madrid Campus). He worked on the Digital Brain Switch project as a Postdoctoral Research Associate from Royal Holloway, University of London (2013–2015) while also teaching on the MSc in Business Information Systems. His research focuses on the organizational and societal implications of digital technologies. Within this context, he has studied, among others, creativity and leadership in virtual teams, hybridity and liminality in contemporary boundary work, and social value creation in online communities.

University of Kent

Chee Siang (Jim) Ang — Co-Investigator

CheeSiangJimAngChee Siang (also known as Jim) is a Senior Lecturer in Multimedia and Digital Systems in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent. He is interested in understanding and analysing human behaviour and social interaction in a virtual environment as well as social network structures that emerge from this interaction. A really fascinating aspect of such research is the emerging cyberspace such as Massively Multiplayer Online Games, social-oriented 3D virtual worlds, virtual communities, online social networking and how we can utilise these tools in various contexts of serious applications for positive social change and health care.

Umar Rashid — Research Associate


Umar did his PhD in Computer Science at the University of St Andrews in 2012. His research interests lie in software engineering and human-computer interaction with mobile and ubiquitous computing systems. The broader goal of his research is to explore the design and evaluation of intelligent interactive systems that can facilitate novel ways of collaboration among people and improve their quality of life. Before joining the Digital Brain Switch project, he worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Lincoln as a team member of Horizon Digital Economy’s “Automics” project. During his PhD research, he also worked as a research intern at Nokia Research Center (Tampere, Finland) and Vodafone Group R&D (Munich, Germany).