Dr Valerie Carr
User-centered design

Valerie holds a doctorate in Healthcare Service Design from University of Dundee. She has worked on projects related to Healthcare Services since 2003, when she worked on a 3 year project evaluating the impact of the design of healthcare environments for NHS Estates. Following this she worked as a research associate, employing design thinking, methods and tools in work with healthcare professionals and patient groups exploring solutions to complex patient health needs in NW SHA.

From 2010-2012, Valerie was engaged in various projects for Lancaster City and Lancashire Council, engaging local communities in exploring how design methods and tools might support community development and stimulate innovation and creativity in the co-production of public services. She also conducted a piece of in-depth ethnographic research as part of the Future Families/Working Together Better initiative.

For the past two years, working as a Senior Designer at Snook, Valerie has been responsible for leading service design projects for a wide variety of clients, including Scottish Government, Digital Public Services; NHS24; Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board; and Macmillan. In each of these projects the emphasis is on using a design ethnography approach to gain a deep understanding of the day to day lives, needs and aspirations of service users; then involving them in co-designing (and co-producing if possible) new, improved services.

Dr Blair Dickson
Sensory Interface Design

Blair holds a doctorate in cognitive electrophysiology from the University of Bristol. With over 20 years of experience he has provided innovative Applied Neuroscience research to both UK and US government agencies.

As founding director of Affective State Ltd, his primary expertise lies in innovative research designed to influence and interpret human behaviour by understanding the interactions between the local sensory environment and the cognitive and affective (emotional) state of individuals. His research has focused on examining changes in brain activity under stress, including work in the areas of fatigue, workload, during training and under different motivation conditions. He led QinetiQ’s ‘Cognitive Cockpit’ program for DARPA, in which a closed-loop system was developed which monitored the cognitive state of a pilot in real time and adaptively automated system tasks based on the pilot’s workload.

More recently he was the principal investigator on research programmes in the field of affective state recognition. These studies examined the time course of changes in electrical brain activity in response to stimuli with an emotional valence.

Dr Wendy Powell
Virtual Reality Co-ordinator

Wendy holds a doctorate in Virtual Reality from the University of Portsmouth, and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Applications of Virtual Reality as well as an active researcher and Chair of the Faculty Ethics Committee. Wendy has been involved with health-care and well-being since 1990 when she qualified as a professional chiropractor and worked for many years in clinical practice before returning to education to undertake a degree in Information Technology and Computing.

Since 2005 she has been researching and teaching at the University of Portsmouth, being involved in a number of research projects in the UK and Canada investigating the use of Virtual Reality and innovative technology for rehabilitation and health. She has received international recognition for her expertise in the design of Virtual Reality applications, recently being invited as a Visiting Professor to AGH University in Cracow, and also running workshops at the International Conference in Virtual Rehabilitation in Philadelphia.

Wendy is a member of the Centre for Cultural and Industrial Technologies Research (CiTech) at the University of Portsmouth, and is also the founder and leader of the iMoVE (Interactive Motion in Virtual Environments) research group, drawing on expertise both nationally and internationally to push the boundaries of knowledge and understanding in interactive VR. Wendy is also an active member of the University of Portsmouth Ageing Network (UPAN) which works to bring together a broad scope of knowledge and expertise to address the ‘Active Ageing’ agenda.

Dr Jane Reeves
Project Manager

Jane holds a doctorate in Social Work from the Open University and is currently a co-director of the inter-professional Centre for Child Protection (CCP) at the University of Kent.

Her practice and research expertise spans work with vulnerable families. Recently she has developed the CCP in the development and implementation of simulations in child protection training. The first, ‘Rosie 1’ tackled child sexual abuse and ‘Rosie 2’ – neglect. ‘Visiting Elliot’ has been build in partnership with Kent Police and looks at paedophilia. ‘Zak’ co-designed with Special Branch is for use by young people on radicalisation and grooming.

Jane, with her co-director, has successfully taken the idea of simulation in child protection from inception to market and is consequently an experienced project manager in this field – managing the delivery of the product but also negotiating and meeting the needs of statutory and third sector agencies who use the tools. The Centre has been shortlisted for the 2013 Times Higher Education Awards for use of ICT in Education for this work.

To contact the team, please send all enquiries to:

Alex ClarkeTeam