Current PhD Students - Liverpool

Hannah Forbes

Hannah L Forbes

Social Product Development - A Framework for Innovation and Design Engineering in the Socio-sphere

My primary research goal is to devise a systematic framework for Social Product Development (SPD) that effectively and reliably incorporates new paradigms such as Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Mass Collaboration into the industrial New Product Development and Innovation process.    

Lead Supervisor: Prof D Schaefer; Co-Supervisor: Dr F Nickpour

M Bause

Melania Bause

Health 4.0: Design of Smart Healthcare Systems

Over the next few years is it likely to fundamentally change how healthcare is delivered and how the outcomes are measured. The focus on collaboration, coherence, and convergence will make healthcare more predictive and personalised. My primary research goal is to investigate how smart healthcare systems and product service-systems of the future can be designed effectively and efficiently.    

Lead Supervisor: Prof D Schaefer;  Co-Supervisor: Dr F Nickpour


Cara Shaw

Towards a Child-centred Approach to Inclusive Paediatric Mobility Design; Exploring Children’s Mobility Narratives in the Design Process

The aim of this research is to transition the field of Inclusive Paediatric Mobility Design towards a child-centred approach through investigating the nature of children’s mobility narratives and exploring their potential roles and applications in the design process. This research is conducted in collaboration with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital through a scholarship from The Hugh Greenwood Legacy for Children’s Health Research.

Lead Supervisor: Dr F Nickpour; Co-Supervisor: Mr Iain Hennessy (Consultant Paediatric and Neonatal Surgeon, Alder Hey Children's Hospital)

Abdullah Otaif

A Decision-based Framework for Improving Logistics and Supply Chain Management in Cloud Manufacturing

For Cloud-Based Design and Manufacturing to reach its full potential it is important to investigate how future supply chain management and logistics approaches in this context may differ from the traditional ones of the past. The main aim of the project is to investigate and understand the nature and dynamics of logistics and supply chain management in the specific context of Cloud Manufacturing (Industry 4.0) – a) in cloud-only environments; and b) hybrid environments that include traditional manufacturing elements as well.  It is expected that the project leads to the development of a scientifically grounded framework for decision-based modelling and simulation of scheduled logistics and supply chain management activities in (perhaps hybrid) cloud manufacturing networks.

Lead Supervisor: Prof D Schaefer; Co-Supervisor: Dr Jelena Milisavljevic-Syed

Da Wang

Exploring the use of computational methods to support design

My research project explores effective and reliable computational methods to improve the creativity of designers and boost idea generation in the design process. The investigation of cognitive psychology is involved in the initial stage of research. The project also explores what types of computational technologies to use and how to apply them to support design.

Lead Supervisor: Dr Ji Han; Co-Supervisor: Prof Dirk Schaefer

Chijioke "Christian" Obieke

Exploring the value of Computational Technologies to assist designers in Creative Idea Generation

Design depends heavily on creativity or generation of alternative ideas. However, coming up with a creative idea is a challenging task. The primary focus of my research is Computer Aided Creativity, this will involve using big data and computational technologies. The aim is to support designers in generating creative ideas during the design process in product development.

Lead Supervisor: Dr Ji Han; Co-supervisor: Dr Jelena Milisavljevic-Syed

Jiaqi Li

Artificial intelligence and design

To date Deep learning methods have been applied to randomly generate images, such as in fashion, furniture design. Automatically generating a design with preferences has been an on-going challenge in the design domain. And Many deep learning methods have been proposed to generate designs. However, these AI image generation methods do not consider human aspects, and the randomly generated results have no human cognition input. Consideration of human aspects in the design process is vital in design. A person’s preference for a design can be intuitive, and sometimes an individual may not precisely know what their real preferences are. My intent is to add human cognition into a deep learning based design process to generate design images which account for a person’s preference.

Lead Supervisor: Dr Ji Han; Co-supervisor: Prof Dirk Schaefer

Tianjo Ma

Tianjiao Ma

Stimulating Informed New Vehicle Decisions: A Study to Set Conditions for Adoption of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles in the UKDelivering new emission data (WLTP) to extend influence and accelerate understanding of the UK government, consumers, automotive markets, across automotive sectors.

Lead Supervisor: Dr Richard Barrett; Co-supervisor: Dr Philip O'Brien

Jifu Zuo

Jifu Zuo

Investigation of Passenger Developments in Response to the Initiation of Clean Air Zones (Ultra Low Emission Zones) and Ultra Low Emission Vehicles: Low Emission Infrastructure and Vehicle Decisions.

This study will explore the currently available data to build a coherent framework for analysing how different groups (planners, developer and users) are able to use the same terms of reference or measurements in order to create intelligent, integrated transport systems that work across multiple forms of transport to improve air quality and make the UK the forefront of developing new Intelligent Mobility products and services. In addition it will be investigated how the improved urban mobility can influence customers’ experience.

Lead Supervisor: Dr Richard Barrett; Co-Supervisor: Prof H Ouyang

Mohammed Al Yami

Mohammed Al Yami

Cloud Computing Impact on IT Governance: Towards Enhancing Public Sector Organization’s Performance

Governments are incessantly looking for new ways to enhance their processes and to provide better services. Cloud computing has revolutionized the way in which technology is used to enhance the performance of organizations and its public sector service applications. The main goal of this research is to propose a framework that can help policy makers in public organizations to determine the fitness and viability of their cloud computing infrastructures and to improve their IT governance to effectively enhance their performance.    

Lead Supervisor: Prof D Schaefer; Co-Supervisor: Dr Ji Han

Luka Kille-Speckter

A Taxonomy for Psychosocial Design Exclusion

My primary research goal is to create a taxonomy of design exclusion that captures and documents not only physical, but also psychosocial experiences of design exclusion. By doing so I envision to encourage a mentality shift towards a less deficit-based and disability-centric but rather experience based approach to inclusion. Hence covering four key disciplines of product design, digital design, design of built environment, and social design.

Lead Supervisor: Dr F Nickpour; Co-Supervisor: Dr Rhiannon Corcoran

Isobel Leason 

Isobel Leason

Inclusive Design for Future Oral Health Scenarios; a lifespan design approach

This project explores how an inclusive design approach might be applied to structure and improve extreme and mainstream oral health pathways. This involves identifying and converging both physical and psychosocial barriers to access and quality of care, through investigating neurodiversity and lifestyle exclusions, alongside physical disability and age-related decline. The primary output will be an Inclusive Oral Health Classification System which will capture diverse and high-risk patients’ capabilities and demands, and accordingly indicate the level of support and services required.

Lead Supervisor: Dr F Nickpour; Co-Supervisor: Dr Nicholas Longridge

Andrew Tibbles

Andrew Tibbles

Towards ‘Hospices Without Walls’; How Could Human Centred Design and Robotics facilitate ‘Enhanced Independence’ and ‘Alternative Access’ in Future Palliative Care Scenarios?

Within the next 20 years a larger section of society will require palliative and end-of-life care needs. This study aims to show how design driven innovation could play a key role, preparing for enhanced and alternative health and care solutions towards the end-of-life with a transdisciplinary and more ‘human’ approach rather than simply ‘medical’. This project is funded by the University of Liverpool through the doctoral network AI for Future Digital Health.

 Lead Supervisor: Dr F Nickpour; Co-supervisors: Dr Paolo Paoletti, Dr Sebastiano Fichera


Abdulrahman Alqoud

Decision-based framework for retrofitting SMEs legacy systems

in the context of Industry 4.0

My primary research goal is to design and develop a decision-based framework (DBF) that facilitate Small-and-Medium-sized-Enterprises (SMEs) to support the decision to retrofit their legacy systems. The DBF can help SMEs comprehend the requirements for retrofitting and identifying satisfactory Industrial 4.0 solutions (cost or/and quality or/and time) to address their legacy equipment situation.

Lead Supervisor: Dr J Milisavljevic-Syed; Co-Supervisor: Prof D Schaefer


Hanbing Xia

Optimization of Automotive Reverse Supply Chain based on AI Techniques

The aim of this research is on improve managing of automotive reverse supply chain (RSC) in the context of sustainable development by applying AI techniques in facilitating efficient logistics and information flow of automotive RSC under uncertainty. The main hypothesis is that the prediction model for reverse logistics network and information system could support decision-making and recycling management for automotive industry and provide a reference for automotive remanufacturing businesses.

Lead Supervisor: Dr J Milisavljevic-Syed; Co-Supervisor: Dr Ji Han


Shehu Mohammed Sani

Developing a Digital Twin Framework for Improving Resilience in Military Supply Chain (MSC) of Defense Industries

Supply chain (SC) resilience has become a major area of interest in modern supply chain management due to the frequent natural disasters around the world. MSC are not left out as they often face similar disruptions, such as natural disasters, enemy strikes, or unexpected accidents. However, the performance and resilience of MSCs against disruptions is an important consideration for effective logistics decision making and plays a crucial role in warfare for the best chances for survival and victory. The aim of this research is on employing a model-based and data driven approach to develop a Digital Twin (DT) framework for improving the resilience of Military Supply Chain (MSC).

Lead Supervisor: Dr J Milisavljevic-Syed; Co-Supervisor: Prof D Schaefer 


Jiahong Li

Investigation on Predictive Maintenance (PdM) Implementation Return on Investment

In Industry 4.0, predictive maintenance (PdM) in manufacturing is considered as one of the top priorities. However, PdM requires significant investment on technique, infrastructure, training and consulting. Costs and benefits of PdM implementations are often not explicitly defined and evaluated in practice. The uncertainty of these costs and benefits depends on the type and innovativeness of the applied technique while in practice the different techniques are often considered as being similar. Therefore, it is hard for industries to make decision on introducing PdM if its cost-efficiency cannot be justified, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. There is a need for a computational framework for designing PdM as a service.

Mohammed Daniyaal Khan

Platform for Framing the UK SME Digital Servitization Journey

This research will focus on using maturity model techniques and statistical regression analysis to develop a framework for the UK SME’s looking to transition into a digital servitization business model. It will bridge the gap between digital technologies and servitization which currently has limited research in relation to transition modelling and performance modelling.

Lead Supervisor: Dr J Milisavljevic-Syed; Co-Supervisor: Prof D Schaefer

Current PhD Students - Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Fangzhou Dong 

Fangzhou Dong (at XJTLU)

Suzhou's Tiger Hill Wedding Street: Modernity, Material Culture, and Bridal Fashion

This research project explores Chinese marriage customs in the history and at present through investigation of wedding-related material culture.  Tiger Hill Wedding Dress Street in Suzhou is one of the developed wedding markets in China, attracting national customers to prepare for their wedding.  Through exploration of material culture, bridal fashion and technologies in the context of modern society, the future of Chinese wedding ritual will be created and discussed.

Lead Supervisor:  Dr Sara Sterling (XJTLU), Co-Supervisors: Dr Derrick Tate (XJTLU), Prof. Dirk Schaefer

Mutian Niu (at XJTLU)

An Investigation into the Mental Models of Users for Designing Interfaces in Virtual Reality Environments

This project investigates the potential information of visualization to better support user interaction on VR-based CAD activities based on user mental model. The project mainly focuses on the material perception between VR and traditional 2D display method. It is expected that the findings could help establish a framework for developing a more effective and user-friendly interface for VR applications.

Lead Supervisor: Dr. Cheng-Hung Lo (XJTLU), Co-Supervisors: Dr. Richard Barrett, Prof. Yong Yue (XJTLU), Dr. Bingjian Liu (XJTLU)

Mengqi Jiang (at XJTLU)

Emotional Design of Interactive Smart Textiles

This research focus on the smart textiles design for chronic disease from the perspective of emotion. Smart textiles, with its own advantages of textile properties and integration of technology, make itself an ideal carrier of chronic disease products. For chronic disease patients, long-term negative emotions caused by illness further erode their physical health, the emotional design of smart textiles will help the patients with emotion management in their daily life. The research will explore how could emotion be expressed, received and interacted on smart textiles.

Lead Supervisor: Dr Martijn ten Bhömer (XJTLU), Co-Supervisors: Dr Benjamin Salem, Dr Hai-Ning Liang (XJTLU), Dr. Cheng-Hung Lo (XJTLU).


Xiang Wang (at XJTLU)

Papercrete Studies of the Mix Design and Substantiality for Construction

This project aims to investigate a way to facilitate the use of papercrete, which is made of recycled short-fibre cellulose, Portland cement, water and proper admixture and try to establish the systematic production processes of papercrete. At the first stage, according to the results of the material properties tests such as mechanical properties, characteristics of individual units is investigated and optimal mix design can be found. Secondly, basing on as the data of experiment and ASTM standards, a relatively comprehensive testing standards of the papercrete can be established. By analysing the properties of papercrete, such as environmental benefits or commercial potential, demonstrate the feasibility of papercrete in practice.

Lead Supervisor: Dr Derrick Tate (XJTLU), Co-Supervisors: Prof. Chee Chin (XJTLU), Dr. Steve Jones

Past PhD Students