PhD openings in the Exertion Games Lab at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

We, the Exertion Games Lab ( at RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, in Melbourne, Australia, are seeking exceptional PhD candidates to research the
future of human-computer interaction (HCI) in terms of digital play, we call it player-computer interaction.

The Exertion Games Lab offers candidates an
interdisciplinary design studio environment, with an excellent track record in publishing at high-quality venues such as CHI (see our publication page). The candidates will learn a variety of skills, be extremely creative as well as technical. Prior research experience (with publications) is desirable and so are hardware prototyping abilities (Arduino, etc.) and programming skills. We are looking at potential for creativity, excellence and drive.

We are interested in the following PhD topics:

* Digital Water Play: The candidate will prototype digital water
play systems and examine users’ interactions to derive an understanding of digital technology’s opportunities to facilitate novel bodily water play interactions across areas such as surfing, SCUBA diving and pools. An interest and experience with water activities, interactive technology, hardware prototyping and aquatic culture is required. This project will be undertaken with Dr. Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller & Dr. Sarah Jane Pell (

* Flying robotic play companions: The candidate will prototype interactive sports systems with flying robotic companions and study their use in order to understand what designers can learn from designing interactive systems with quadcopters to support physical exertion. These projects will utilize the lab’s Qualisys motion capture system, the Xsens capture suit and crazyflie mini quadcopters. A passion for robotics including hard- and software design for quadcopters and motion capture is desirable.

* Extreme sports: The candidate will prototype extreme sports systems and study their use in order to understand what designers can learn from extreme sports activities when it comes to designing interactive systems. An interest and experience with extreme sports, and hardware prototyping is desirable.

Entry requirements:
You will need to have a three-year Bachelor and a Master’s degree. Typical backgrounds are human-computer interaction, game design, interaction design,computer science, industrial design, electrical engineering, human movement, sports science, performing and media arts but we are curious to hear what you can contribute. All nationalities are encouraged to apply. The PhDs in the Exertion Games Lab take 3 years. All applicants will need to apply for and be accepted to the PhD program in Media and Communication at RMIT University, see All positions are supervised by Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller (Digital Water Play together with Sarah Jane Pell) and will conclude with a thesis. Scholarships are available according to the Australian Postgraduate Award rate of approx. AUD 25,000 per year and the

Exertion Games Lab also provides all students with a Macbook Air with 2×27” displays. The Exertion Games Lab also hosts weekly presentation, writing and reading group activities to support the candidate. We are also offering space to research and design in an open plan lab environment in the Design Hub, Australia’s newest interdisciplinary design research centre at RMIT University.

Deadline 1 May 2015.

First, applicants will apply with an expression of interest to the email below. The candidate will then need to apply to the RMIT University admissions office also by 1 May 2015. This two-step process ensures that we are able to endorse your application.

The Exertion Games Lab is a new lab that researches the future of gaming and play in order to understand how to design better interactive experiences. Our research is focused on the merging of play, technology and the active human body, drawing from research streams such as interaction design, human-computer interaction and computer games research.

The culture in the Exertion Games Lab is one of interdisciplinary work. At the Exertion Games Lab, we do not just philosophize and write about the future, we actively invent it. We emphasize the development of working prototypes in order to fully understand what play is, why we play, and how we will play in the future. We do this because we believe playing and gaming is a fundamental part of what makes us humans who we are, and an understanding of this brings us closer to our vision of a better world filled with interactive technologies that support human values.

Please submit your application (CV, research interest corresponding to topics above (best in the form of a paper incl. references), transcript of latest academic results and portfolio URL) by email to Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller (exertiongameslab at with subject line “APPLICATION”.

We are also at CHI’15 in Seoul if you want to talk to us.

The Exertion Games Lab

* We should also mention that you will be doing your PhD right in the heart of the world’s most livable city, Melbourne:


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