About Me

Prof. dr. Raf Ramakers
Hasselt University
Expertise Centre for Digital Media (Office 0.04)
Wetenschapspark 2
3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium

(We have an open PhD position in our research group contact me if you are interested: vacancy)

I am an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at Hasselt University and affiliated with the research institute Expertise Centre for Digital Media. I do research and teach in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). My research focuses on novel software and hardware tools to facilitate making ubiquitous computing devices. This includes tools to author sensor-based systems for physical computing and new approaches for designing and building form factors using fabrication machinery.

I received my PhD in Computer Science in 2016 from Hasselt University, working with Kris Luyten and Johannes Schoning. My PhD thesis, entitled “End-User control over Physical User-Interfaces: From Digital Fabrication to Real-Time Adaptability” was awarded with both the FWO – IBM Innovation Award and the FWO – Nokia Bell Scientific Prize. These awards are given annually to the best Belgian PhD dissertation in respectively Computer Science and Information and Communication Technology.

My PhD work contributed novel end-to-end systems that enabled non-experts to build new (PaperPulse) and adapt existing (RetroFab) physical interfaces using digital fabrication machinery. I also investigate technologies that allow for customizing physical interfaces in real-time using transformable and programmable materials. This track of research resulted in technologies like the Paddle Phone. My research was published and received awards at the premier venues in HCI: ACM CHI and ACM UIST, and resulted in 3 patent applications. During my studies, I did internships at User Interface Group at Autodesk Research (with Tovi Grossman and George Fitzmaurice) and the HCI group at the Hasso-Plattner Institute (with Patrick Baudisch).

If you are interested in similar research topics or want to work with me, feel free to contact me: raf.ramakers@uhasselt.be