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Katarzyna Stawarz

Dr Katarzyna Stawarz


School of Computer Science and Informatics

+44 29225 10037
Abacws, Room 2.59, Senghennydd Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4AG


I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). I am part of the Human-Centred Computing research group and Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Human-Machine Systems. My teaching is linked to National Software Academy (NSA).

My research interests and expertise are in the use of ubiquitous technologies to support health and wellbeing. I am interested in how mobile devices, distributed systems, and smart materials could be used to support healthy habits by leveraging people’s environment and routines, and how technology could be used to support martial arts training and contact sports that require full body movement. In a broader sense, I'm interested in ethical design, the "dark side" of digital health and unintended consequences, and building inclusive digital health technologies.

Before moving to academia, I worked as a freelance UX Designer and Business Intelligence Analyst at a large media company. I also co-founded Knry, an innovation startup that worked together with firefighters to develop an interactive wearable safety system.















Research interests

My research interests include human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing and designing interactive systems to support health and wellbeing. My work is grounded in psychology research, including theories of behaviour change and habit formation, and how these theories can be applied in practice using emerging technologies (mobile devices, wearable devices, IoT etc.). I specialise in using qualitative research methods, including interviews, co-design workshops and role-play sessions.

Behaviour change and healthy habits
I am interested in how mobile devices, distributed systems, and smart materials could be used to support healthy habits by leveraging people’s environment and routines. This includes encouraging people to move and exercise more, taking longer screen breaks, etc.

Digital health
I am interested in exploring how emerging technologies could be used to support prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, as well as self-management. My prior work includes projects related to depression, diabetes and medication adherence.

Sport and exercise
I am interested in how how technology could be used to support martial arts training and other physical activities as well as contact sports that require full body movement, mainly in the context of self-directed training.

Ethical design
I am also interested in ethical design, the "dark side" of digital health (mainly behaviour change and self-tracking technologies) and unintended consequences of using emerging technologies. This is also related to inclusive design, accessibility and human factors.

Selection of current and past projects

  • GamEngage (PI: Feng Mao) – Co-developing opportunities of serious games in stakeholder engagement for climate change adaptation in the new normal. The project is a collaboration between researchers from the School of Earth Sciences and Computer Science & Informatics at University of Cardiff.
  • Wearables for rehabilitation (PI; £26,129 awarded by GCRF via Cardiff University) – developing affordable wearables for upper limb function rehabilitation in Bangladesh. The project is a collaboration with researchers from North South Univeristy in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • GAMO Exercise Snacking (PI; funded by EPSRC via GetAMoveOn Network+) – exploring how everyday objects (such as cushions or mats) embedded with sensors could support and encourage short bursts of exercise at home amongst pre-frail older adults. The project is a collaboration with researchers from University of Bath, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen and Ulster University.
  • GAMO EMA (PI: Dr Cindy Forbes, University of Hull) – using Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMAs) to understand the impact of wearable technology on physical activity initiation and habit formation among people living beyond cancer. The project is a collaboration with researchers from University of Hull, University of Bath and Northumbria University.
  • PunchLearn (PI; University of Bristol funding for summer interns) – a short collaborative project with Dr Asier Marzo (Universidad Pública de Navarra Pamplona, Spain) and Juan Quintero Ovalle (summer intern) on testing the feasibility of punch recognition using inertial sensors and a microphone.
  • ML4Diabetes (PI: Dr Aisling O’Kane, University of Bristol) – exploring how co-design could be used to develop machine learning algorithms for supporting Type 1 diabetes decision-making.
  • INTERACT (PI: Prof Nicola Wiles and Dr David Kessler, University of Bristol) – the development and evolution for an online platform for developing an integrated treatment for depression that involves face-to-face and remote contact with the therapist, as well as interactive worksheets and other resources the patients can access in their own time between therapy sessions.
  • Medications and older adults (PI: Dr Marcela Rodríguez, Universidad Autónoma Baja California, Mexico) – exploring the strategies and cues older adults use to remember their medications and reasons for their forgetfulness.


Education and Qualifications

  • 2017: PhD, Human-Computer Interaction, University College London, UK.
  • 2012: MSc, Human-Computer Interaction with Ergonomics, UCL, UK.
  • 2009: BSc, Computer Science, AHE, Łódź, Poland

Research and Industry Experience

  • 2020-present: Honorary Lecturer, University of Bristol
  • 2019-2020: Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol. Leading the co-design of interactive machine learning interfaces for diabetes self-management.
  • 2016-2019: Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol. Part of the INTERACT project. Leading user research, design, and testing of an integrated platform for delivering CBT for depression.
  • Jan-Mar’15: Visiting Researcher, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexicali, Mexico.
  • Apr-Sep’13: UX Designer/Human Factors Specialist, Knry, London
  • 2006-2012: Business Intelligence Analyst, Haymarket Media, London

Honours and awards

  • Honorable Mention to our paper on co-designing ML solutions for Type 1 diabetes, awarded to top 5% of best papers submitted to CSCW (2021)
  • Honorable Mention for our paper on developing mental health intervetions, awarded to top 5% best papers submitted to the CHI conference (2020)
  • Exceptional Reivewer award, CHIPlay conference (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Nominated for the UCL Student Choice Teaching Awards (2015)
  • Ulf Aberg Award for the best postgraduate student project in Ergonomics and Human Factors, Chartered Institute of Human Factors and Ergonomics (2013)
  • Joint first prize for the best research project, Orange HCI-E MSc Project Prize 2011/12 (2012)
  • Semi-finalist, CHI 2012 Student Design Competition: “Silka: A Domestic Technology to Mediate the Threshold between Connection and Solitude” (2012)
  • Finalist, Institute of Human Factors and Ergonomics, Student Conference 2011: Mobile App Competition (2011)

Professional memberships

  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI)
  • Chartered Institute of Human Factors and Ergonomics (CIHFE)

Committees and reviewing

Organisation of Scientific Meetings

  • 2019/2020: Data Chair, CHI 2020 conference; managing the submission process; handled 4000+ submissions; Honolulu, USA [conference cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic]
  • 2018/2019: Assistant to Technical Programme Chairs, CHI 2019 conference; duties included organising the conference program and scheduling 724 papers into 23 parallel session tracks; about 3000 attendees; Glasgow, UK
  • 2011 - 2013: Co-organiser of UXCampLondon, an “unconference” for UX Designers

Reviewing Activities

  • Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College (since 2022)
  • Associate Editor, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (2021)
  • Grant Reviewer, Medical Research Council (2019)
  • Associate Chair for DIS 2019, 2021 conference
  • Associate Chair for CHI 2017 Late-Breaking Work track
  • Since 2014: Paper reviews for journals (e.g. Journal of Internet Medical Research, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, BMC Psychology
  • Since 2013: Paper reviews for conference proceedings (e.g. CHI, Interact, CHI Play, DIS, Pervasive Health, Mobile HCI, IMWUT, Digital Health)


Current students:

As lead supervisor:

As co-supervisor:

  • Deysi Ortega Roman – researching how we can enhance complementary feeding practices through Digital Health Technologies in Peru (lead supervisor: Dr Nervo Verdezoto Dias)
  • Jiang Liu – researching the use of computer vision and movement recognition to support rehabilitation (lead supervisor: Dr Hantao Liu)
  • Teshan Bunwaree – researching the future of work and potential privacy and suveiallance implications (lead supervisor: Dr Sandy Gould)
  • Chloe Apsey – exploring the opportunities for an IT platform for tracking of mood variation associated with the menstrual cycle to support the PMDD diagnosis (lead supervisor: Professor Arianna Di Florio)

Supervision opportunities:

Overall, I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Technology for behaivour change and healthy habits
  • Digital health
  • Technology for sport and exercise
  • Ethical design

Please see my Research section for more details.

Current supervision

Deysi Ortega Roman

Deysi Ortega Roman

Research student

Sunbul Ahmad

Sunbul Ahmad

Teaching Associate

Teshan Bunwaree

Teshan Bunwaree

Research student

Jiang Liu

Jiang Liu

Research student