Ph.D. in The Sound of Smart Things

Eindhoven University of Technology
February 25, 2024
Offerd Salary:€2,770
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Ph.D. in The Sound of Smart Things

We seek an excellent and motivated candidate for a Ph.D. position situated at the intersection of Tangible and Embodied Interaction and Sound Design.



Irène Curie Fellowship



Industrial Design



Date off


Reference number


Job description

Since their introduction, Tangible and Embodied Interaction have been positioned as alternatives to traditional human-computer interfaces. Now, two decades onwards, technological advancements have led to what is commonly called “The Internet of Things” (IoT), a world in which essentially any artefact in our physical environment can be an entry point into (or exit point from) our digital environment. This shift to networked physical-digital hybrids has created new grounds for leveraging the strengths of Tangible and Embodied interaction. After all, we typically interact in a holistic, multisensory way with our everyday socio-technical, even post-human, ecologies. However, in this, a sensory channel that is underexposed (and under-used) is the auditory channel.

The aim of this research is two-fold. Firstly, it is aimed at investigating how the strengths of Tangible and Embodied Interaction can be capitalized on in a world of systems of interactive, and even smart, things. Second, this research aims to reexamine and redefine the role that sound and sound design play in interactions with systems of physical-digital hybrids. The overarching approach toward the research is that we take an ecological perspective, not regarding interaction in isolation but rather as something that is holistic, changeable, and unstable.

Through series of research-though-design activities you contribute knowledge, methodology, as well as experienceable exemplars of ecologies of tangible interfaces that benefit from the use of sound. These serve to provide new starting points for the field of (interaction) design so that it can give shape to the interactions with our future smart environments beyond traditional Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). The results from this research could feed into a variety of domains including, smart home interaction, future work situations, data sonification, self-care for the elderly, and more.

You are expected to continuously publish your findings in leading international conferences and journals in human-computer interaction throughout the four-year research period.

Job requirements

Candidates should hold a Bachelor's and Master's degree in an area relating to Industrial Design, Sound Design, Human-Computer Interaction, or a closely related topic. Any candidate should demonstrate skill in the combination of physical and auditory prototyping, and a strong affinity with research- through-design. All candidates should be proficient in both written and spoken English. Additionally, they should be proactive in collaborating with other Ph.D. students, colleagues, and supervisors from various backgrounds regarding research and education.

Excellence in creativity, autonomy, and dedication are expected personal qualities. A genuine interest in research, familiarity with design thinking, experience in academic writing and publishing scientific research, and experience in collaborative research projects will weigh positively.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self- aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.
  • Information and application

    About us

    Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands- on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. Curious to hear more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


    Candidates will find general information about TU/e and the Industrial Design Department on https: // www.

    Specific questions about the project can be addressed to Dr. Ir. Bart Hengeveld (email

    Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. If you have questions about the application procedure, please contact HR Services Industrial Design, tel. +31(0)40 247 5336, email:

    Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


    We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation for the Ph.D. study and specific interests in this project.
  • An extensive curriculum vitae.
  • Academic transcripts, and any other supporting documents (e.g. publications, awards).
  • Applications sent by e-mail will not be accepted.

    We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

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