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Associate Professor Abdullah Al Mahmud

Deputy Department Chair: Architectural and Industrial Design
PhD, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands; Professional Doctorate in Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands; Master of Science (MSc), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden


Associate Professor Abdullah Al Mahmud is a design researcher and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) specialist working at the intersection of design and health. He is proficient in co-designing, developing and assessing products, systems and services with end-users. His research interests include co-design, child-computer interaction, assistive technology, digital health, persuasive technology, and designing with and for marginalised communities living in low-resource regions. 

He completed several industry-funded projects on co-design (loneliness intervention app and sleep hygiene app), assistive technology design (for people with low vision or blindness, children with autism, older adults, and people with aphasia), and technology assessment (e.g., improving service delivery for vulnerable mothers). He is currently working with researchers from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre on a Digital Health CRC-funded project ($600000) titled GENIE: A virtual clinical platform empowering equitable access to optimal care for individuals with genetic disorders.

He has published widely in top-tier Human-Computer Interaction/Design Journals (International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, Interacting with Computers, International Journal of Social Robotics, Universal Access in Information Society, ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing, Journal of Design Research, The Design Journal, Entertainment Computing) and Core ranked HCI conferences (CHI, Interact, TEI, OzCHI, IDC). He has authored/co-authored 55 journal papers, 5 book chapters, and over 75 Core-ranked conference papers.

He is an editorial board member of the 'Advanced Design Research' journal ( published by Elsevier. He served as an ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC)2021 Doctoral Consortium Chair. He was also one of the Technical Program Chairs of OzCHI '21: 33rd Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (OzCHI 2021).

He supervised 8 HDR students to completion and currently supervises 7 PhD students. He also provides hands-on training to PhD students on literature review and qualitative data analysis using NVivo.

At Swinburne, he taught several units in industrial design and developed and convened multiple subjects, including a large cross-disciplinary elective and third-year design research subject. He has devoted his time to enhancing design education by focusing on the employability attributes of Industrial Design students. He successfully received the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) grant in 2015 to enhance awareness of employability attributes among Industrial Design students. Based on this work, he published a Springer book chapter in 2018. He has also published one journal paper and two conference papers (including one best paper award) related to his teaching. He received an FHAD teaching sabbatical grant in 2018 based on outstanding teaching performance and scholarship. In addition, he has been serving as a guest professor at Beijing Normal University since 2016, teaching master's students specialising in user-experience (UX) design. 

He obtained an average rating of 9.0 or above for overall teaching satisfaction in 2019 and 2022 and was commended by Swinburne University for his outstanding teaching.

A/Professor Al Mahmud has been serving as a deputy department chair of the Department of Architectural and Industrial Design since 2023. He has engaged in several leadership activities for the School of Design and Architecture (SoDA), including the Swinburne Research Academic Committee member (2023-till date), Deputy Academic Director: Research Training, SoDA (2020-2021), Research Director, Department of Architectural and Industrial Design (2019-2020), first-year coordinator of Industrial Design (2015-2016), membership of the School of Design Academic Committee (SAC) (2015-2016), and graduate exhibition organiser (2015) of Interior Architecture and Industrial Design. He led the establishment of an articulation agreement for a ‘one plus one’ master’s degree and an agreement for an offshore PhD from Beijing Normal University, China. He received the 2016 Swinburne visiting researcher scheme grant to connect Swinburne design research with Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands.

Talks for higher degree research (HDR) students:
-Conducting systematic and scoping reviews
-Essential software for conducting literature reviews
-Qualitative data analysis: thematic and content analysis 
-NVivo and qualitative data analysis 
-Essential statistics for PhD students
-Research methods made easy: Tackling your PhD research
-Publishing during your PhD: from a conference abstract to a high-quality journal paper
-Peer reviewing tips for HDR students and early career researchers
-Critical reading and writing for HDR students 
-Developing an effective research proposal
-Theory and theorising in research

See recent publications:
Google Scholar:

*** I am accepting PhD students. Don't hesitate to contact me ( if you want to pursue a PhD under my supervision.***

** PhD Scholarship: Candidates (Information Technology/Health Informatics/Industrial or Product Design/Human-Computer Interaction/Ergonomics) having first-class
honours (80% or more marks in undergraduate) degrees would be eligible for a full or tuition fee scholarship.** 

Current PhD supervision/co-supervision:

  1. Napawadee Kateratanamalee (Thai Government Scholarship recipient): Design thinking, obesity, and children
  2. Di Zhu: Co-Designing Technology-Based Interventions to Improve Social Connections and Participation for People with Mild Cognitive Impairment.
  3. Harry Robertson (Swinburne University Postgraduate Research Award SUPRA recipient): Plastic Packaging Waste Exploration Through Participatory Design.
  4. Yansen Theopilus (Indonesian Education Scholarship recipient): Persuasive Technology Innovation to Solve Children’s Digital Addiction in Developing Countries
  5. Tauqeer Faiz: Virtual Reality in Disaster Management.
  6. Mudassar Arsalan:  Exploring Research Impact in the Age of Knowledge Discovery and Artificial Intelligence.
  7. Zhao Zou: Socially assistive robots for cognitive training for people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia living in residential aged care facilities.

 Completed HDR supervision/co-supervision:

  1. Thanh Tuan To (2024): 3D Printing Integration in Engineering Education: A Developing Country Perspectives (Under examination).
  2. Dr Carmen Chai (PhD, 2022): Serious Games for Increasing Motivation of Children with Cancer to Fight Cancer.
  3. Dr Philemon Yalamu (PhD, 2022): Cultural integration in Designing Learning Management Systems for Higher Education.
  4. Dr Jennifer Stargatt (PhD, 2022): “You haven’t always been just a little old lady”: Evaluating a digital storytelling program in residential aged care facilities.
  5. Dr Tharushi Indeewari Wickramarathne (PhD, 2021): Designing Affordable Cooling Sportswear for Tropical and Developing Countries.
  6. Dr Edirimuni Amani Indunil Soysa (PhD, 2020): POMA: An Affordable Tangible User Interface for Children with ASD in Low-Resource Countries. [School of Design Best PhD Thesis Award 2020].
  7. Dr Aylwin Chai (PhD, 2020): Frontal Ground Plane Checking with Single LiDAR Range Finder-based Wearable Model.
  8. Dr Dylan Davis (PhD, 2018): What happens when the Design Process meets Community Engagement?
  9. Khairul Azim Bin Zaaba (MSc, 2018): Real-Time Canny-Edge Based Obstacle Detection Model for Mobile Devices with Monocular Camera. 

Research interests

Human Computer Interactions; Gamification and serious games; Behaviour change and persuasive technology; Mobile App Design; Co-Design; Digital Health; Child-Computer Interaction; User Experience (UX); ICT4D; mHealth and eHealth; Living Lab; ICT in Education; Virtual Reality; Augmented Reality; Exergames; Digital Mental Health

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Co-design with children with ASD: This aim of this project is to explore the challenges of co-designing with children with ASD in low-resource regions. 

Developing innovative digital interventions for social connectedness : This project aims to investigate how to develop innovative digital interventions for social connectedness.

Mental health and mobile apps: Exploring the role of mobile apps on the mental health of adolescents and older adults.

Novel interaction in delivering curriculum to children with ASD in therapy settings: This project will explore the potential of tangible interactions in delivering curriculum for children with ASD.

Role of AAC and children with ASD in low-resource countries: This project will explore the role of AAC in low resource countries and develop low-cost AACs for children with ASD.

Technology in aged care and wellbeing of patients and carers: This project investigates the roles of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on the wellbeing of patients and carers.


Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

Designing in low-resource regions: Opportunities and challenges in designing in low-resource regions

Fields of Research

  • Human-computer Interaction - 460806
  • Industrial And Product Design - 330309
  • Interaction And Experience Design - 330310

Teaching areas

Applied Design Research, Design and Emotion, Introductory Design Studio, Methods of Investigation, User-Centered Design;User Experience Design and Health


  • 2021, Swinburne, Excellence in Research Award, School of Design and Architecture, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2020, Swinburne, School of Design Best PhD Thesis Award (for Amani Soysa) , Swiburne University of Technology
  • 2018, Swinburne, FHAD Teaching Sabbatical, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2017, Swinburne, Dean's award: Outstanding Researcher, School of Design, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2017, International, Adjunct Associate Professor, Beijing Normal University
  • 2016, International, Best paper award, International Conference on Educational Technologies


Also published as: Al Mahmud, Abdullah; Al Mahmud, A.; Mahmud, A.; Mahmud, A. A.; Mahmud, Abdullah; Mahmud, Abdullah Al
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2022: Development of Digital Health Literacy Quality Improvement Tool *; Mental Health Commission of NSW
  • 2022: “GENIE”: A virtual clinical platform empowering equitable access to optimal care for individuals living with genetic disorders *; Digital Health CRC
  • 2020: Smart Furniture Design and Manufacturing *; Malaysia Automotive Institute - International Grant
  • 2019: Hitting the Hay: Developing a sleep hygiene app for rural horse racing industry employees *; Racing Victoria
  • 2019: Product Development for a Compact Health Station - ICG001103 *; Innovation Connections
  • 2019: SAMIE - Secure Administered Medication Inventory Ecosystem *; NeoProducts Pty Ltd Fund Scheme
  • 2019: Wearable sensors to support autonomous transactive experiences for people with dementia *; Evidence Based Design
  • 2018: Doing better for vulnerable young parents and their children: an exploration of how the use of technology could catalyse system transformation *; FamilyLife_FL
  • 2017: A digital prototype addressing loneliness in older adults *; Swinburne Research, DVCR&D - Internal contributions
  • 2016: 2016 Visiting Fellowships Scheme - Jean-Bernard Martens *; Visiting Fellowships Scheme
  • 2016: Can mobile apps be used to improve cognitive stimulation for people with dementia: A systematic review *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2016: Optimising technology to measure functional vision, mobility and service outcomes for people with low vision or blindness  *; Melbourne-Sarawak Collaborative Research Development Scheme
  • 2015: Creating a decision support tool to understand the competencies and employability attributes of industrial designers *; ACUADS Grants
  • 2014: MODE: MObility support for people with DEmentia *; CAESIE Priming Grants

* Chief Investigator

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