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Associate Professor Abdullah Al Mahmud

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


Dr Abdullah Al Mahmud is a design researcher and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) specialist, who works at the intersection of design and health. He is proficient in developing and assessing technology 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, people with aphasia), and technology assessment (e.g., improving service delivery for vulnerable mothers). 

He has published widely in the 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 30 journal papers, 4 book chapters, and over 70 Core-ranked conference papers.

He completed 5 HDR supervision successfully, and currently, he is supervising 9 PhD students (8 at Swinburne and one external) who are working on a range of topics such as tangible toys for children with autism, smart garment design for athletes, technology support to improve nurses' workflow at Australian aged care facilities, design innovation in SMEs. He also provides hands-on training to PhD students on literature review and qualitative data analysis using NVivo.

Completed supervision: 

  1. 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]
  2. Dr Aylwin Chai (PhD, 2020). Frontal Ground Plane Checking with Single LiDAR Range Finder-based Wearable Model.
  3. Dr Dylan Davis (PhD, 2018). What happens when the Design Process meets Community Engagement.
  4. Khairul Azim Bin Zaaba (MSc, 2018). Real-Time Canny-Edge Based Obstacle Detection Model for Mobile Devices with Monocular Camera.
  5. Carmen Chai (MSc, 2018). A game-based spatial navigation learning tool for children with visual impairment.
Current PhD supervision/co-supervision:
1. Carmen Chai: Serious Games for Increasing Motivation of Children with Cancer to Fight Cancer.
2. Jennifer Stargatt: The development of a digitally augmented cognitive-behavioural therapy for older adults living in residential aged care facilities.
3. Di Zhu: Co-Designing with People with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Mild Dementia for Cognitive Rehabilitation
4. Philemon Yalamu: Cultural integration in Designing Learning Management Systems for Higher Education.
5. Thanh Tuan To: Investigating the Use of 3D Printers to Support Prototyping in Product Design Education.
6. Tharushi Indeewari Wickramarathne: Designing Affordable Cooling Sportswear for Tropical and Developing Countries.
7. Harry Robertson: Global design innovation for Health.
8. Mudassar Arsalan: Exploring Research Impact in the Age of Knowledge Discovery and Artificial Intelligence.

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

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.

Framework for assessing mobile apps: In this project, the goal is to analyse existing frameworks to assess mobile apps and develop comprehensive guidelines for mobile app assessment. 

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


  • 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. A.; 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

  • 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 *; Innovation Connections
  • 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 *; Relationships Australia (Victoria)
  • 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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