Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Kirsten Cater is a Professor in Computer Science at the University of Bristol specialising in Human Computer Interaction. Her main interests focus on designing elegant solutions for enhancing people's experiences and interactions with their physical environment and each other in urban and public spaces through the use of mobile and sensor technologies. The areas that her research currently touches include: location based experiences; gamification; virtual reality; data collection through crowdsourcing; novel interactions with big data; and tangible user interfaces for the elderly. Her emerging research profile complements and strengthens the activities of the Bristol Interaction research Group (BIG). Her research and public engagement work in primary and secondary schools, as well as community centres, have been very popular with the media getting press coverage in both local and national newspapers, as well as a BBC TV news-item and a documentary for South Korea.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Projects

  • The Bristol Interaction Group
  • Pervasive Media Studio, A Centre of excellence in the DBERR's 2008 report "Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy" - 2008
    I am one of the three Co-Directors of the Pervasive Media Studio, taking the executive decisions on behalf of the University of Bristol, to create an innovation hub to help encourage and support both research and lifelong learning in pervasive media for academics, those in technology and creative industries and the general public. The Studio is a three way partnership between the University of Bristol, the University of West of England, and the Watershed.
  • Graphics Research


She studied Computer Science as her first degree here at Bristol University graduating in July 2000 with a 2:1. She then studied for a PhD again in Computer Science here at Bristol University with Professor Alan Chalmers as her supervisor, which she completed in June 2004. In her final year of completing her PhD she worked as a postdoc on a pervasive computing project called Mobile Bristol in collaboration with Hewlett Packard. This project focussed on creating and researching location based experiences in both urban and public spaces. 



Prof. Kirsten Cater is the Associate Dean for the Faculty of Engineering responsible for Programmes and Delivery for the new Temple Quarter Campus.

Kirsten was the founder and Director for the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Bristol. This Centre focuses on embedding Innovation and Entrepreneurship teaching throughout the University with the belief that innovators of the 21st century will bring together arts, science, engineering, humanities and enterprise to deliver innovative products, services and ways of living. At the heart of the Centre are Bristol's new Innovation degree courses which allow students to pursue their subject specialism in a way that enables them to apply it through working on real world international challenges in interdisciplinary teams - to become innovators and entrepreneurs who can change the world. 


I have worked, managed and published internationally in a broad range of research areas including human computer interaction, computer graphics, psychology and pervasive computing. My research is concerned with designing elegant solutions for delivering the maximum user experience from devices with limited processing capability by using knowledge of human-computer interaction. My emerging research profile in computer graphics, ubiquitous computing and compelling experience design complements and strengthens the activities of the Interaction and Graphics Research Group. I have undertaken public engagement research in primary and secondary schools, as well as community centres with both young and adult learners. I am a firm believer in the value of user participation to guide the future of technology and technological experiences and use my technical expertise to foresee and design possible future applications in these fields.

  • human computer interaction
  • mobile and ubiquitous computing
  • computer graphics
  • context aware applications
  • pervasive computing

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Cabot Institute City Futures Research


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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