PhD profiles

Amna Saeed Akkas

Topic of PhD project
Digital Servitization in SMEs: Managing Human Resources.

Research background/interests
My research explores the human resource (HR) practices in small and medium-sized manufacturing companies (SMEs) during their transition to digital servitization. SMEs face various challenges during this transition, including a lack of skilled workforce, informal HR practices, and the inapplicability of HR solutions designed for larger companies. As these firms integrate services and digital technologies in their traditional product-based business models, significant changes in organizational structure and processes require them to re-evaluate their HR capabilities.  

By applying the strategy as practice lens, my study will focus on the micro-level practices and daily interactions within these organizations. My aim is to understand how and why HR strategies evolve, are modified, and are implemented in SMEs as they cope with service and technological challenges.  

Theoretical background/interests

  • Practice theory especially strategy as practice  

  • Paradox theory

Methodological background/interests

  • Process oriented approach 

  • Interested in both organizational and individual level of analysis 

  • Case studies (Interviews, participant observation, archival data) 

  • Open to other qualitative methods

Anders Mandal Struve Øeer Jakobsen

Topic of PhD project
Sustainable Customization: Integrating Product Configuration for Efficient Manufacturing.

Research background/interests
The purpose of this PhD research is to originate comprehensive strategies through the implementation of Product Configuration Systems, aimed at establishing a sustainable and efficient framework for customized product manufacturing. The implementation of a sustainable PCS is to manifest as actionable plans and methodologies with clear, practical applications. It serves as tangible roadmaps for OEMs, providing specific steps and guidelines for establishing a sustainable and efficient framework in the scope of customized product manufacturing. The core element of this approach involves creating potential measurable action modules driven by anticipated benefits, which are referred to as module drivers. This supplementary dimension implies that the design and implementation of Product Configuration Systems does not only account for technical functionalities and performance but are also evaluated based on their impact on sustainability criteria.

Theoretical background/interests
The integration of Product Configuration Systems and sustainability has not yet been extensively explored in the existing literature. Despite the continuing fourth industrial revolution and the widespread digital transformation of the business landscape, documentation for Product Configuration Systems is often overlooked once the systems become operational due to the time-intensive nature of the documentation process. The sustainability literature has played a crucial role in shaping and implementing its fundamental principles encompassing environmental, economic, and social sustainability, the explicit linkage between Product Configuration Systems and sustainability remains an area for deep investigation and research. Therefore, the complexities associated with managing technical, business, and sustainable knowledge during the implementation of a Product Configuration Systems lacks systematic business case frameworks for a holistic configuration project, which represents an essential gap in the literature as the challenges encountered in Product Configuration Systems project differ from those encountered in other IT projects.

Methodological background/interests
Preliminary agreements have been established with several OEMs, paving the way for a collaborative effort, facilitated through the use of case studies. This possesses a rational experimental process of developing data collection methodologies, including interviews, surveys, and in-depth documentation analysis. The systematic collection involves the integration of both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the gathered data, enabling the identification of patterns, emergent trends, and notable challenges. This PhD research seeks to establish a sustainable and efficient framework for customized product manufacturing, involving life cycle assessment, waste minimization, market responsiveness, and economic viability.

Anita Priyadarshini Durai Pandian

Topic of PhD project 
Business models for future wireless networks.

Research background/interests
The research work is to identify the best business models for future wireless networks to help novel 6G networking technology. I mainly focus on network cybersecurity with the help of Artificial Intelligence. At first my research involved answering the sustainability goals of the 6G networking. After optimising the energy with AI, now focus is on various cybersecurity issues in the 6G networks and how they could be tackled with the help of AI. This research involves semi- structured ML algorithms which is combination of supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and deep reinforcement learning methodologies.

Theoretical background/interests
This is purely quantitative research based on the various case studies with specific target phenomenon. It’s a combination of both business and technology aspects in the future wireless networks. For several parameters to be improved a combinational case study-based research system is defined and improve each parameter as required would be the outcome of the research work.

Methodological background/interests
My research falls within the computational design science domain, focusing on the development of computational approaches to address business and technological challenges while striving to make methodological contributions. I commonly utilise machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, along with optimisation models and theories, in my research.

Antoine Manès

Digitalization and Sustainability are both fast changing and uncertain environmental dynamics that encourage organizations to constantly reassess their strategies to align to those moving targets. 

Digitalization and sustainability strategies are intertwined in the way they service each other and in the way they both require the development of new processes using new tools to propose, deliver, create and capture new value, challenging both the activity systems and value capture mechanisms of the companies. Yet, some might see two strategic foci as discordant directions and that the pursue of one must be done at the expense of the other. 

The purpose of my research will be to follow the design and development of new digitalization and sustainability business models in a large Scandinavian contractor and observe how they interact with each other while understanding the interplay between the conceptualization and enactment of those new business models. 

The first step of my research will be to capture the business models intention of the organization regarding digitalization and sustainability. What are their conceptualized business models? What is their implementation plan with its set of structures, controls and incentives? How do they frame this implementation? What are their social practices, discourse or rhetoric? 

The second step will be to track the implementation or enactment of these business models intentions and identify how it influence the evolution of the business models conceptualization.  

To identify the relationship between digitalization and sustainable business models, I intend to develop a Sustainability Business Model maturity model in order to assess the sustainability of new digitalization business models to capture the interaction between these two strategic directions. 

The research will be carried out as part of GreenBizz a CTIF Global Capsule project in the department of Business and Technology.

Asim Ul Haq

Topic of PhD project:  
Safe and secure drone design and operations.

Research background/interests
I specialise in wireless communication with an emphasis on physical layer security. My research focuses on drone technology as an enabler of wireless communication services where terrestrial communication infrastructure is either not available or destroyed due to natural disasters. Due to the broadcast nature of wireless communication, the information of legitimate users is vulnerable to security threats. I am trying to secure the legitimate information secure from the eavesdroppers.

Theoretical background/interests
My research is focused on, but not limited to, the following:

  • Investigating and developing wireless communication methods, models, and strategies utilizing drones as a communication gateway.
  • Implementing the proposed models and strategies into a system-level simulation environment to evaluate drone-based wireless communication provision mechanisms for various use cases.
  • Contributing to scientific knowledge and research in the broader area of non-terrestrial network communication provision in various user conditions.

Methodological background/interests
My work includes simulations and mostly depends on information theory, algorithm designs, and optimisation.

Benedicte Ravn

Topic of PhD project
Data-driven decision-making across the product lifecycle (creating product service systems).

Research background/interests 
The motivation for the PhD project is to understand how small and medium-sized enterprises can make their physical industrial products become a catalysator for gathering data across its product life cycles, thereby discovering and potentially improving the data foundations to make more data-driven decision-making for the continuous development and evolve towards product service system. 

Theoretical background/interests 
There is a potential for more knowledge discovery and identifying uncaptured value through extending the search of integrating literature across fields of research. There are both opportunities and challenges related to testing how dataflows that are based on all type of information and infrastructures can improve when travelling throughout the product lifecycle.

A gain for extending the amount of data to potentially be more informed in design and production of a product to the challenge of sharing the data across involved actors and users throughout the product life stages. Locating how more data awareness will help to evolve the use of data to enable a digital transformation and creating product services systems in (manufacturing) SMEs.

Methodological background/interests 
The methodological approach in terms of empirical data collection will be done as collaborative work with different companies conducted inside their organisations. Several case studies will be conducted with a focus on directly experiencing and facilitating the development and testing of modular digital/physical artifacts. The empirical findings may have a potential for developing a dynamic tool and/or process. This may help manufacturing SMEs in similar challenges create a reproducible plan for independently further their digital transformation and data utilisation.

Gianlorenzo Meggio

Topic of PhD project
An institutional perspective on regulatory entrepreneurship: the case of blockchain voting.

Research background/interests
With the spread of digital technologies, new ventures have been increasingly reshaping markets and challenging current regulations. Companies whose core business depends on the modification of an existing law have been lately renamed regulatory enterprises. Many such ventures have delayed or avoided aligning their strategies with emergent regulations. While in some cases they succeeded, in others they did not. My dissertation seeks to respond to recent calls for more research on this phenomenon.

Theoretical background/interests
The dissertation takes different theoretical perspectives depending on the level of analysis. I study this phenomenon both at an industry and organizational level, building on new venture research and institutional theory. Particularly, I mainly refer to legitimacy and stigma theories.

Methodological background/interests
The dissertation is composed of three case studies, which draw on an extensive dataset about the blockchain voting industry in the US and Canada. Stemming from primary and secondary sources, I both use content and discursive techniques to analyse my findings.

Ivan Panov

Topic of PhD project
The research on UAV autonomous guidance focuses on information provision, collision avoidance, and path planning.

Research background/interests
My research focuses on finding constraints for the autonomous guidance and critical analysis for the existing information provision at U-space.

One of the constraints is collision avoidance with uncooperative drone with unknown model. Unpredictive intentions of a rogue drone bring a significant threat to flight safety. Finding a solution to the problem is a priority of the study.

Path planning for UAVs is not a trivial task, as they operate at a very low level in 3-D space. Each model of UAV has its own aircraft performance, which imposes significant limitations and diversity for flight planning. The research contributes to addressing such issues, at least partially.

Theoretical background/interests
The study unites a few subjects – flight physics, flight safety, path planning techniques, artificial intelligence.

Methodological background/interests
The main methods are literature review, mathematical and physical modeling, testbed programming.

Jonas Sohn

Topic of PhD project
Optimization of Environmental Conditions and Energy Consumption in Vertical Farms.

Research background/interests
I specialize in conducting simulations and optimization studies to design and develop indoor vertical farming systems. My primary research interests revolve around exploring key aspects in vertical farming, particularly in the contexts of energy consumption, and the design and control specific to air distribution systems. I also have a strong interest in the integration of Food-Energy systems and the intricate interrelationships that exist within this domain.

Theoretical background/interests
My research has focused on improving the following aspects:

  • Enhancing environmental conditions within vertical farms.
  • Developing and analyzing control strategies to reduce energy consumption in vertical farms.
  • Analyzing the integration of renewables in electricity markets through the application of mathematical optimization methods.

Methodological background/interests
While I am open to various research methods, my primary focus lies in experiments and simulations. I am also interested in the concept of techno-economic analysis for indoor vertical farming systems. In the broader field, I emphasize the utilization of quantitative methods.

Joy Dalmacio Billanes

Human activity (e.g. heavy use of fossil fuel in buildings) is considered the main driver of climate change. Buildings (residential, commercial, or industrial) are significant energy consumers which share about 40% of the total global energy consumption. In this regard, various organizations explore the potential of renewable energy to reduce carbon footprints while maintaining reliable energy systems. However, the main concern in the future is not about producing more renewable energy but reducing energy consumption.

And as the global economy and consumers’ demands change rapidly, embracing innovative approaches to reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency are desired. Adoption to smart energy technologies can help reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency. However, the socio-economic and environmental benefits of smart energy technologies are not fully realized. Studies show low awareness and engagement to smart energy technologies due to several factors. For instance, older adults have very low engagement to smart technologies due to lack for technical skills and confidence of using smart technologies. In addition, demographics (e.g. age, education, and occupation), and lack of knowledge about the benefits of smart energy technologies affect users’ willingness to adopt smart energy technologies.

Certainly, financial incentives contribute significantly to changing social behavior. However, a sustainable growth requires knowledgeable consumers who can just simply engage with the smart energy technologies without even receiving financial rewards.

Changing social behavior by empowering energy consumers through education and information ensures the adoption of smart technologies. This could be done through strong collaboration among stakeholders (e.g. government, community and end-users). Sustainable business model encourages the involvement of multiple stakeholders that creates social, environmental and economic value.

Thus, this research aims at examining the potentials of sustainable business model in enhancing awareness and engagement to smart energy technology to improve energy efficiency.

Kristoffer Lerche

Beyond Bloomberg’s ESG ratings and companies’ innovation capabilities
– Understanding the foundation for ESG factors and how to successfully innovate through them

The first part of the title reflects the dominant discourse seemingly taken by scholars, that ESG measurement is a single unified way of measuring corporations’ way of disclosing their environmental, social and governance data. First and foremost, Bloomberg which is the primary source observed in the literature review for this proposal, is only one out of approximately six major ESG data providers, which all have their respective ways of measuring, presenting and scoping ESG data. (Dieschbourg & Nussbaum 2017)

With the continuously increased focus on terms such as CSR and ESG, with the latter acting as a proxy of firms engagement in CSR, and CSR acting as a softer more fuzzy overarching notion, (Broadstock, Matousek, Meyer & Tzeremes, 2019) there is a need for a more critical view of the ESG concept, and to what extent it is used in academic papers. There has also been a Call for paper in the end of 2019, with one of its goals stressing out the need “to clarify the concepts of ESG in order to examine their overlaps, delineate their boundaries, and map out ESG research and practice.” (Cucari & Lagasio, 2019) A more practical example involves the ESG rankings of Volkswagen in the slipstream of its “dieselgate” scandal in 2015, where rating companies such as Sustainalytics gave the automobile maker a medium score, whereas Dow Jones Sustainability Index gave Volkswagen the Sustainability prize, and MSCI ranked the manufacturer a CCC ranking, which is one of its lowest rankings. (Dieschbourg & Nussbaum 2017)

Problem Statement

By firstly understanding the complex landscape of ESG, from a share and stakeholder perspective, what traits can be identified in companies who can be characterized as successful innovators despite working in heavy ESG regulated industries?

Research Questions

  • Is CSR and ESG seen as performance and innovation enhancing or as hampering in the current business literature?
  • What are the current primary concepts of ESG, where do they overlap and how can the concept be mapped for a better understanding for both stake and shareholders?
  • Which factors are consistent when analyzing innovative, well performing companies who operate in industries bound by strong demands of ESG disclosure?

Lasse Lui Frandsen

Topic of PhD project
Supporting learning outcomes through virtual reality.

Research background/interests 
My research focus on the intersection between psychology and technology (mainly virtual reality) with the main goal of investigating ways to improve learning by utilizing the unique affordances of virtual reality. I am particularly interested in the role of technology in supporting learning, engagement, and motivation of students. With my studies, I explore the role of different factors, for example to identify ways to improve collaborative learning when designing virtual environments.

My research interest falls within the following subjects:

  • Educational psychology
  • Technology-supported learning
  • Virtual Reality

Theoretical background/interests 
The theoretical foundation mainly comes from the field of educational psychology including the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning and the Cognitive Affective Model of Immersive Learning. These approaches assume that learning is not automatically enhanced by technology, but rather that it's possible to extract fruitful outcomes when technology is used in meaningful ways, such as considering how virtual reality can create a learning environment that would be impossible in a traditional classroom.

Methodological background/interests 
I predominantly work with quantitative research in the form of controlled lab experiments but occasionally also surveys. My interests also include open and reproducible science, such as working with pre-registrations and making data, scripts, and materials available after my studies.

  • Controlled lab experiments
  • Statistics (e.g., regression, moderation, and mediation analysis)
  • Open & reproducible science

Louis Junker-Jensen

Topic of PhD project
Efficient matching of workers and patients in hospitals.

Research background/interests
My research focus is on how to match workers and tasks in the most efficient way. With the use of employee data for nurses and admission data for patients, I try to develop a model capable of matching these while taking into account that the groups are both heterogeneous.

My research interest falls within the following streams:

  • Skills development and requirements for workers
  • Working hours' effect on career
  • Labour shortage in skill-restricted jobs

Theoretical background/interests
My theoretical inspiration comes from the field of labour economics where topics such as job assignment theory and search and matching theory is a foundational part of my PhD project. I work, however, with a “micro” perspective trying to match the individual worker to the individual patient in a ward functioning as a platform.

Methodological background/interests
I work with a quantitative approach in my research and draw inspiration from different fields hereof. I use a wide range of methods and will obtain a broad knowledge within these.

Some of the areas I work with are:

  • Econometrics
  • Machine learning and data mining
  • Bayesian statistics

Lucas Peter Høj Brasen

Exploring Agile Approaches in Engineering Asset Management

Engineering asset management (EAM) is the discipline of addressing the sustained and deliberate value contributions of the technical assets in an organization. Companies are experiencing a rising complexity and volume of their overall technical asset portfolio. Companies are further dealing with an increase in workload, knowledge, and skill requirements in contrast to shrinking budgets and rising cost complexity for their technical asset management. With Industry 4.0 approaches, assets are increasingly retrofitted and digitized with new technologies, providing new opportunities for the asset management department (AMDept), but increasing complexity experienced by the employees and asset managers. New and improved methodologies and processes are necessary to investigate for EAM in modern organizations, to better alleviate that complexity.

Agile approaches has demonstrated improvements in competitiveness, effectiveness, learning, and flexibility in a multitude of different organizational contexts, ranging from manufacturing to product/system development and services. EAM is currently categorized by a blend of planned activities and rapid interventions; however, in many cases individual and intra-organizational learning and sustainability are neglected or dismissed. Hence, the idea for this project is to identify, characterize, review, experiment, exercise, and evaluate the feasibility of agile approaches in EAM. Agile methods are rooted in running a sustainable and profitable business, this is assumed to be transferable to EAM with appropriate design and adaptation to EAM practices.

This project focuses on the potential of augmenting EAM with agile approaches. Given that agile methods have proven successful in the development part of the assets life cycle, the assumption is that agile approaches should provide a useful addition to EAM, being the operational part of the assets life cycle. The professionalization and digitalization of EAM changes EAM to a complex knowledge driven business function, thereby further supporting the suggestion of agile as a means of change. This project will focus on alleviating the needs represented in the AMDept’s concerning improvements towards effectiveness, flexibility, learning and knowledge. These considerations lead to the following research question: 

How can agile methods in EAM positively influence value, through the parameters of learning, knowledge, effectiveness and flexibility?

Mads Kjærgaard Nielsen

Topic of PhD project
Investigating approaches for first time-right implementation of production line equipment.

Research background/interests
My project primarily concerns technology implementation within manufacturing companies, especially those using line-based layouts. The companies face complex issues when replacing or introducing new equipment whether it is new units, new processes, or additional lines. This project explores the complexities of implementation, examines current practices, and sets the stage for a transformative approach to a more successful production line equipment implementation.

Theoretical background/interests
My theoretical inspiration comes from structured decision-making based on quantitative modelling with holistic understanding from systems thinking to create a robust framework for seamless implementation in manufacturing. This project aims at exploring computational techniques applying theoretical principles from physics, statistics, and mathematics to create and analyse distinct virtual models of production machines. Also, theoretical principles from engineering economics, operations research and operations management are the basis for performing structured decision-making. Systems theory is also applied in this project to allow analysis of complex systems.

Methodological background/interests
The quantitative modelling techniques used in this project implies cyber physical modelling through computational simulation and the creation of digital twins. This project also extends from digital twin to use quantitative modelling and systems engineering as key techniques for automated and integrated manufacturing processes.

This project seeks to combine digital twins and virtual factory acceptance testing alongside Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA). Furthermore, Design of Experiments and statistical analysis founds practical investigations of production systems.

Mads Kock Pedersen

Topic of PhD project:  
Exploration, Exploitation, and Group Dynamics: Experiments on Organizational Search and Creativity.

Research background/interests
My project investigates the complexities of decision-making and creativity during search in both individual and collaborative contexts. Central to this exploration is understanding how different search strategies, encompassing exploration and exploitation, affect performance outcomes amidst varying problem complexities.

A significant aspect of my work involves examining how individuals and groups adapt their search behaviors, whether through direct experience or via social learning from AI-driven agents. This approach not only sheds light on the dynamics of decision-making but also probes into the potential of hybrid human-algorithm collaborations.

Additionally, the project explores the influence of social robots as potential facilitators in group settings, particularly focusing on their role as emotional contagions. By investigating whether these robots can induce affective shifts, the study aims to understand their impact on enhancing creativity and group performance.

Overall, my PhD aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing organizational problem-solving in various contexts, from individual cognition to the complex dynamics of group interactions and the integration of technological agents.

Theoretical background/interests
I am engaged with theories related to exploration and exploitation in organizational search, drawing upon concepts from behavioral economics and cognitive psychology. A significant portion of my research revolves around understanding how groups and individuals navigate complex problems, leveraging theories of group dynamics, creativity, and innovation.

In exploring these areas, I employ theories of organizational learning, particularly in the context of how individuals and groups adapt to and learn from their environment, including AI agents and robotic facilitators. This involves integrating perspectives from the fields of human-computer interaction into traditional organizational and psychological theories.

I am keen to expand my knowledge in the realm of computational social science, aiming to deepen my understanding of how computational models can simulate and predict complex human behaviors in organizational settings. Additionally, I am interested in further exploring the implications of artificial intelligence in organizational research, particularly how AI can transform traditional models of decision-making and group interaction.

Overall, my theoretical interests lie at the nexus of human behavior, technology, and organizational dynamics.

Methodological background/interests
My research integrates experimental approaches with computational modeling. I utilize simulations as a tool to refine and develop theoretical concepts. These ideas are then empirically tested through online gamified experiments, which have been the primary focus of my work to date. Currently, I am expanding my experimental repertoire to include laboratory-based experiments, an endeavour that is introducing me to the distinct challenges and nuances of in-person research settings. Additionally, I am exploring the use of artificial intelligence in my studies, specifically investigating its potential and limitations in experiments and computational models related to organizational search behaviors.

Mads Scott-Fordsmand Christensen

Topic of PhD project
Visualizing sustainable performance data utilizing data-driven systems.

Research background/interests

  • This PhD project explores how data-driven systems can assist in enhancing and visualizing enterprises' sustainable performance data in real-time across different sectors and domains, especially in the context of carbon footprint (Co2) emissions.
  • The objectives are to identify and analyze the current research landscape on integrating data-driven systems for measuring and visualizing enterprise sustainable performance data - and to design and evaluate novel integrated data-driven solutions for reducing enterprise carbon footprint emissions in practical settings.
  • As a background, I have several years of experience within project management, software, and tech engineering, as an external lecturer, and independent business owner founded in various technological and business domains. I have developed and deployed technological and data-driven systems for clients and stakeholders within multiple tech stacks and coding languages such as (but not limited to) JavaScript, Python, C#, HTML, CSS, SQL, and No-SQL databases, merged and designed with front-end solutions into areas of Information Systems, IoT, web- and app-applications, VR/AR technologies, AI, and Machine Learning systems, etc.
  • I am passionate about applying practical knowledge and skills to the academic field and creating technological solutions that benefit the environment and improve enterprise’ sustainable performance.
  • My educational background includes an AP degree in Computer Science, a Bachelor's degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and a Master's degree in Engineering in Technology-based Business Development from Aarhus University. In combination with my practical and working background, these degrees have given me a solid foundation and a broad perspective on the technical, business, and social aspects of developing, managing, and implementing technology-based solutions. I am also Scrum Master certified from ScrumAlliance, qualifying me to act in agile environments.

Theoretical background/interests

  • I primarily use the Design Science Research (DSR) methodology as the core framework for developing, designing, and evaluating technological artifact creations and solutions.
  • I also use other relevant theories related to software architectures and application design, system modularization, human-computer interaction, data visualization techniques and prototyping to inform and complement the DSR approach.

Methodological background/interests

  • I primarily conduct qualitative research to collect and analyze artifact creation and development requirements from stakeholders and the environment of the problem, as well as to demonstrate and evaluate solutions. I also collect quantitative data for measuring and collecting system data.
  • I use interviews, observations, document analysis, case studies, experiments, and simulations to explore and understand the technical, organizational, and human factors involved in developing and utilizing data-driven systems to understand, design, and integrate innovative solutions to enhance enterprises’ sustainable performance data in real-time.

Mathilde Fogh Friedrich

Topic of PhD project
How can the integration of virtual reality (VR) and performance measuring tools enhance the training and performance of ice hockey players?

Research background/interest
As an avid enthusiast of ice hockey with a profound interest in sports psychology and performance management, my research focus revolves around leveraging cutting-edge technologies to enhance athlete performance and well-being. Ice hockey serves as an intricate domain where the amalgamation of physical prowess, cognitive strategies, and psychological resilience profoundly influences performance outcomes. Moreover, the skills needed in ice hockey provide a strong foundation that can translate to success in various other sports, owing to the multifaceted nature of its demands. My overarching goal is to bridge the gap between traditional training methodologies and contemporary advancements in technology, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to optimize athlete development and performance in the realm of ice hockey, while also recognizing its potential to serve as a foundational platform for other sports.

Theoretical background/interests 
My theoretical background is deeply rooted in engineering principles, complemented by a keen interest in the theories of sports psychology and user experience (UX) design. Through an interdisciplinary lens, I aim to synergize these seemingly disparate fields to explore novel approaches in enhancing athlete performance and well-being.

Engineering foundation:
With a solid foundation in engineering, I bring analytical rigor, problem-solving skills, and a systems-thinking approach to my research endeavours. My engineering background equips me with the ability to dissect complex problems, identify patterns, and develop innovative solutions—a skill set invaluable in the realm of sports performance optimization.

Sports psychology:
Drawing from theories in sports psychology, I am intrigued by the intricate interplay between cognitive processes, emotional regulation, and performance outcomes in athletic endeavours. By delving into topics such as motivation, goal setting, self-efficacy, and resilience, I seek to unravel the psychological mechanisms underlying peak performance and mental well-being in athletes.

User experience design:
In parallel, my interest in user experience design stems from a fascination with how technology interfaces with human behavior and cognition. I believe that the principles of UX design can be seamlessly integrated into sports technology to create intuitive, engaging, and impactful training environments that facilitate skill acquisition, performance feedback, and athlete empowerment.

By synthesizing insights from engineering, sports psychology, and UX design, I aspire to pioneer holistic approaches to athlete development and performance optimization. Whether through the design of innovative training tools, the implementation of immersive virtual environments, or the creation of personalized feedback systems, my research endeavours aim to bridge the gap between theory and practice, ultimately empowering athletes to reach their full potential.

Methodological background/interests
In addition to my interdisciplinary theoretical foundation, my methodological approach is characterized by a commitment to employing innovative research methodologies that bridge quantitative analysis with qualitative insights. Drawing from my engineering background and research experience, as well as insights from sports psychology and UX design, I embrace a multi-faceted approach to data collection and analysis tailored to the complexities of athlete performance and user experience.

In summary, my methodological background and interests underscore a holistic approach to research that blends quantitative rigor with qualitative depth, leveraging diverse methodologies to advance knowledge and innovation at the intersection of engineering, sports psychology, and UX design.

Michael Lystbæk

Applying Artificial Intelligence in the building design industry for autonomizing design processes

This project is an investigation of the theoretical field about applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the building design industry for Single Family Homes (SFH). The focus area will be on the “missing gap” between the use of AI for customer clarification and the design process using generative CAD Software (GCS) for drawing up final design solutions. The benefit of using AI in the building design process is to automate costly and time-consuming processes that engineers and architects today are struggling with.

Over the years it has been heavily discussed whether AI would replace jobs for engineers, architects etc., but it seems like there is still a huge gap between this discussed topic and the current reality. The artist and designer S. Errazuriz has stated that 90 % or more of architects will lose their job to AI, due to the generality in building architecture that Machine Learning systems can handle more efficiently by using data based on previous building cases.

Compared to the number of resources used for private building constructions alone in the US, it will have a huge potential if just some of the architectural design processes can be supported by AI. However, it still needs clarification on how to address AI in the house developing processes to gain full potential.

This project will aim to identify and examine the potential and capabilities of making a design process which integrate AI technologies and lead to the main research question:

How can AI and GCS contribute to a more autonomous design process for SFH?

Parwinder Singh

Topic of PhD project
Advancing Digital Edge Enablers for Dataspace Driven Value Chain Enablement in Industry 4.0 and Beyond.

Research background/interests  
The potential capabilities of diverse technologies motivate me to investigate and experiment with their integration and convergence exploration to identify their strengths and weaknesses from their fusion.

My research mainly focuses on:

  • Investigating the theoretical foundations of traditional distributed architectural paradigms.
  • Extending these paradigms with a pragmatic approach.
  • Exploiting the convergence capabilities of IoT, DLT, Edge, and AI/ML (IDEAL) technologies.
  • Identifying how and where this technological convergence can be applied.
  • Enabling new values to the industry.

This research will provide novel methods of distributed security features, digital traceability of events, seamless sharing of data, and service chaining of resources, systems, and services via Dataspace enablement at the edge.  This will in turn unlock new IoT architectural ecosystem-driven business constellations wherein actors can engage directly at the edge to get the benefits of transformed business ecosystems.

Theoretical background/interests  
This PhD work is investigating an architectural design/framework for the extension of traditional distributed computing paradigms and how convergence/integration of IDEAL technological capabilities can be used to address relevant challenges, considering technical and business ecosystems, based on different industry use cases and thereby offering value addition in industry 4.0 and beyond. My research interests include investigating and designing comprehensive architectural frameworks, exploiting convergence and integrating diverse technologies that can address various academic and industry-oriented challenges, investigating specifically the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT/Blockchain) role in tamper-proof encryption, transparency, and auditable functionality, Dataspace Enablement at the Edge to develop cross-organizational data sharing, reusability of resources, and service/value chain enablement.

Methodological background/interests  
My PhD work is primarily using a mix of methodologies which includes Design Science Research (as an overall approach), Software Architectural Design patterns, Prototyping, and Experimentation, Business Process Modelling, Qualitative, Action Research, and Systematic Literature Reviewing Methods.  In the future, I look forward to sharpening these skills, expanding and applying this knowledge horizon further with the blend of the techno-business methodological base in my research and industrial project engagements.

Pedro Gomez Hernandez

Topic of PhD project
Haptic systems for industrial virtual reality training.

Research background/interests
My research focuses on understanding the impact that utilizing haptic systems has in virtual reality training scenarios. With collaboration with industry, I aim to develop a system to enhance training performance.

My research interests focus on:

  • Haptic systems.
  • Industrial teleoperation systems.
  • Digital twins.

Theoretical background/interests
My theoretical background comes from theories in industrial training, Immersive Virtual Reality training and haptic training systems for medical applications. My research combines the learning from the medical field and applies the learning to industrial scenarios.

Methodological background/interests
I predominantly work with pilot studies and controlled experiments. I use haptic systems in combination with virtual reality training scenarios to improve training performance.

Rita Madsen

Topic of PhD project
Investigating organizing in open-source software development. The curse or the blessing of non-traditional organizations.

Research background/interests
My research explores non-traditional organizations in the open-source software industry. Open-source software immensely impacts how the software industry works, and it is also a unique field with an amorphous, decentralized, and fast-growing group of contributors. With their tendency for fluidity and sometimes incomplete structural elements, open-source software organizations' boundaries shift and affect the coordination within the organization and with external actors. The inability to manage effectively within these boundaries poses a significant risk, especially in collaborations that involve multiple organizations. Therefore, I investigate the dynamic nature of these organizations through the process and temporality lens to understand how organizational structure shifts over time.

Focus areas of my research:

  • Organizational boundaries
  • Non-traditional organizations
  • Time and temporality

Theoretical background/interests
This research aims to delve into the organizational boundaries of open-source software organizations, examining them through the lens of organizational temporality. I am applying the integrative view, where continuity and change are not mutually exclusive but interdependent aspects within organizational dynamics. Considering that organizations constantly change, research treats time and process as connected.

Methodological background/interests
I am applying a qualitative approach to my research. To investigate organizing in the open-source software industry from the point of view of the subjects of the research, the ethnographic approach is adopted. Etnography will allow deeper exploration of open-source software organizations' cultural, social, and operational dynamics through the perspective of the individuals. To capture historical and contemporary aspects, data for this research will be collected from interviews, observations, internal communication documentation, and records in open-source software repositories.

Tharsika Pakeerathan Srirajan

Topic of PhD project
Machine Learning based Site Assessment for Onshore Wind Energy Projects.

Research background/interests
My research focuses on the utilization of machine learning techniques, particularly explainable AI methods, to accelerate the site assessment process of wind turbine projects. While machine learning and AI are widely employed in the wind energy industry, there is an imbalance in their application across all phases of a wind turbine project’s lifecycle. Consequently, my research targets one of the early phases, specifically the planning phase. By integrating explainable AI techniques with traditional machine learning methods, my aim is to enable more informed decision-making.

The primary subjects of my research interest are:

  • Machine learning
  • Explainable AI
  • Wind energy
  • Site assessment

Theoretical background/interests
The theoretical foundation of my research is rooted in the field of machine learning. Here, explainable AI methods contribute to comprehending the black box nature of machine learning algorithms. This understanding enhances the interpretability of model predictions, facilitating more informed human decision-making. Additionally, theoretical insights from current site assessment practices are incorporated to identify the essential features that must be included in the dataset for training machine learning models.

Methodological background/interests
I predominantly have a quantitative approach in my research, where I utilize secondary data and apply data analysis and machine learning methods. However, to better understand the wind energy industry and to identify the most relevant data from the stakeholders’ perspective, different qualitative methods like semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews are also applied.

Thuvarakai Kandasamy

The transition towards organisational resilience and sustainable practices in SMEs

The PhD project aims to address the limited engagement by SMEs in the field of organisational resilience and sustainability. The project will develop an integrated approach that can support SMEs in making informed decisions to enhance their competitiveness, resource efficiency and resilience to disruption.

A constantly changing environment means businesses operate in a highly complex context. They must deal with threats such as pandemics, geopolitical tensions and cyberthreats. As the significance of uncertainty continues to rise, there is a greater focus on organisational resilience as a critical factor for businesses to prosper. At the same time, they are also under pressure from both customers and (national/regional) regulations to undertake a transformation to become more (environmentally) sustainable. The concepts of sustainability and organisational resilience have received increased attention from both researchers and practitioners in recent years and have also been linked to business model innovation (BMI) and as factors that can drive or impact innovation in a firm. The increased focus on topics such as climate change and the covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant increase of studies on the topics, investigating the relationship between sustainability and organisational resilience. For instance, studies have concluded that sustainable business practices can contribute to organisational resilience and that sustainable practices not only benefit organisational resilience but can even impact resilience on the community level. At the same time, there is limited research on developing synergies and integrating sustainability and resilience practices in a business context. This research gap highlights the need for a deeper understanding of how businesses can develop synergies between sustainability and resilience practices to achieve long-term success. Thus, the primary objective of this research is to investigate the following research question:

How do organizations pursue the dual priorities of sustainability and organizational resilience, and how can organizations successfully integrate these priorities?

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which play a significant role in driving economic growth, employment, and total value added, continue to face high vulnerability, and lack preparedness when confronted with environmental perturbations. Hence the focus on SMEs (in a Danish context).


The project is an industrial-PhD collaboration between Dansk Brand- og sikrings Institut (DBI) and Aarhus University, funded by the Innovation Foundation.

Trine Bjørn Olsen

Topic of PhD project
Techno-economic performance optimization of a wave energy converter design.

Research background/interests
My research interest is on wave energy. Ocean waves represent a vast yet untapped renewable energy resource, as the harsh conditions at sea makes the development of durable and economically viable wave energy converters (WECs) highly challenged. WEC technologies are still under-researched, however, the Danish WEC design, Crestwing, has shown a potential for high energy efficiency as well as high capacity. Through techno-economic performance assessment and the development of an optimization framework for the design, I seek to explore how to advance the technology to become a reliable and competitive contributor to the renewable energy system.

Theoretical background/interests

My research is focused on examining and identifying the determining parameters for techno-economic optimization of the Crestwing WEC design, in order to follow a development trajectory that prioritizes advancement of the Technological Performance Level (TPL) - a holistic, approach encompassing all economic, environmental, and social aspects – as to consider the competitiveness of the technology throughout the development process.

Methodological background/interests

The research methods include mathematical calculations and statistical methods to validate the techno-economic performance of the WEC design expressed through the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE). For this, data such as energy capacity and efficiency, costs, and met-ocean data are used. In addition, I also look into Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and social acceptance. The emphasis is on quantitative methods, while qualitative methods are used to a limited extent.

Veronika Kentosová

Topic of PhD project
Exploring Open Innovation within the Context of Science among Academics and Institutions.

Research background/interests
As there have been increasing calls to implement more openness and collaboration in research activities across scientific fields, promising enhanced quality, speed, and dissemination of research results, my research project delves into open and collaborative research practices among academics and institutions.

My particular interest lies in individual-level motivations and incentives for (not) implementing open and collaborative research practices and I aim to explore the circumstances under which the (non)implementation of such practices occurs.

Overall, my research is focused on understanding how scholars and their respective institutions approach the implementation of open and collaborative research. My ambition is to deepen the understanding of individual-level implementation or resistance towards such practices by uncovering previously unknown concepts and mechanisms. Additionally, I aim to provide insights and recommendations for academic and research institutions, policymakers, as well as research funding schemes that promote open and collaborative research practices.

Theoretical background/interests
My project is situated within the framework of Open Innovation in Science, recognized as a phenomenon or concept rather than a theory itself. This framework considers open and collaborative practices to be observable at every stage of the scientific research process, extending beyond data sharing. It encompasses formulating research questions, securing funding, developing research methods, collecting, and analyzing data, and disseminating new knowledge or results. Consequently, considering my research interest in the individual-level implementation of open and collaborative practices among academics and their respective institutions, the main theoretical foundations of my project are rooted in the theories of professional identity, scientific ambidexterity, and institutional theory.

Methodological background/interests
In my research project, I primarily employ a qualitative approach. I utilize various data collection methods, such as semi-structured interviews (including interviews with elite informants) and various types of observations. Additionally, I integrate secondary data, such as academics' CVs, publication lists, webpage data, and information about the tenure system at scholars' respective universities. To conduct data analysis, I use NVivo, a qualitative data analysis software.

Ximena Alejandra Rojas Sierra

New robotic technologies, such as mobile telepresence robots (MTRs), are changing organizational dynamics, work practices and processes, occupations, and challenging the psycho-social contingencies in the workplace. This brings challenges related to interconnected aspects such as work coordination, learning processes and occupational boundary relations that may impact the stakeholders’ physical, mental and social wellbeing. Novel empirical studies are thus needed to better understand social robots, such as MTRs, and their organizational, managerial as well as psycho-social and socio-cultural effects in different organizational contexts.

The research project will examine how the use and the design of mobile telepresence robots (MTRs) may improve the overall conditions of the pilot and the local users, focusing on aspects such as roles reconfiguration and well-being in the context of job transformation and human-robot interaction. The project will follow a qualitative approach with field study, possibly followed by confirmatory laboratory studies.