A Research Platform for Singapore

Research Assistant / Master Thesis (Designing Affective Human-Machine Interaction)

Department:Design for Autonomous Mobility
Posted Date:8 February 2019
Closing Date:Open until filled
Hours:Full Time
Duration:Fixed Term (6 months from April 2019)



Technical University of Munich - Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (TUMCREATE) is a research platform for the improvement of Singapore's public transportation, including the deployment of electric and autonomous mobility. Researchers from Technical University Munich and Nanyang Technological University join forces and are funded by Singapore’s National Research Foundation as part of the Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE).


At TUMCREATE, over 100 scientists, researchers and engineers work together, led by Professors from the Technical University of Munich and Nanyang Technological University. The Mission of TUMCREATE is to seek the ultimate public transport system for the people of Singapore. Our innovative road transport solutions will provide high comfort and a positive travel experience, best protection of the environment and maximum benefit to the society and the economy.

More Information about TUMCREATE can be found by viewing our web pages at http://www.tum-create.edu.sg/ 



TUMCREATE is investigating new mobility concepts for Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) in Singapore. Beyond the technical challenges, the deployment of autonomous and connected vehicles raises questions related to society and human factors that the Design for Autonomous Mobility (DAM) team wants to analyse. We are therefore looking for a highly motivated Research Assistant to support the DAM team for this full-time position based in Singapore. Candidates may choose to receive supervision and complete a master’s thesis on the same topic.


About This Position

As part of the design of human-AV interfaces, insights are needed to understand the conditions which elicit specific emotions in people. The research involves investigating human-human vs. human-machine interaction and communication in the local context, through an understanding of the causes and operationalisation of affect (i.e. emotion) and the generation of scenarios for empirical studies. The case study focuses on the development of a Virtual Companion, an avatar which is proposed to replace the role of humans in AV operations in interacting with passengers.




At the end of their tenure, the candidate is expected to gain experience in developing a research topic, academic writing, project management and data collection and analysis in studies with human subjects.


For further information, visit: https://www.tum-create.edu.sg/research/design-autonomous-mobility


Objectives & Tasks

  • Investigate the affective dimension of human-machine interaction and communication
  • Design and build scenarios for empirical studies with human subjects
  • Conduct experiments and analyse results of empirical studies
  • Assist in the preparation and writing of research reports
  • Maintain project documentation, materials and records
  • (Optional) Develop a research plan and objectives for a 6-month master’s thesis pertaining to the topic



  • Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design, Interaction Design or related field required; other specialisations will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Proficiency in some of the following are strongly preferred: Photoshop, Illustrator, 3D modelling programmes (3ds Max, Maya, Rhino) and simple prototyping
  • Experience with user research and/or statistical methods an advantage
  • Knowledge of psychology, particularly with regards to affective science, an advantage
  • An interest in multi-disciplinary research combining the creative and social sciences
  • Organized, independent and reliable working attitude
  • Meticulous documentation skills
  • Excellent verbal and written fluency in English
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment


What We Offer

  • A great experience in one of the most dynamic megacities in Asia
  • Remuneration at competitive rates
  • A close network with both the industrial and academic research community
  • An international and multidisciplinary working environment


How To Apply

Applications must be submitted together with a motivation letter (1 A4 page), an up-to-date CV, design portfolio, as well as relevant academic transcripts or certifications to Ms Penny Kong (penny.kong@tum-create.edu.sg). Shortlisted candidates will undergo an interview via teleconference.



Ms Penny Kong
Research Associate
Design for Autonomous Mobility (DAM)
Tel. +65 6601 4015