Our work involves the development of new tools, methodologies and approaches in a diverse range of sectors including engineering, the creative arts, government, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, retail and more.

Teesside University has a long history of digital innovation and economic impact both in academic research and through our Digital City programme, generating more than 200 new businesses, and adding more than £170 million per annum to the Teesside economy alone. Our research programmes with a range of global businesses and academic collaborators include: the development of digital tools for business intelligence and planning, enhanced Building Information Modelling (BIM) systems with new functionality such as energy use prediction and optimisation, healthcare and behaviour support tools such as effective obesity management and fitness apps, architecture and design tools using virtual environments, and ground-breaking use of the digital arts to challenge perceptions of disability.


Diverse research questions explored

Examples of some of the diverse research questions explored within this Grand Challenge theme are:

  • What will the future of technology look like?
  • How can we improve the quality of life/outcomes for individuals or vulnerable groups through the use of technology?
  • How will the advent of new digital technologies impact on jobs and businesses?
  • How can we best reap the benefits of making industrial/business products or processes more 'intelligent'?
  • How can we 'humanise' the digital world and make it a force for social good?
  • How might the creative industries of the future inform/be informed by digital technologies?


Our work in this challenge theme draws on and is informed by work and expertise across all parts of the University, which includes amongst others:

Computer science and data analysis, artificial intelligence, electronics, sensors and control systems, social policy, design, digital health and telemedicine, healthcare technologies, decision support tools, psychology, human computer interaction, digital art, animation, virtual reality applications, simulation, intelligent gaming, gamification and social media.


Research leads

Professor Nashwan Dawood

Professor Nashwan Dawood

Professor Nashwan Dawood is a Professor of Construction Management and IT in the School of Science, Engineering & Design. Nash has a background in the development of digital technologies that underpin a range of industrial business processes. In particular, he is an internationally recognised authority in the areas of digitising construction processes and supply chains including visualisation technologies, virtual and mixed reality, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and energy optimisation. He has authored and co-authored over 250 journals and refereed conference papers and won £6M of research income.

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Dr Louisa J. Ells

Dr Louisa J. Ells

Dr Louisa J. Ells is a Reader in Public Health and Obesity in the School of Health and Social Care and a Specialist Advisor to Public Health England. Louisa’s interests are in the application of digital technologies, evidence and data analysis in the health sector, particularly around Obesity management, an area in which she has published extensively. She is also a member of the NICE public health advisory committee on the prevention of excess weight gain and currently leading the Cochrane review series into the treatment of childhood obesity for the World Health Organisation.

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Digital and creative economy news

Dr Kevin Dixon.. Link to Dr Kevin Dixon..

Will digital media be decisive in the general election – as it was in Donald Trump’s victory?

Theresa May’s refusal to appear in television debates during the General Election campaign may be smarter than it appears, according to a team of researchers examining society’s use of the internet and digital technology.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) Professor Jane Turner. Link to Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) Professor Jane Turner.

Teesside University unveils five-point economic growth plan for “superior digital capability” in the Tees Valley

With Theresa May announcing her green paper on the UK’s industrial strategy today, Teesside University has published its own blueprint for boosting business and employment in the Tees Valley – challenging the government to ‘think digital’ and responding to Lord Heseltine’s report on the challenges facing the region’s economy.

Preserved Memories.. Link to Preserved Memories..

Preserving a digital family for the future

A forward thinking artist is looking to the future and creating opportunities to bring deceased family members back to ‘virtual’ life through digital technology and social media activity.