Dr Paula Forbes

Post Doctoral Researcher

School School of Science, Engineering and Technology

Department Division of Natural and Built Environment

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8633


Cross-Disciplinary Researcher working in the School of Design and Informatics. 

Currently working on the Stepping Up project steppingupnexus.org.uk.  Stepping Up is a 3-year, EPSRC funded collaboration between sustainability researchers at universities and research institutes across the UK. The project aims to explore the potential opportunities of innovations the WEF Nexus, and understand the implications and challenges of achieving transformational change at different scales. My role in the project is do carry out User Research and to develop a Decision Support Tool to support the decision making process for sustainable innovation. 

Previously worked on the EU Horizon 2020 STEP project www.step4youth.eu which promoted the societal and political participation of young people in the decision-making process on environmental issues. The project developed and piloted a cloud eParticipation SaaS platform, enhanced with web / social media mining, gamification, machine translation, and visualisation features. 5 different pilots across 4 countries (Spain, Italy, Greece & Turkey) were involved in the project.  My role in the project was carrying out the User Research, identifying the requirements and Youth Motivation strategies required and also evaluating the platform. 

I am interested in Human Computer Interaction & improving technology for everybody. I have a  background  in the Life Sciences and Computing my PhD looked at how climate change would influence biogeochemical nutrient cycling.  I managed to combine my interest in Life Science and HCI by working on a project to improve Life Science Data visualisation.  This Usable Image project was part of the very successful Open Microscopy Environment ( www.openmicroscopy.org)  run between the  U.S. & UK ( Life Science Dept at University of Dundee).

Other HCI projects I have worked on include:

  • Inclusive Digital Economy Network - a UK wide knowledge exchange network looking at ensuring older people and those with disabilities are included in the DIgital Economy
  • Sus-IT - a collaborative project with Loughborough University, which was looking at sustaining independence and IT use for older people. 
  • SuperHub -  another EU project (FP7)  developing an integrated and eco-efficient use of multi-modal mobility systems in an urban setting (ie. encouraging people to use environmentally friendly transport in cities). 
  • My Diabetes My Way Communication Platform  (Project Co-ordinator) - A Scotland wide collaboration developing a communication platform to support people with diabetes and enable them to communicate with Health Care Professionals remotely. 

Not currently teaching at Abertay. 

I have previously taught Human Computer Interaction to year 3 students at the University of Dundee

For a list of my publications please visit Google Scholar on the link below:


More Information


Current STEP project  has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 649493

Meet the rest of the team

Miss Alison Duffy

Miss Alison Duffy

Division of Natural and Built Environment | Research Assistant

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Professor David Blackwood

Professor David Blackwood

Division of Natural and Built Environment | Head of Division

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