University of Nottingham Ningbo China
Faculty of
Science and Engineering
  • Intranet

Dr Xu Sun

Associate Professor, Course Director in Product Design and Manufacture , Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering


PhD in Human Computer Interaction, University of Loughborough, United Kingdom
PDEng (Doctorate in Engineering) in Interaction Design, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), the Netherlands
MSc in Information Technology, University of Twente, the Netherlands




Dr. Sun is an Associate Professor and course director for Product Design and Manufacture at University of Nottingham Ningbo China. She is a Chartered Technological Product Designer of the Institute of Engineering Designers (iED, UK). She has worked on a number of design projects at various universities (e.g. University of Nottingham, Leicester University, Loughborough University) as well as with a number of industrial Companies (e.g. Philips, Shell, Océ).  Dr. Sun brings over 10 years’ experience in design led research  through which her work has developed interaction and interfaces which operate between physical and digital spaces. She has worked on a number of international, national (NSFC), municipal  projects and industrial projects in the fields of serendipitous information seeking, information search engine, intellectual property rights in design, digital adaptive educational game, creative computer supported cooperative work, transportation design, cultural patterns in product design, and sustainable product design.


  • Ergonomics in Design
  • Physical Ergonomics
  • Design Project
  • BEng Major Design Project

Major research interests

My over-riding research interests include the following: 

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • User Experience Research
  • User-centred Design of Products and Services
  • Product/Service Innovation, including development of research methodologies for examination of interaction with innovative technologies and products
  • Cultural factors and collaboration in design
  • Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning 

Supervision Responsibility of PhD students

  • Fangyan Tang (Second supervisor): Exploring Cultural Factors in Product Design, to complete in June, 2016
  • Xiaosong Zhou (First supervisor): Serendipitous Information Research, to submit in 2017
  • Lanyun Zhang  (First supervisor): Transforming the Group Travel Planner Experience, to submit in 2018
  • Joyce H. Addae (First supervisor): Usability Research in Support of Cyber Security, to submit in 2018
  • Chao Zhang (Second supervisor): Automatic Semantic Tagging for Event Detection of Video Surveillance, to submit in 2018
  • Nan Wang (Second supervisor): Enhancing User Experience to Design Enjoyable Exhibition Events, to finish in 2019


  • PI, 2016 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Digital Copyright Grant 'User-centred perspectives on IP practices in the creative and IT industries', RMB 820k
  • PI, 2016 Local Industry Grant ' Design Research and Innovation’
  • PI, 2015 Ningbo Science and Technology Bureau 'Interaction design of Accidental Discovery in Science and Research', RMB 50k 
  • PI, 2015 Local Industry Grant 'Ningbo Cultural Creative Design' RMB 30k 
  • PI, 2014 National Science Foundation of China (Young Scientists) 'Design Strategies for Serendipity', RMB 310k ((RMB100 K from the university)
  • PI, 2013  University research Grant, RMB 1.5 K
  • PI,  2012 University research Grant, RMB 1.5 K

Selected publications

  1. Sun, X.*, May, A. and Wang, Q.F.  A Field Study of the Role of Mobile Personalisation at Large Sports Events. Appear to International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction, 25 pages, 2017.
  2. Schnädelbach, H., Sun, X., Kefalidou, G., Coughlan, T., Meese, P., Norris, J., and Mcauley, D.  Creativity Greenhouse: At-a-distance collaboration and competition over research funding. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 19 pages, 2016
  3. Wang, Q.F. and Sun, X*.  Do elderly intend to play digital games? Journal of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 27 pages, 2016
  4. Wang, Q.F., Sun, X.*, Cobb, S., Lawson, G., Shaples, S.  3D Printing System: An innovation for Small-Scale Manufacturing in Home Settings? International Journal of Production Research, 20 pages, 2016
  5. Wang, Q., Sun, X. (2016) A cross country analysis on the impact of political freedom and human capital on fertility. World development, 19pages, 2016.
  6. Sun, X.*, May, A. and Wang, Q.F.  User-initiated versus System-initiated Personalisation: The Impact of Personalisation on User Experience at Large Sports Events. Applied Ergonomics. 25 pages, 2015
  7. Cranwell, J., Sun, X., Golightly, D., Kefalidou, G., Bedwell, B. Sharples, S. Emerging issues in mobile data capture methods across multiple domains: learning from the user experience. International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction. 2014. 20 pages
  8. Sun*, X. & May, A. Design of the User Experience for Personalised Mobile Services. International Journal of Human Computer Interaction (IJHCI), Vol.5 (2), 2014. 19 pages.
  9. Sun, X.*, Cranwell, J., Golightly, D., Sharples, S., Bedwell, B. Participant Experiences of Mobile device-based Diary Studies. International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction. Vol. 5(2): 62-83, 2013. 21pages
  10. Sun, X.* & May, A. A Comparison of Field-based and Lab-based Experiments to Evaluate User Experience of Personalised Mobile Devices. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction. Volume 2013 (2013), 2013, 19 pages.
  11. Law, E. L.C & Sun, X. Evaluating User Experience of Adaptive Digital Educational Games with Activity Theory. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. Vol. 70(7): 478-497, 2012. 19 pages.
  12. Sun, X.*, Sharples, S. and Makri, S. A User-Centred Mobile Diary Study Approach to Understanding Serendipity in Information Research. Information Research, Vol. 16(3), 2012, 19 pages.
  13. Sun, X. & May, A.* The Role of Spatial Contextual Factors in Mobile Personalization at large sports events. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Vol, 13: 293–302, 2010, 10 pages.
  14. Sun, X.* & Law, E. L-C. Towards a Structural Model for Intention to Play a Digital Educational Game. ACM Transactions on Edutainment IV, 44-55, 2010. 11 pages.
  15. Zhang, Lanyun & Sun, X. Designing a Trip Planer Application for Groups: Exploring Group Tourists’ Trip Planning Requirements. Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016, USA
  16. Addae, J.H., Radenkovic, M., Sun, X*, Towey, D., Augmented Cybersecurity Behavioral Research Model, COMPSAC 2016: The 40th IEEE Computer Society International Conference on Computers, Software & Applications, 2016, USA
  17. Sun, X.*, Andrew, A.,Mitchel,A. Adapting HCI methods into Eastern Culture,  Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015, Korea
  18. Sun, X.*, Wang,Q,F. Wang,N.and Wang,Y. (2015) Design for sustainable behavior.  17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 2015, USA
  19. Pradel, P. Sun, X. ,Oro, B. Gill, A. A preliminary comparison of desk and panel crit settings in the design studio. 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, 2015. UK
  20. Kefalidou, G., Kelly, P., Dix, A., and Sun. X Enhancing Self-Reflection with  Wearable Sensors. ACM MobileHCI 2014, Toronto, Canada
  21. Sun. X. *, Golightly, D., Sharples, S., Bedwell, B. User Requirements  and Constrains for On-demand Taxi Sharing Technology. Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors 2012,  Blackpool, UK. 
  22. Sun, X.*, Sharples, S., Kefalidou, G. User Requirements for an Interactive System to Stimulate Serendipity.  Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors 2012, Blackpool, UK.
  23. Piao, S., Bental, D., Whittle, J., Aylett, R., Makri, S. and Sun, X.  A  Pilot Study: Deriving a Users’ Goal Framework from a Corpus of Interviews  and Diaries. Semantic Relations-II. Enhancing Resources and Applications, 2012, Turkey.
  24. Schnadelbach, H., Sun, X., Norriis, J., Duxbury, P., Bailey, R., Lloyd, D. Creativity  Greenhouse – Communication Technologies in the Facilitation of Cross- disciplinary Research Ideas. Digital Engagement, Digital  Economy 2011, Dundee, UK.
  25. Sun, X.*  & Sharples, S. A Mobile Diary Study Approach to Understanding Serendipity. Encouraging Serendipity in Interactive Systems, 2011, Lisbon, Portugal.
  26. Woods, M., Stephann, M., Blandford, A., Forth, J., Wiggins, G.A., Bental, D., Sun, X., Sharples, S. Understanding Serendipity to Inform Novel Processes,  Methods and Technologies for the Researcher. Digital Engagement, Digital Economy 2011, Dundee, UK.
  27. Sun, X. * User Requirements of Personalized Mobile Applications at  Large  Sporting Events. IADIS Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, 2010, Freiburg, Germany.
  28. Sun, X. * & May, A. The Role of Culture in Designing and Evaluating Mobile  Applications for Chinese Users. IWIPS 2010 on Growing  Global Design Communities, 2010, London, UK.
  29. Sun, X.* & Law, E. L. C. Digital Educational Game and Sensation Seeking. Digital  Educational Game and Sensation Seeking. Lecture Notes in Computer Science,  Vol. 6250 LNCS, 2010: 44-55.
  30. Sun, X & May, A. Mobile personalization in the context of large  sports events. ECSCW: Techniques and Methodologies for Studying Technology Use ‘In the Wild.’ 2008, Limerick, Ireland. 4 pages.
  31. Sun, X.* and May, A. Mobile Personalization at Large Sports Events:  User Experience and Mobile Device Personalization. IN: Usability and  Internationalization. Global and Local User Interfaces. Lecture Notes in  Computer Science, 2007, Vol.4560: 486-495
  32. Wichary, M., Gunawan, L., Ende, N. V., Hjortzberg-Nordlund, Q.,  Matysiak, A.,  Janssen, R. and Sun, X. Vista: interactive coffee-corner  display.   Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2005 , Vienna, Austria.