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The Human Interface Technologies (HIT) team, led by Director Professor Bob Stone at the University of Birmingham, has been shortlisted at the prestigious 2017 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards in the Technological Innovation of the Year category.


The THE Awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector - attracting hundreds of entries that exemplify the talent, dedication, and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.

The University of Birmingham’s HIT Team has been pioneering the development, evaluation and uptake of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and telepresence/telerobotic technologies since its launch in 2003 – building on over 30 years of experience in simulation, robotics and human factors for applications in aerospace, defence, heritage and healthcare. 

The nomination follows the HIT Team’s successful development of a pre-deployment training “Mixed Reality” concept trainer for Medical Emergency Response Teams (MERTs). The Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) challenged the HIT Team, based on the researchers’ track record in the area of VR and AR – particularly in the defence and healthcare sectors – to deliver an affordable training solution, exploiting innovative digital simulation techniques.

Professor Stone, said:

“To be nominated for such a prestigious award as this is a great accolade for our team.  People are often amazed at the number of VR, AR and Mixed Reality projects that the team is involved in delivering - especially given the fact that we are very small, and are not part of a big centre or hub.  However, we firmly believe that our success in this field is down to working with real people doing real tasks in the real world, which is why we are regularly on the road with vehicles filled to the brim with high-tech equipment!”

The winners will be revealed at the Gala Awards in London on Thursday 30 November 2017.


  • The Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team is a multidisciplinary group of award-winning researchers, within the School of Electronic, Electrical & Systems Engineering at the University of Birmingham. The team focuses on human-centred research and design issues relevant to future interactive technologies, including task and usability analysis, human factors integration, ergonomics and the design and evaluation of advanced interfaces, including wearable computing, virtual, augmented and “mixed” reality.
  • The THE Awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector. Each year they attract hundreds of entries that exemplify the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life, highlighting numerous reasons why institutions continue to prosper.  After the esteemed judging panel toil over entries, the awards evening  –  where over a thousand people gather for dinner in London–  gives the perfect opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the extraordinary breadth and depth of  the higher education sector.