St Andrews HCI Research Group


Sep 2014

Best wishes to Per Ola

Dr Per Ola Kristensson, one of the cofounders of SACHI, has become a University Lecturer in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. In his time at St Andrews he helped to establish the teaching and research footprint for HCI across the School of Computer Science. Speaking to SACHI Per Ola said, “I have enjoyed my time in St Andrews tremendously. It is an incredibly stimulating and vivid research environment and the growth and international visibility of the St Andrews Human Computer Interaction (SACHI) group is a testament to this.” The students here will miss him as will his colleagues. Working with students is clearly close to Per Ola’s heart, as he noted that “both the undergraduate students and the MSc students I have been teaching have been fantastic. It is incredibly rewarding to teach HCI to motivated students.”
Per Ola helped establish SACHI in many ways, from bringing leading researchers to our seminar program to new funded research projects. Professor Aaron Quigley said, “We will all miss Per Ola very much. His energy and razor sharp intellect helped in our research, teaching and in developing new insights into challenging problems”.  Per Ola went on to say that, “the collegial atmosphere is superb and the intellectual environment in the SACHI group has resulted in many papers at CHI, AVI, IUI, etc. co-authored together with colleagues, PhD students or undergraduate students. Some of these papers have also been featured in the international press or won best paper prizes.”
During his time with St Andrews, Per Ola had many successes from being awarded the RSE/Makdougall Brisbane Medal  to being the only UK member of the TR35, the most prestigious annual list published by MIT TechnologyReview in 2013.  Speaking of Per Ola as an academic Aaron said , “While Per-Ola has some serious business credentials under his belt, he is a true academic scholar, in every meaning of that term. He values academia deeply and understands that high quality research with impact doesn’t come overnight. Instead, it comes with deep thought, studious application of suitable methodology and care in reporting research results”.
Speaking about the School of Computer Science and the University Per Ola said, “people here have a genuine belief in academic values and the importance of ensuring teaching and research is of the highest calibre.” Dr Miguel Nacenta, another of Per Ola’s colleagues added, “Per Ola has been a great colleague and a friend. Working with him has enriched all of us at SACHI and we hope that the strong ties that we keep with him result in many more fruitful collaborations.”
Dr Per Ola Kristensson is now a Honorary Reader in the School of Computer Science and continues to be a member of SACHI. Looking back on his time in St Andrews Per Ola noted, “these years I have spent in St Andrews have helped me develop as a researcher and a teacher and I will remember my years here fondly”. We all wish Per Ola well on the next step in his career, it has been our great pleasure to work together for these past few years.