Updated June 2018


Choong Yew CHANG

photoMethodology for Window View Quality Assessment

I am a registered architect in Malaysia and have over 10 years of professional experience in residential and industrial building projects. As a principal lecturer at the School of Architecture, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Kuala Lumpur, I have been teaching design studio and professional practice at diploma and undergraduate levels since 2011, and was the Associate Dean of the School from 2017 to 2018. My research and teaching explore questions related to environmental psychology and passive design in architecture, with emphases on practical applications and best practices.

The window is a source of information on the weather and generally about what is happening outdoors, hence providing the building occupant with an indication of where he is in time and space. It has been widely accepted that the provision of windows and the view qualities have impacts on human’s health and wellbeing. My current PhD project, which is under the supervision of Professor Steve Fotios, examines weaknesses of the past research studies on window view quality evaluation, focusing on methods of measurement and empirical evidences obtained through experimental studies. By quantifying the basic constructs of window view, the project aims to develop a methodology for objective assessment of window view quality and explore its potential applications to architectural design.


Scott FOX

photoHe is now an ESRC funded 1+3 PhD student. This specific type of PhD consists of a MA year in Social Research followed by a three year PhD situated between the Schools of Architecture and Psychology.

In 2015 Scott gained a first class BSc degree in Psychology. The research at this level involved investigating how lighting conditions and spatial frequency influence facial identification to explain why people see ghosts. Such psychophysical phenomena greatly interests Scott, although he is interested in research that has clear practical outcomes. This is what drives his passion for academia, and what drove him into research with a more practical focus.

Indeed, drive is the appropriate word to use regarding not only Scott’s subsequent research experience following his undergraduate degree, but also his PhD project. He was employed as a Research Assistant at the University of Sheffield in 2016. The research involved investigating the influence of road lighting on driving performance, both in terms of adaptation to light/dark and how fog interacts with light to impact driving performance. His PhD project takes inspiration from the research conducted in the outlined Research Assistant post, in which different types of distraction on the road and how they impact driving performance will be investigated. This primarily includes elements of lighting and sound.



photoUsing Lighting to Help Pedestrians Be Safe and Feel Safe

My goal is to become an architect. I first studied at the Engineering College in Saudi Arabia where I received a bachelor degree in Islamic Architectural Engineering (2009). After graduation I was accepted as an assistant lecturer at Al-Baha University in Saudi Arabia. From 2010 – 2012 I improved my English language skills studying at the University of Oregon in the USA. In 2014 I was awarded a Master’s degree in Interior Design from Lawrence Technological University, USA. I went back to Saudi Arabia for two years practising my job as a lecturer in Al-Baha University. Finally, January 2018 I started my PhD research in the UK at the University of Sheffield, School of Architecture.

A main goal of street lighting is making pedestrians safe and feel safe after dark. The visibility of a face changes with the fall of light and hence the person’s location relative to lamp posts – they may be front lit, in which case the face is visible, or backlit, in which case the face is not clearly visible. The research experiment has two test procedures category rating and paired comparisons. These procedures ensure believable results, and to compare evaluations of safety when looking at other pedestrians in a night-time street scene. The experiment’s results will be analysed using statistical techniques to determine the importance of differences – which acted situations are considered to be more unsafe than others?



photoDesigning home windows to provide Useful Daylight Illuminance for health and wellbeing, concurrently, and maintaining privacy for Libyan women

I graduated as a Libyan architect in 1997 from in the Department of Architecture at the College of Architecture and Arts in Omar Al-Mukhtar University, Libya. After I had graduated, I started working as an architectural designer in a consultant office in Libya until I engaged in master’s level study in the department of Architecture at Istanbul Kültür University in Turkey in 2007. When I came back to Libya, I taught in my College from 2007 to 2012 when I travelled to the UK. Recently, I have started my PhD study in the School of Architecture at Sheffield University. My studying purpose has stemmed from my desire to design distinctive windows that provide suitable health daylight and at the same time maintain the visual privacy of Libyan women.

In the Libyan context, privacy is the most crucial issue in the residential environment. Libyan women spent most of their time at homes because of their daily duties. Findings indicate that social-culture, aspects and religion requirements influence the visual privacy of Libyan women in their houses. A desire to achieve privacy may affect negatively on the efficacy of natural light inside houses that needed for women health and wellbeing. This research study seeks to investigate how to maintain the useful daylight Illuminance that can be provided, whilst maintaining the acceptable visual privacy of Libyan women inside their homes during the daytime. Therefore, the research aims to design windows for Libyan residential homes to achieve the requirements of privacy for Libyan women on one side and their health and wellbeing on the other side.



photoI joined the SSoA Lighting Research Group in 2014 as a PhD student, having previously studied for a master`s degree in Building Science at Middle East Technical University in Turkey. Prior to that, I completed a bachelor’s degree in Architecture at Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey. During my studies I also worked as a research assistant within the Department of Architecture. I have recently become interested in the relations between daylight and human behaviour in architectural spaces, and I joined the SSoA PhD program to further pursue my research interests.

The focus of my research is daylight and how this might influence human behaviour, specifically, whether it influences the choice of seat in an open-plan library workspace. The approach consisted of two phases, the first focusing on surveys asking for the reasons for the choice of seat locations (stated preference) and the second focusing on direct observation of actual seating behaviour (revealed preference). A set of daylight performance metrics were then explored with respect to their potential in predicting occupancy patterns found in the test room. If, as expected, this study identifies behavioural patterns associated with daylight, this has implications for spatial design, the footprint and internal planning of library buildings.



photoMy background is in Psychology of Justice, having a BA in Psychology and a MA in Psychology of Justice, both obtained in Porto, Portugal. My general research interests are Environmental Criminology, Fear of crime and Cognitive-Behavioural Psychology.

In October 2016, I have started a Ph.D. in Sheffield School of Architecture's Lighting Research Group as part of the MERLIN-2 project. My Ph.D. project focuses on how road lighting levels might influence pedestrians' fear of crime. For this, different methods are being explored such as surveys, eye-tracking, Biopac and Virtual Reality.


Yichong MAO

photoHow changes in road lighting affect the ability to detect peripheral objects and identify facial expressions after dark

I am a second-year PhD student at the University of Sheffield. My background is in architecture design, having obtained a BSc in Architecture in Nanjing Tech University and MSc in Advanced Sustainable Design from the University of Edinburgh. I am interested in sustainable architecture design and road lighting, hoping to explore the connection between built environment and lighting which aims to minimise the energy consumption in the future.

My current research topic is "How changes in road lighting affect the ability to detect peripheral objects and identify facial expressions after dark". It involves two aspects, obstacle detection and facial expression recognition. Previous studies only target on one task rather than dual-task and both have some limitations. This project will be upgraded to use multiple obstacle positions and lamp positions, two elevations and detailed 3d printed model faces instead of 2-dimensional photographs. By carrying out this project, we hoping to provide the evidence to support current national regulations and standards or give out useful suggestions based on the results of our experiment.


Hussain QASEM

photoHussain Qasem is a PhD candidate and a member of lighting research group at the school of architecture in Sheffield University. Before commencing on this research career he practiced architecture, in the office and on site, for projects in Middle east and UK. He has a number of qualifications including B.Arch., MBA, AFHEA (Associate fellow of higher education academy).

The decision to study for a PhD followed his ambition to contribute scientifically to the built environment field, particularly in his home country Kuwait. Under the supervision visual perception professor at lighting research group Steve Fotios, Hussain aims to contribute with the efforts aiming to build an empirical foundation for road lighting guidelines, particularly lighting for cycling. To do so, it is necessary to identify what is the critical visual tasks of cyclists i.e. where cyclists look in real world situation. Using an eye-tracking apparatus accompanied with a novel approach of using dual task and bio data concurrently a naturalistic study was conducted to investigate cyclists’ visual behaviour. In addition, a laboratory experiment was carried to test specific lighting properties influence on cyclists’ ability to detect obstacles. A couple of smaller studies were carried along the study part: an observation to assess the effect of light on the desire to cycle, and an in lab study to test eye-tracking, dual task, bio measurement apparatus. The project main objective is improving urban environment for cyclists by optimising road lighting.