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School of Psychology celebrates collaborative research in defence technology and human senses

12 February 2024

people using driving simulation

Cardiff University School of Psychology is collaborating with K Sharp Ltd, a leading Human Science Research and Factors consultancy on a Phase 1 defence technology study aiming to develop a deep understanding of the human senses and their interrelationships in different environments.

This development has significant implications for national security and defence strategies and will set a standard for future research in the field while contributing to a safer and more secure future.

The research has been commissioned by the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), a government organisation that ensures that innovative science and technology contribute to the defence and security of the UK. It focusses on understanding how humans use their senses (e.g. vision and hearing) to perceive and understand the environments around them, such as the operation of current and future vehicles.

Combining specialised knowledge

K Sharp's expertise in applied human sciences combined with Cardiff University's Human Factors Excellence (HuFEx) prestigious research team and cutting-edge research capabilities have helped navigate the complexities of the project.

"The successful delivery of Phase 1 of this study is a testament to the synergy between industry and academia. Our collaboration with Cardiff University has not only advanced our understanding of sensory effects in defence but has also set the stage for further innovative research in this domain."
Barry Kirby, MD of K Sharp and project lead

As Wales is renowned for its vibrant academic and technological landscape, the partnership has nurtured further collaboration and the sharing of resources.

This local connection not only streamlines the project but also contributes to Wales's growing stature as a hub for innovative research and development in defence technology, enhancing the region's economic and academic standing.

"This collaboration highlights the importance of academic and industry partnerships in pushing the boundaries of science and technology and is at the heart of our core values as a hub for human factors research. We have achieved excellence in defence and security research since the 1960s and conducted world-leading research involving human senses for more than half a century. The findings from this study will significantly contribute to the development of new defence technologies and strategies based on better scientific understanding of how human senses work independently and in parallel when performing complex tasks such as operating vehicles."
Professor Phil Morgan, IROHMS Director of Research

The project is scheduled to continue through to the Financial Year 2025, with further phases aiming to build upon the successes and learnings of Phase 1. The collaboration between K Sharp Ltd and Cardiff University, supported by Dstl, is poised to make significant strides in the realm of defence technology.

If you would like to get in contact about the research please e-mail Leanne Jones from K Sharp Ltd.

About Cardiff University - School of Psychology, HuFEx and the DTII

The Cardiff University Human Factors Excellence (HuFEx) Research Group, based within the School of Psychology provides a hub for industrial and strategic partnerships and innovation requiring human factors psychology expertise.

The Centre for AI, Robotics, and Human Machine Systems (IROHMS) is a cutting-edge interdisciplinary collaboration between sociotechnical human factors and cognitive science experts within the School of Psychology and technical and sociotechnical experts within the Schools of Engineering and Computer Science and Informatics.

The Cardiff University Digital Transformation Innovation Institute (DTII) delivers new and disruptive capabilities in partnership and collaboration with communities and beneficiaries most likely to be impacted by innovation.