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Luma Tabbaa is a lecturer in Digital Media. She completed her PhD in Digital Arts - University of Kent (UK) in 2021, specifically investigating the design and deployment of immersive spaces in healthcare and wellbeing contexts. Previously, she obtained her MSc in 3D Computer Animation - University of Kent (UK) in 2015, and BSc in Computer Graphics & Animation - Princess Sumaya University for Technology (Jordan) in 2012. Luma has also been a Fellow of Advance Higher Education (FHEA) after she completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) in 2022. Prior to joining academia, Luma gained several years of industrial experience working in various fields within the Creative Industries; Luma worked in Quality Assurance (Mari (3D Painting Software); an Oscar Award winner for scientific development, The Foundry (UK)), 3D Art, Motion Graphic, and Graphic Design.
Luma's primary research focus lies within the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), with a strong emphasis on healthcare and wellbeing. Given the complexity of the healthcare context, her research is inherently interdisciplinary. Luma frames her research through the lens of real-world constraints, considerations, and opportunities, driven by her belief that practical and well-grounded solutions increase the viability, feasibility, and deployment of interventions, and, therefore, can have a tangible impact in healthcare settings. To achieve this, Luma adopts a diverse array of co-design methods that encompass the needs and requirements of key stakeholders. In this context, she has published research works that investigate the application of emerging technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR), in the context of dementia, rehabilitation, pain management, and anxiety. Additionally, she has conducted research exploring VR, Mixed Reality (XR), and Metaverse design within the realms of emotion recognition, gaming, and entertainment.
Luma teaches a range of modules related to digital media. Using high-end industry-standard software, her specialisation lies in 3D art and design, with a particular focus on modelling and texturing. Drawing from her industry experience and connections within the Creative Industries, Luma tailors her teaching to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the diverse requirements and constraints encountered in film production, VFX, advertisement, gaming, and VR. With a commitment to enhancing students' employability, Luma's teaching methods encompass a spectrum of essential skills, including professional practice, design thinking, and effective communication. Luma also supervises student projects.
Luma is active in exploring potential research collaborations with other research bodies as well as industry professionals. In 2019 -2020, Luma was a Co-Investigator at the Assistive Devices for empowering disabled People through Robotic Technologies (ADAPT). ADAPT is a collaborative project that combines sixteen organisations across England and France and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. One of the project aims is to provide novel training and assessment modalities, including the use of multi-sensory VR where users can enhance their wheelchair driving skills in a controlled and safe environment. Luma is also in contact with several industry professionals to explore the possibilities of research consultations for various applications, including empathic gaming, applications promoting mental well-being, and cognitive stimulation using projection technology. Luma is also actively seeking opportunities to initiate discussions with industry professionals regarding student placement and internship opportunities.