Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr Per Ola Kristensson

Department of Engineering

Dr Per Ola Kristensson


Per Ola Kristensson

Reader in Engineering Design

Academic Division: Mechanics, Materials and Design

Research group: Engineering Design

Telephone: +44 1223 7 66957


Personal website


Research interests

I focus on understanding how to design interactive systems that enable people to be more creative, expressive and satisfied in their daily lives. I build systems that amplifiy people's ability to efficiently interact with computer systems.

Research areas:

  • Intelligent interactive systems
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Accessibility, inclusive design and augmentatative and alternative communication
  • Human computation and crowdsourcing
  • Interaction science


Per Ola Kristensson is a University Lecturer in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He is interested in designing intelligent interactive systems that enable people to be more creative, expressive and satisfied in their daily lives. His PhD thesis was on gesture keyboard technology for touchscreens and in 2007 he co-founded ShapeWriter, Inc. to commercialise this technology. He was the Director of Engineering of this company until it was acquired by Nuance Communications in 2010. ShapeWriter was selected as the 8th best iPhone application by Time magazine in 2008 and won a Google Android ADC50 developer award in the same year. He did his doctoral work at the Institute of Technology at Linköping University, Sweden and at IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, USA (Ph.D. Computer Science 2007). In 2008-2011 he was a Junior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge (Darwin College) and in 2011-2014 he was a Lecturer at the University of St Andrews. He is an Honorary Associate Professor (Docent) in Computer and Systems Science at Stockholm University, Sweden and an Honorary Reader at the University of St Andrews. In 2013 he was recognised as an Innovator Under 35 (TR35) by MIT Technology Review and appointed a Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland. In 2014 he won the ACM User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) Lasting Impact Award and the Royal Society of Edinburgh Early Career Prize in Physical Sciences, the Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane Medal. He is an Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Intelligent Interactive Systems and the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.