Spotlight on Dr Madhan Kumar Vasudevan
21 November 2023
This week a UCL delegation is in India, visiting our partners and colleagues. To celebrate, we spoke with Madhan, an Indian researcher who now works as a Research Fellow in UCL Computer Science.
Tell us about yourself! Where did you grow up and study in India? What brought you to UCL?
I grew up in Madurai, India, and received my PhD in Haptics, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and Computational Neuroscience at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras in Chennai. The intersection of HCI, haptics, and neuroscience has been my passion. This led me to UCL given its extraordinary strength in nourishing emerging technologies, cutting-edge research environment, and the opportunity to collaborate with leading experts in the field.
The Meenakshi Temple in the centre of the old city of Madurai
What is your current research focus?
My current research focus is on contactless haptic technology which uses ultrasound to give us the sense of touch. Furthermore, the funding I received through the Institute of Health Engineering encouraged me to additionally focus on the applications around healthy ageing challenges, specifically, how haptic technologies can be used to improve wellbeing.
Madhan has led public engagement workshops with older people in the UK and India.
What was it like transitioning to a new country?
Transitioning to the UK, especially to the vibrant city of London, was initially a mix of excitement and challenge. UCL community has been supportive and has a diverse cultural environment which made the transition smoother. Engaging with colleagues and students from around the world has enriched my experience both academically and personally.
What is the best thing about living in London?
To put it simply, the dynamic blend of cultures, ideas, and opportunities from all over the world. London's rich history, diverse neighbourhoods, and cultural events make it an exciting place to live and explore.
What are your plans for the future?
I aim to remain in academic research and secure funding to pursue further research on novel haptic technology and its application to healthcare challenges related to sensory and emotional wellbeing, especially through a cross-cultural approach.