• School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    A Mixed Reality System for Emergency Management to improve Situational Awareness using Scenario Engineering and Gamification
    Gamification models and frameworks using VR, AR, and psycho-physiological feedback
    Virtual Companions in e-Health using mobile augmented reality and Game Technology

    Personal profile

    Research Interests

    Prof Kavakli has been appointed as the Program Leader for Gamification at ADFI (Aston Digital Futures Institute) in September 2023 and holds the title of Professor of Gamification and Simulation Technology at Aston University’s College of Physical Science and Engineering. She has a  complimentary background as an educator in both Architectural Design (12 years) and Computer Science (23 years) in professorial roles, as well as experience in Departmental & Research Administration in three separate Directorship roles. 

    Prof Kavakli is an interdisciplinary researcher primarily interested in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Virtual and Augmented Reality, and Game Engineering.

    She has obtained 49 grants and generated a total research income and infrastructure over $6 million. She established interdisciplinary facilities such as the first Virtual Reality Lab in Sydney in 2005, the first Simulation Hub and a Research Center (CEPET:  Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise, and Training) with her colleagues from Psychology and Physiotherapy in 2015, and a Virtual Production Studio in Canberra in 2022, after receiving 10 competitive grants from a number of scientific international organisations including, The ACT Government Grant, Commonwealth Grant, 5 ARC (Australian Research Council) grants (DP0988088, DP0558852, LP160101803, LX0560117, and LP0216837), and 2 grants from State Planning Organisation in Turkish Republic. 


    Prof Kavakli is the founding Head of VISOR (Virtual and Interactive Simulations of Reality Research Group) at Macquarie University. She has an extensive experience in research supervision and supervised 11 postdoctoral fellows and 117 postgraduate students (17 PhD, 4 MSc, 7 Honours, 34 MIT (Master of IT) projects, 48 MIT Special Topics, 10 French MEng internships, and 60 MIT/MEng internships). She is an academic conducting highly interdisciplinary research for over 35 years. Her research studies are not domain specific and can be applied to many different areas in the industry, as well as design and engineering as demonstrated by 49 competitive grants and 238 refereed papers with over 3000 citations (h-index 24 and i10 57).  



    Prof Kavakli gained her B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in 1987, 1990 and 1995 respectively, from Istanbul Technical University. She was awarded a NATO Science Fellowship in United Kingdom in 1996 for postdoctoral research, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Sydney, Australia in 1998.   


    Between 1989 and 1999 she worked as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University. In 2000, she started lecturing in Game Design at the School of Information TechnologyCharles Sturt University and became the Acting Course Coordinator of the first Bachelor of Computer Science (Games Technology) degree in Australia. In 2003, becoming a Senior Lecturer in Computer Graphics and Game Design at the Department of Computing, Macquarie University, she established a Virtual Reality Lab in 2005, where she was promoted to Associate Professorship in 2010.   


    Prof Kavakli was the Director of the Virtual Reality Lab between 2005-2020 and the Director of Postgraduate Program between 2014-2018 at the Department of Computing, Macquarie University. Between 2018-2023 in her professorial appointment as the Academic Director, she established the AIE Institute receiving TEQSA accreditation for the Bachelor of Game Development degree with 3 majors; Game Art, Game Design and Game Programming. Currently, she holds an Honorary Professorship at Macquarie University.  


    Prof Kavakli has strong links to European research organisations. She was a Visiting Research Professor at Image Institute, Laboratory, Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Arts et Metiers ParisTech, Chalon Sur Saone, France in 2013 and 2014, and at AIX Marseille Universite, France in 2019.  



    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, Istanbul Technical University

    Award Date: 10 Aug 1995

    MSc, Istanbul Technical University

    Award Date: 1 Jul 1990

    BSc, Istanbul Technical University

    Award Date: 1 Jul 1987

    External positions

    Honorary Professor, Macquarie University

    20 Aug 202020 Aug 2025

    Professor and Academic Director of AIE Institute, Sydney, Australia

    20 Aug 20187 Feb 2023

    Associate Professor, Postgraduate Director for Master of IT, Macquarie University

    15 Sept 200320 Aug 2018

    Senior Lecturer in Game Design, Charles Sturt University

    4 Jul 200015 Sept 2003


    Dive into the research topics where Manolya Kavakli-Thorne is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
    • 1 Similar Profiles