School of Computing

Staff Profiles

Dr Ahmed Kharrufa

Senior Lecturer


I am a senior lecturer in human-computer interaction at Open Lab, Newcastle University. I lead the educational technology research at Open Lab and my research in this area focuses on the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of processes and technologies in support of learning, school-community engagement, and cultural and language learning. My research and interest in the area of interaction design ranges from improving people’s experiences of interacting with digital surfaces, spaces and the IoTs to rethinking the design, and the appropriation, of online platforms and services.

Teaching wise, I am the Degree Programme Director for the Software Engineering Degree Apprenticeship, and the module leader for three human-computer interaction related modules for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

My background is in Electronics and Communication Engineering (BSc and MSc) with a PhD in Computing Science. Before joining academia full time in 2016, I worked in the software industry for almost two decades as a developer, a development manager, a director and an entrepreneur starting my own educational technology software company (Reflective Thinking) in 2011. 

I founded Reflective Thinking to realize the impact of my PhD by commercializing ‘Digital Mysteries’ (an app platform for collaborative learning and thinking skills development) releasing 30 iPad apps covering different educational topics and different age groups with more than 500,000 downloads from over 60 countries.

Under the theme of education, I have done work on computer supported collaborative learning, reflective and metacognitive thinking, school-community engagement, coding education, mobile and place-based learning, HCI Education, and the evaluation of educational technologies.

PhD supervision and examination experience

As a main supervisor, I have supervised three PhD students to completion (up to 2020), and I have six other PhD students researching topics in educational technology and interaction design.

I have acted as an external examiner for Sydney University, and internal examiner at Newcastle University.

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