PhD Spotlight

This page hands over to our PEP PhD researchers to showcase their work.


LIGHTCAP European collaboration project

A group photo of the staff and students in Lightcap

We are PhD students (AKA early career researchers) on the LIGHTCAP project, a European Training Network under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions framework. Work at the School of Architecture is led by Professor Steve Fotios. The focus of LIGHTCAP is to investigate the non-visual stimulation of lighting. Our specific focus is outdoor lighting - can we prompt greater alertness in pedestrians and drivers and thus reduce road traffic crashes?

In October 2021 we conducted our first experiment. This required us to work in the laboratory every evening from 7pm to 1am in order to capture test participant responses during their natural progression towards sleep. It took us nearly six months to set up this experiment! Our supervisor would ask us to check and re-check everything, to conduct seemingly endless measurements and to ask us why we made certain decisions.

In April 2022 we attended the first in-person meeting for the LIGHTCAP project, held at Technical University of Eindhoven. After presenting our work we waited for the questions. We are pleased to say that the project received a lot of positive feedback from other teams. Specifically, we were able to respond to critical comments that were raised because of the preparation we had put into experimental design. Although we were eager, at that time, to get on with the experiment, on reflection we can see that our supervisor’s focus on good preparation helped us to conduct better work. In turn, that means our month of nights in the laboratory was not wasted.

LIGHTCAP website