The Department of Computer Science is part of Brunel University.  This is a dynamic institution with over 15,000 students and over 1,000 academic staff with total staff numbers in excess of 2,600 operating in a vibrant culture of research excellence.  With a turnover of more than £179 million, the University is a Higher Education and research establishment with considerable intellectual, financial and social resources and makes a major contribution to the economy and community of the West London region. It also plays a significant role in the higher education scene nationally and has numerous national and international links and partnerships with both academia and industry. According to the last Research Assessment Exercise, with 82% of Brunel research rated as of international standing (10% as world-class), Brunel is now ranked 37th in the country in terms of Research Power with most of its research of international standing.  The Department of Computer Science is the largest research group of its type in the country and was ranked top in the UK in terms of ‘Research Power’ in the last UK Research Audit and pursues cutting edge research in Intelligent Data Analysis (Big Data), Software Systems (including e-Infrastructures), Healthcare and Synthetic Biology.   Brunel has a long history of successful bidding for European funding and of managing EU projects, and is currently coordinating 11 FP7 EU projects and it is also a partner on more than 50 other projects across a broad range of EU funding schemes. Within the last two financial years, Brunel has secured more than €18M in European funding.  The University works closely with the UK National Contact Points, the UK Research Office in Brussels and EC Project Officers, and regularly hosts meetings and events focused on EU and EU research funding. Brunel prides itself on its multicultural environment and has gained countless benefits from having staff and students from over 113 different countries contributing to both its academic and social environment. Brunel has been awarded the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research accreditation for its commitment to providing high quality training and career development for researchers and has achieved an Athena SWAN Bronze award for its efforts to promote the equal representation of women in science-related subjects (2012).


Alexandra Covaci
Research Assistant Brunel University
My research interests are in the processes that make virtual reality work in different circumstances, from skill training to social scenarios. I am interested in answering questions such as: What are the characteristics of a virtual environment aiming at changing the way people perform a task? What is the impact of mediated technologies on user’s experience? My long term goal is to create systems that can further improve the assessment and treatment of a variety of human behavioural and cognitive aspects.