• 119 Citations
  • 5 h-Index
20082018
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Personal profile

Biography

Rolf Black Dipl.-Ing. MSc is a member of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Research Group (aac.dundee.ac.uk) at Dundee University and holds an honorary contract with NHS Tayside as a researcher.

Current Projects:

  • ACE-LP: Enhancing Augmentative Communication. The ACE-LP Project (Augmenting Communication using Environmental Data to drive Language Prediction) brings together research expertise in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) (University of Dundee), Intelligent Interactive Systems (University of Cambridge), and Computer Vision and Image Processing (University of Dundee) to develop a predictive AAC system that will address these prohibitively slow communication rates by introducing the use of multimodal sensor data to inform state of the art language prediction (for more details please visit the project page).
  • Tap and Talk. The Tap and Talk project supports adults with aphasia through group sessions with the use of iPads. iPads can help when communicating by giving access to images, speech output of written text and communication programs such email and web browsers (for more details please visit the project page).
  • Outer Space | Inner Space (OSIS). This award winning public engagement project brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers with one of Dundee's iconic landmarks, The Mills Observatory - Britain’s first purpose-built public observatory on the summit of Balgay Hill in the heart of Dundee. In this project we have developed an adaptable space and activities under the theme "Ways of Seeing" the invisible universe (for more details please visit the project page).

Rolf is a Mechanical Engineer (University of Hanover, Germany, 1996) and Bioengineer (MSc, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, 1995, with a grant of the German Academic Exchange Service). For his undergraduate thesis he developed the mechanism for a bi-axial orthotic hip joint which has been patented and is being successfully marketed by a leading provider of Orthotics and Prosthetics, Otto Bock Healthcare GmbH. He has a professional background as a rehabilitation engineer and extensive experience with children with complex communication needs (CCN).

He co-founded EO-Funktion GmbH in Germany in 1999 (now “Made for Movement”), a leading company in supplying dynamic walking frames for children with complex motor disabilities. After his move from Germany to Scotland he joined Prof Annalu Waller and her team in 2005, now researching in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). He is has been leading the evaluation phases of research projects under Prof Waller such as

  • "How was School today…?" - Supporting narrative for non-speaking children (as Researcher Co-Investigator),
  • "STANDUP" - System To Augment Non-speakers' Dialogue Using Puns, and
  • "The PhonicStick" - Providing Children with CCN with access to Phonemic Speech Output.

The first two projects were funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; all evaluations incorporated extensive interaction with children with CCN and were partially based at Capability Scotland sites.

"How was School today…?" is an award winning cutting-edge project aimed to help children with CCN to share their experiences from school with parents. It won the 2010 TES Schools Award for Outstanding ICT Learning Initiative of the Year for project partner Capability Scotland (Corseford School) and was shortlisted for the BCS UK IT Industry Awards 2010.

The PhonicStick pilot project (funded by Capability Scotland), which Rolf co-initiated, led to a patent application in 2006 (granted for the US in 2012) and to an international travel grant by the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2008 to present at the international conference of the International Society of Alternative and Augmentative Communications.

Education/Academic qualification

Master in Science, University of Strathclyde

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Projects 2013 2014

Research Output 2008 2018

Gathering egocentric video and other sensor data with AAC users to inform narrative prediction

Black, R., Rashid, Z. & Waller, A., 21 Jul 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Open Access
File
Communication
Sensors
Real time systems
Tires
Ontology

User Centred Design with Disabled Participants: A New SGD Interface Supporting Narrative Prediction

Black, R., Rashid, Z. & Waller, A., 21 Jul 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Open Access
File
User centered design
Communication
Software design
Mobile devices
Information technology

A Science Saturday for All Ages: Presenting AAC at the National Museum of Scotland

Black, R. & Waller, A., Apr 2017, Communication Support World Network Newsletter, April 2018, p. 21-26 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access
museum
communication
science
Group

Exploring new designs of predictive AAC with disabled participants

Waller, A., Black, R. & Rashid, Z., 15 Sep 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Dyslexia
Technology
Research
Literacy

Involving people with severe speech and physical impairments in the early design of a context-aware AAC system

Waller, A., Black, R. & Rashid, Z., 10 Sep 2017, p. 34. 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Open Access
File
Application programs
Mobile devices
Software engineering
Communication systems
Availability

Prizes

1st Place, Student Research Competition Graduate Award

Rolf Black (Recipient), 24 Oct 2011

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Acoustic waves
Students
Communication

Brian Cox Prize - Public Engagement Project of the Year

Rolf Black (Recipient) & Amy Cameron (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

project
public

Commendation: Stephen Fry Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement with Research

Rolf Black (Recipient), Amy Cameron (Recipient) & Christine Millar (Recipient), 13 Jan 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

outer space
life sciences
human being
school

Commendation: Stephen Fry Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement with Research

Rolf Black (Recipient), 11 Jan 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

speech disorder
self-confidence
leadership
community
Group

Activities 2013 2019

Science Saturday: Physics at Mills

Aurora Sicilia Aguilar (Organiser), Rolf Black (Organiser), Amy Cameron (Host), Christine Millar (Host)
30 Mar 2019

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

Science Saturday: Forensic Science Family Day

Heather Doran (Organiser), Rolf Black (Organiser), Christine Millar (Host), Lysbeth Antonides (Contributor), Craig McKenzie (Contributor), Catarina Sobreira (Contributor), Virginia Maria Donadeo (Contributor), Emma Comrie (Contributor), Magda Pereira De Barros (Contributor), Joyce Klu (Speaker), Roy Mudie (Speaker), Oluwasesan Adegoke (Speaker), Aga Kuffel (Contributor)
23 Mar 2019

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

File

8th Workshop on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies (Event)

Rolf Black (Advisor)
2019 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of committee

Science Saturday: Family Fun Day with Women in STEM Women's Festival Dundee

Christine Millar (Host), Heather Doran (Organiser), Rolf Black (Organiser), Amy Rogers (Organiser), Amy Cameron (Organiser), Catarina Sobreira (Contributor), Bethany Coull (Contributor), Daniella Cavellini (Contributor), Shobna Vasishta (Contributor), Amy Learmonth (Contributor), Simone Altmann (Contributor), Ruth Hamilton (Contributor), Carmen Escudero-Martinez (Contributor), Julie Kovarova (Contributor), Anna Trenaman (Contributor), Alice Dawson (Contributor), Nicola Morrice (Contributor)
2 Mar 2019

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

File

Lee Ridley, aka Lost Voice Guy

Lee Ridley (Presenter), Rolf Black (Organiser), Annalu Waller (Contributor)
12 Apr 2018

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

Press / Media

Aphasia group launches app to explain the condition

Rolf Black

30/06/173/07/17

3 items of media coverage

Press/Media: Other

Celebrating 80 years of stargazing at Mills Observatory

Rolf Black & Sarah Hussain

26/10/15

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Other

Regaining a voice with technology

Rolf Black

1/11/14

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research

New app relieves patients’ fear of the dentist

Rolf Black, Annalu Waller, Rachel Menzies, Daniel Herron & Daniel Herron

17/06/14

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research