Associate Professor Christian Jones

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Associate Professor Christian Jones


Research areas

  • human-computer interaction
  • affective computing and emotion
  • interactive educational systems
  • computer gaming
  • animation and play
  • mobile technologies
  • location-based services
  • satellite navigation and in-car systems
  • interactive museums and new digital media
  • technology mediated communities and systems to affect social change

Program coordinator


Associate Professor Christian Jones is both an academic and commercial entrepreneur. He has a successful track record of managing large-scale academic research projects and spinning out Intellectual Property for industrial commercialisation.

He joined USC in November 2006 to build collaborative research projects across the University and with local, national and international industry and government. Immediately prior to this he was a lecturer in computer science at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, as well as founder and CEO of a UK-based emotion engineering company, Affective Media.

He heads up large scale collaborative projects in serious games, social learning, affective computing (emotion), mobile communications, location-based services, speech technologies, human computer interaction, and gaming, multimedia and animation.

His recent research into affective computing considers how to develop systems that can automatically recognise human emotion and respond appropriately. He has developed systems that recognise human emotion from speech and from biometric sensors, and has applied these systems to create emotionally intelligent cars, robotics, mobile communications, customer relationship management, audio players and computer games.

He is interested in serious games and games for change. Working with the Queensland Police Service, the Crime and Misconduct Commission, the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and Education Queensland, has developed Being Safety Smart, a free to use online computer game to provide safety strategies for children aged from 6 to 8. He is now developing a free to use online game for children aged 8 to 10 to learn strategies to protect themselves from sexual abuse and support for disclosures, in partnership with the Telstra Foundation, Queensland Police Service, Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Education Queensland, Sunshine Cooloola Services Against Sexual Violence Inc and Laurel House. He is also leading the web-based education and visualisation project on climate change and environmental management as part of the A$1.9M Smart Forest Alliance Queensland project.

He is developing location-based systems which can monitor and guide visitors around environmentally sensitive and remote regions to reduce their environmental impact and offer sustainability, such as Fraser Island, Queensland. Additionally, he is developing location-based system which can allow scientists to record changes to the environment such as fire risk and damage.

He has collaborations with Toyota, Ford Motors (USA), Stanford University, Edinburgh University and telecommunications and computer game developers. His work has been published in international conferences and journals, and also covered in the New Scientist, Newsweek International, Beyond Tomorrow, and the BBC.

Christian's PhD (conferred 1998) developed a talking-head animation systems capable of automatically lip synching to speech and he has worked with a wide range of speech-enabled technologies, including video compression, immersive virtual reality, entertainment, e-business and interactive digital television. This work enveloped many technical disciplines including speech physiology, communicative psychology and sociology, together with acoustic analysis, speech recognition and computer-based facial modelling and animation.

Christian is interested in supporting the interactions between humans and computers to create entertaining, engaging, usable and commercially viable products.


  • Vice-Chancellor's Medal for Engagement (2010), University of the Sunshine Coast
  • University Medal for Excellence in Teaching (2001), Heriot-Watt University

Professional qualifications

  • Chartered Engineer from the Engineering Council, UK
  • Chartered IT Professional, from the British Computer Society
  • Member of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Institute of Learning and Teaching
  • Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (formerly IEE)
  • Honorary Fellow of the Human Communications Research Centre, UK
  • Honorary Fellow of the College of Science and Engineering at Edinburgh University


Associate Professor Jones is a reviewer for IEEE journals on Multimedia and HCI, Speech Communications, and VR, EPSRC grant submissions, and International Conferences and Journals on HCI, Affective Computing and Communications.

He was also Conference Manager for the International HCI conference INTERACT, Co-Chair on multimedia and HCI at the LTSN workshop on HCI education, Conference Manager for the LTSN 'the move from teaching to learning' conference and the Chair of the BCS-HCI group 'Effective Teaching and Training in HCI' workshop.

Research grants

 Project name  Investigators  Funding body  Year Focus 
Interactive exhibits for environmental management Christian Jones. Partners: Sonia Marshall, Sunshine Coast TAFE; Mitchell Smith, Director, Sunshine Coast TAFE Sunshine Coast Council and Sunshine Coast TAFE (A$200,000)  2010–present Research and development of a multi user interactive ultra-wide display wall to allow multiple visitors to interactive with a developing narrative around environmental management.
Needs of Nurse Educators Investigators: Margaret McAllister, Christian Jones, Leonie Mosel Williams, Teressa Schmidt. Research Assistants: Kristina Malko-Nyhan, Tara Gamble. Partner: Sunshine Coast TAFE. USC Open Learning and Teaching Grants Program 2010 An exploration of the needs of nurse educators working in a range of Australian contexts.
Knowing You, Knowing Me — Mother and Children alcohol reduction intervention using technology mediated communication Investigators: Christian Jones, Mary Katsikitis, Melody Morley. partners: Queensland Health, DRUG ARM, DrinkSafe Coalition. auDA Foundation, Queensland Health, DRUG ARM, DrinkSafe Coalition (A$40,000) 2009–present To promote healthy mother and daughters relationships using education and shared experiences to encourage positive modeling against alcohol misuse.
PTT — The Development of a Best Practice Model for Capacity Building Pre-service teachers during their workplace placement experience using mobile and online resources to support mentoring Investigators: Christian Jones, Christopher Dann, Elizabeth Toohey, Beverly Lowe, Noel Meyers Faculty of Science, Health and Education (A$106,000) 2009–present Designing and building mobile and online mentoring and assessment resource for use with teachers and students on pre-service workplaces. Mobile delivery will allow teachers to record performance in the classroom.
Smart Forests Alliance Queensland (SFAQ) Investigators: Helen Wallace, Stephen Trueman, David Walton, Christian Jones, Peter Waterman. Partners: Queensland and Northern Territory departments of primary industries, CSIRO, and two national timber companies: Integrated Tree Cropping Ltd and Forest Enterprises Australia Ltd. Innovation Projects Fund, National and International Research Alliances Program (Department of State Development). (A$1.9M) 2008–2012 The research aims to boost to Queensland's hardwood plantation industry, encouraging industry investment by promoting the potential for our hardwood plantation forests to be carbon sinks for companies and individuals.
Photoboard Christian Jones Faculty of Arts and Social Science 2009–2010 To develop a novel technology solution using mobile phones to allow participants to converse using photographs displayed on large scale public displays, and record and evaluate the immerging usage behaviour of the photographic visual communications.
EcoTourGuide  Christian Jones Faculty of Arts and Social Science 2009–2010 To develop and evaluate an interactive in-car and walking system (EcoGuide) providing targeted interpreted, safety and regulator information based on visitor location (GPS), interest and prior knowledge, to guide, monitor and educate visitors within environmentally sensitive areas to help them minimise their impact and support long term environmental and economic sustainability.
Fraser Young Explorer project Christian Jones, Elizabeth Ryan, Chris Dann, Bill Allen, Bill Carter Ian Potter Foundation and Queensland Water Infrastructure (A$40,000) 2008–2010 Developing interactive handheld devices to offer self-guided field-based educational for School children visiting remote environments. The project is developing GPS triggered content and activities allowing students to complete education tasks, report findings and blog experiences using mobile devices. Data is synchronised and available to students for project work on return to school.
FeelingSafe — Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Learning Environment Investigators: Christian Jones, Michael Nagel, Kay Pozzebon, Kenneth Young, Laura Scholes, Colleen Stieler-Hunt. Partners: Telstra Foundation, Queensland Police Service, Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Education Queensland, Department of Child Safety, Sunshine Cooloola Services Against Sexual Violence Inc/Laurel House. Telstra Foundation, Queensland Police Service, Daniel Morcombe Foundation (A$583,000) 2008–present Research and development of an interactive online gaming resource for children aged 8-10 to learn skills and strategies to protect themselves from sexual abuse and support to disclose abuse.
A Blueprint for Developmental and Operational Arrangements for Integrated Public Contact and Education Bill Carter, Christian Jones, Sonia Marshall Queensland Water Infrastructure Pty Ltd (A$40,000) 2008–2010 Research into best practice for technology mediated education for interaction science centers/museums.
Being Safety Smart Investigators: Christian Jones, Kay Pozzebon. Partner(s): Queensland Police Service, Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission, Education Queensland, Chancellor State Primary School. Queensland Police Service and Daniel Morcombe Foundation (A$53,000) 2007–present Research and development of an interactive online game for early primary school children addressing anti-abduction strategies and child safety awareness.
Location-based interactive services for visitor management on Fraser Island Investigators: Christian Jones, Kathy Lynch, Tony Stiller, Ron Neller, Bill Carter. Partners: Queensland Police Service, Environmental Parks, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services. USC Seed Grant 2007–present To develop and evaluate an interactive in-car and walking system to guide, monitor and educate visitors on Fraser Island to help them minimise their impact and support long term environmental and economic sustainability.
Humaine network of excellence Investigator: Christian Jones (Heriot-Watt University). Partners: 33 partners from 14 countries. European Union (5M Euro) 2005–2009 Full partner of the Humaine network of excellence, the key resource community in emotions and human-machine interaction. Humaine (Human-Machine Interaction Network on Emotion).
Strategic Research Infrastructure Funding Ruth Aylett, Christian Jones (at Heriot-Watt University) UK Strategic Research Infrastructure Funding 3 project (85,000 GBP) 2006–2007 The addition of motion capture equipment for the virtual reality laboratory – Co-Investigator.
Emotionally intelligent in-car conversational interfaces Investigator: Christian Jones (at Heriot-Watt and Affective Media Limited). Partners: Edinburgh University, Stanford University, and Toyota InfoTechnology. Toyota and Edinburgh-Stanford Link Programme (150,000 GBP) 2004–2006 Joint research between Toyota, Stanford University, California, and Heriot-Watt University to investigate emotionally intelligent in-car conversational interfaces.
Emotionally intelligent systems Investigator(s): Christian Jones (at Heriot-Watt and Affective Media Limited). Partners: Digital Animations Group. Scottish Government SPUR award (300,000 GBP) 2003–2006 Scottish Government SPUR award for research into emotionally intelligent systems. An R&D support scheme to develop new products and processes.
Acoustic emotion recognition Investigators: Christian Jones (at Heriot-Watt and Affective Media Limited). Partner: Digital Animations Group. Scottish Government SMART award (100,000 GBP) 2002–2003 Scottish Government SMART award for research into acoustic emotion recognition. A competition-based incentive for developing new, highly innovative and commercially viable products to the benefit of the national economy.

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