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Helen Petrie BA (Melbourne) MSc (Lond) PhD (Lond) AFBPS
Emeritus Professor


  • Inclusive design of technologies for disabled and elderly people
  • Inclusive and usable security in computing
  • Sustainability through interaction design
  • Psychological aspects of the introduction and use of new technologies


  • Associate Fellow, British Psychological Society
  • Chartered Psychologist, British Psychological Society
  • PhD University of London
  • MSc Information Technology, Queen Mary Westfield, University of London
  • BA (Hons) Psychology, University of Melbourne


  • 2012 Lise Meitner Visiting Professorship, University of Lund
  • 2006-Present Professor of Human Computer Interaction, University of York
  • 2001 - 2005 Professor of Human Computer Interaction, City University London;
  • 1993 - 2001 various appointments at University of Hertfordshire, including Professor of Psychology and Director of Sensory Disabilities Research Unit;
  • 1992 - 1993 Research Psychologist, Royal National Institute for the Blind, London;
  • 1986 - 1993 Lecturer, School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences, University of Sussex.


Prof. Petrie is Professor of HCI in Computer Science. She has over 20 years of internationally-recognized research on new technologies for people with disabilities and older people to improve their quality of life and well-being. Her current interests are particularly in the area of supporting older people to live independently in their own homes for longer. She has been involved in over 30 British and international projects in these areas and has published widely. She has received a Royal Television Society Technical Innovation Prize, a Social Impact Award from the Association of Computing Machinery, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal National Institute for Blind People. She is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.


Assistive Adaptive Rehabilitative Technology Beyond the Clinic (AART-BC) (2015-2018; EPSRC)

  • The AART-BC Project is investigating how people with physical disabilities use their mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walkers. Little is known about how people fare with their aids once they leave the clinic. The project is developing sensors which can be placed on the mobility aid and innovative wearable sensors for the mobility aid users. It is also developing a multi-platform app to be able t conduct experience sampling studies with the mobility aid users – sending them very short questionnaires approximately seven times a day to assess their use of their aids and what problems they might be having. The app will also have a function by which users can report a problem with their mobility aid at any time. Finally the project is developing a system for healthcare professionals, such as physical and occupational therapists, to easily monitor information about their patients’ mobility aid use.

ACESO: Low-cost wound management system for primary care (2017-2018, Innovate UK)

  • Working with Cadscan Ltd, the ACESO project will develop and evaluate a system to allow nurses and other healthcare professionals to monitor the status of a patient’s wound over time. The system will also guide wound management.

GUFO: An airborne robotic assistant for older people (2017-2019; InnovateUK)

  • Working with Cadscan Ltd and Cosmonio Ltd, the GUFO Project will explore the potential of a small drone as an assistive robot for older people living independently. The project will investigate the acceptability and usability of small drones for older people and develop a prototype which will be able to monitor for abnormal behaviour like falls and find small objects such as glasses and medicines.

IKNOWFOOD (2016-2020; Global Food Security Programme, BBSRC)

  • IKNOWFOOD is examining how to communicate aspects of food production and its sustainability through interactive technology.

Departmental and University Roles

  • Member, University Research Data Management Working Group
  • Member, University Women's Forum
  • Member, Advisory Board, Centre for Digital Heritage


Contact details

Department of Computer Science
University of York
Deramore Lane
YO10 5GH

Phone: +44 (0)1904 325603

Office: CSE/218-5


Research Group: