dr. Wouter Durnez

Senior researcher at the research group for Media, Innovation and Communication Technologies, Department of Communication Sciences, Ghent University.

Wouter Durnez 



Artificial intelligence
Virtual and augmented reality
Online morality


(Wouter hates writing about himself in third person, so here he goes, breaking the fourth wall with reckless abandon.)

I got my master’s degree in theoretical and experimental psychology in 2011. Then, I obtained my PhD under the tutelage of Stefaan Van Damme (2015), by investigating how maladaptive attentional processes related to pain and somatosensory perception can be understood within a motivational context. 

After four years of fundamental research, I surfaced from the depths of academia to try and redirect my career towards my primary interest: technology. This resulted in a brief but highly educational stint as project manager at PreviewLabs (2016), a company geared towards rapid (game) prototyping. In 2017, I found my way back to the academic world in the role of researcher at imec-mict-UGent—a user research group operating in the intersection of academia and industry. 

Currently, my primary projects are the ILLUMINATE and iPlay ICON projects. I am also working on mobileDNA, a project that makes use of a logging app to gain insight into smartphone behavior.

Last but not least, I’ve always had a definite interest in artificial intelligence (and honest-to-god, I’m not making this up because AI is being hyped). I am trying to make up for lost time by concurrently pursuing an additional master in that very domain.