Thijs Roumen is Assistant Professor at Cornell Tech where he directs the Matter of Tech lab. His lab focuses on digital fabrication, a sub-field of technical human-computer interaction (HCI). Their goal is to enable personal fabrication, e.g., to make digital fabrication relevant to everyone as opposed to the industrialists and hobbyists who currently use fabrication machines. This requires the field to pivot by inventing new fabrication machines, design tools, interfaces for different groups of users, application contexts, mechanical education curricula, and more. During his PhD, Thijs focused on creating models for laser cutting that are machine-independent, and allow users to reproduce content shared online, and build on the work of others (aka portability). In the wake of this he implemented a suite of software systems and tools that together allowed high-school students to design and build fully functional western guitars using laser cutting, a small step towards this bigger goal. His work is published at top-tier conferences in HCI (ACM CHI and UIST).
Previously, Thijs was a PhD student with Patrick Baudisch at the Hasso Plattner Institute, Germany. He worked as research assistant with Shengdong Zhao at the National University of Singapore. He holds a MSc in IT Product Design from the University of Southern Denmark and a BSc in Industrial Design from Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands.