Congratulations Dr Iris Buunk!

Congratulations to our Centre for Social Informatics colleague Dr Iris Buunk on the award of her PhD yesterday. Normally we would have celebrated with Iris at the Edinburgh Napier University graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, we had to find an alternative way to mark Iris’s achievement: a jolly drinks party on Zoom.

Although video conferencing is not the ideal platform for a party, this gathering on Zoom worked out rather well to bring together 15 current and former members of the Centre for Social Informatics (plus one gate-crasher) from various locations – including Iris’ home in Slovenia – to celebrate. It was particularly good to see the familiar faces of those who no longer work/study with us:

Iris captured the screenshot below during the proceedings. Everyone who joined in the fun features here with the exception of Dr David Brazier and Dr Wegene Demeke. The sharp-eyed will notice that three of us are sitting together well wrapped-up outside to toast Iris together: that’s me in the hat sitting with Dr Ella Taylor-Smith, and the gate-crasher.

Iris Buunk Zoom graduation party

All but David B and Wegene at the Zoom graduation drinks party

Iris was awarded her PhD for her thesis entitled Social media as facilitators of tacit knowledge sharing amongst public sector employees. Iris’ findings derive from analysis of empirical data collected by questionnaire and interview from members of an online knowledge sharing platform dedicated to supporting those who work within public sector bodies, mainly in Scotland. The main contribution of Iris’ research is an extension of understanding of the ways in which social media affordances render tacit knowledge visible. In her thesis Iris demonstrates that this visibility enhances knowledge awareness. In turn, it contributes to the building of collective intelligence, the enhancement of learning processes, and the seeding of new collaborations amongst public sector employees. I was Iris’ Director of Studies, with Dr Colin Smith her second supervisor.

Over the course of her doctoral study Iris produced a number of outputs from her doctoral work:

The full text of Iris’ thesis will be added to the Edinburgh Napier repository in due course. In the meantime, the photograph below shows Iris with a hard copy of her work.

Dr Iris Buunk with her thesis

Congratulations Dr Alicja Pawluczuk!

Alicja Pawluczuk Gemma Webster

Dr Alicja Pawluczuk and Dr Gemma Webster

Congratulations to our Centre for Social Informatics colleague Dr Alicja Pawluczuk! Alicja was one of nine School of Computing PhD graduands at the Edinburgh Napier University graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall yesterday afternoon.

Alicja’s PhD is entitled Youth digital culture co-creation: measuring social impact in Scotland. The purpose of the research was to develop knowledge of social impact evaluation of youth digital projects in Scotland. Dr Gemma Webster was Alicja’s Director of Studies, her second supervisor was Dr Colin Smith, and I was her third supervisor. For further information about the specifics of the research questions, outcomes, theoretical contributions, and recommendations from the work, please see Alicja’s #digiIMPACT page on her web site at

Following the graduation ceremony, several of Alicja’s colleagues and fellow PhD students joined her at Café Grande in Bruntsfield to toast her success. Continue reading