Education

since 07/2017

PhD in Human-Computer Interaction

Media Informatics Group | LMU Munich

Munich | Germany

  • PhD topic: Conversational Agents with Personality

  • Expected graduation date: 01/2022

10/2013 – 11/2016

M.Sc. Technical Communication & Computer Science

RWTH Aachen University

Aachen | Germany

  • Focus: HCI, technology acceptance, user diversity, e-learning, practical application of empirical methods

  • Thesis: Can Tangibles Perform Magic? Learners’ Requirements for Successful Performance in Computer Science Using Haptical Interfaces

08/2014 - 12/2014

International Student

Brock University

St. Catharines | Canada

  • Focus: Human Motivation, Social Psychology, Professional Communication

10/2009 - 09/2015

B.Sc. Computer Science

RWTH Aachen University

Aachen | Germany

  • Focus: HCI, e-learning, designing interactive systems

  • Thesis: Evaluating the Impact of an Interactive Statistical Analysis System on Learning Statistics

10/2010 – 09/2013

B.Sc. Technical Communication & Computer Science

RWTH Aachen University

Aachen | Germany

  • Focus: Empirical research methods, cognition psychology, interface design

  • Thesis: Usability of the Multimedia Guide Aixplorer: An Empirical User Study in Aachen’s Town Hall

 

Professional Experience

since 07/2017

Research Associate

Media Informatics Group | LMU Munich

Munich | Germany

  • Led research projects in teams of 3 to 9 people, co-authored 18 publications

  • Designed & evaluated experiments writing 10K+ lines of codes using Python & R

  • Created course material & gave coding sessions (i.a. Scikit, Alexa) for Master & Bachelor classes, e.g., “Intelligent UIs”

  • Took responsibility by chairing for 4 conferences

  • Coached & supervised 24+ Master/Bachelor theses students

  • Led community development by regularly joining speaker engagements, e.g., student events (BWINF), online talk shows

  • Fostered social engagement & created long-lasting group dynamics by organising events (e.g., Internal Colloquium) and standardising internal processes (e.g., GDPR guidelines)

07/2017 - 06/2020

Cooperation Doctoral Student for User Experience

Series Development User Experience |

Audi AG

Ingolstadt | Germany

  • Developed, prototyped, and evaluated five concepts for personalised voice assistants & communicating driver states

  • Introduced machine learning processes to 50-person department with multi-disciplinary team

  • Gave 12 workshops/presentations to company-wide audiences

12/2016 - 03/2017, 04/2016 - 05/2016

User Experience Student Assistant / Intern

bitstars GmbH | HoloBuilder, Inc.

Aachen | Germany

  • Tested the usability of an AR/VR application

  • Developed interactive tutorial displayed on website to improve user onboarding

10/2013 - 12/2016

Student Assistant in Interdisciplinary Research Projects

HCI Centre | RWTH Aachen University

Aachen | Germany

  • Prepared and conducted interviews and focus groups

  • Designed experiments and evaluated findings using SPSS

  • Thereby contributed to 3 industry projects & 5 publications

  • Developed low fidelity (paper) prototypes, i.a. Processing

04/2013

Scientific Junior Associate

Media Computing Group |

RWTH Aachen University

Aachen | Germany

  • Implemented (Objective C) & evaluated a feature for a multimedia guide, displayed in Aachen’s town hall since 2013

04/2011 - 07/2011, 04/2012 - 07/2012

Student Assistant for a Tutorial

Logic and Theory of Discrete Systems | RWTH Aachen University

  • Gave a tutorial for the lecture “Formal Languages, Automata, & Processes”

Aachen | Germany

 

Scholarships & Grants

since 01/2020

Admission into the Faculty Mentoring Program

awarded by the Faculty for Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics

01/2019

SIGCHI Travel Grant

for supporting the SIGCHI Executive Committee as student volunteer

07/2017 - 06/2020

Grant for PhD studies by Audi AG

3-year funding for PhD studies awarded by Audi AG

2014

Scholarship for International Travels

awarded by the German National Academic Foundation

since 2012

Admission into the German National Academic Foundation

Honours for study achievements and social commitment

 

Awards

German Society for Online Research

Best Paper Award 2021

Clemes Stachl, Quay Au, Ramona Schoedel, Samuel d. Gosling, Gabriella M. Harari, Daniel Buschek, Sarah Theres Völkel, Tobias Schuwerk, Michelle Oldemeier, Theresa Ullmann, Heinrich Hussmann, Bernd Bischl, and Markus Bühner. 2021. Predicting personality from patterns of behavior collected with smartphones. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 (30), 17680-17687

CUI@IUI 2021 Workshop

Best Paper Award

Sarah Theres Völkel and Lale Kaya. 2021. Examining User Preference for Agreeableness in Chatbot. In Proceedings of the 2021 IUI Workshop on Conversational User Interfaces.

CHI 2020

Honourable Mention Award (Top 5% of submissions)

Sarah Theres Völkel, Ramona Schoedel, Daniel Buschek, Clemens Stachl, Verena Winterhalter, Markus Bühner, and Heinrich Hussmann. 2020. Developing a Personality Model for Speech-based Conversational Agents Using the Psycholexical Approach. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’20).

IUI 2019

Outstanding Paper Award (Top 5% of submissions)

Malin Eiband, Sarah Theres Völkel, Daniel Buschek, Sophia Cook, and Heinrich Hussmann. 2019. When people and algorithms meet: user-reported problems in intelligent everyday applications. In Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI ’19).

2012, 2011

DeansList of RWTH Aachen University

Honours for study achievements

2009

Silver coin for valedictorian honour
Silver coin for special social commitment

Awarded by the school’s support association

 

Volunteer Work

since 03/2020

Project Manager and Front-end Developer

Retla e.V.

Munich | Germany

  • Managed a 4-person team, communicated with stakeholders, and conducted the requirement analysis

  • Developed the front end of an online data management solution, which replaced manual excel tables, using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, DataTables

since 03/2020

Private Tutor during School Lockdowns

Corona School e.V.

Online

  • Tutoring a pupil online in Math, Computer Science, & German

01/2015 – 12/2016, 03/2014 – 08/2014

Head of Team

University’s Welcome Week Team | RWTH Aachen University

Aachen | Germany

  • Organising the university’s Welcome Week for 8,000 students and coordinating the 2,000 involved helpers

  • Managing the 17-person team and communicating with project partners from the university and Aachen city

  • Developing the financial concept, sponsoring acquisition

  • Representing the project at the university and in the press

05/2015 – 04/2017

Project Manager for Strategy Development

Students’ Union Executive Committee | RWTH Aachen University

Aachen | Germany

  • Developing the strategic and innovative orientation

  • Organising conceptual workshops and public relations

04/2013

Deputy Member, Member of the Committee for Mobility

Student Parliament |

RWTH Aachen University

  • Student representation in student parliament

Aachen | Germany

10/2011 - 05/2016

​​Deputy Head of Welcome Week

Logic and Theory of Discrete Systems | RWTH Aachen University

  • Mediating and communicating between students and university regarding education quality

Aachen | Germany

 

Research Community

Program Committees

  • CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '22)

  • Conversational User Interfaces Conference 2021 (CUI ‘21)

  • INTERACT '21

  • Transparency and Explainable Smart Systems Workshop (TExSS) at IUI ‘21

  • Explainable Smart Systems Workshop (ExSS) at IUI ‘20

Organisation

  • Publication Chair at AutoUI ‘19

  • Workshop Proceedings Chair at MuC ‘19

Student Volunteer

  • SIGCHI Executive Committee Volunteer for ACM Executive Vice President Helena Mentis

  • MobileHCI ‘19

  • AutoUI ‘17

  • MuC ‘16

Reviewing

 

  • Conferences: CHI ’21, WI ’21, CHI ’20, NordiCHI ’20, ECIS ’20, CHI ’19, Interact ’19, MobileHCI ’18, AutomotiveUI ‘18

  • Journals: ToCHI, IxD&A, European Journal of Personality

  • I received 7 recognitions for outstanding reviews for CHI ’19, ‘20 and ‘21

 

Summer (or rather Four Seasons) Schools

02/2020

Technologies to Reduce Stress and Increase Wellbeing – A Research Perspective (Part I) & How Artificial Intelligence Impacts User-Centred Innovation Processes (Part II)

Winter school by Prof. Albrecht Schmidt

Hirschegg | Austria

02/2019

From Research to Start-up (Part I) & Creating and Evaluating AR/VR/MR Systems (Part II)

Winter school by Prof. Albrecht Schmidt

Hirschegg | Austria

02/2018

HCI Technologies for Augmenting the Human Senses

Winter school by Prof. Albrecht Schmidt

Hirschegg | Austria

09/2017

Invited to "Eintauchen 2017"

Workshop by McKinsey & Company

Lisbon | Portugal

03/2016

Project Development at Universities - a Magic Elixir?

Spring school by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation 

Papenburg | Germany

08/2015

Everything New, Everything Different? A Psychology of the Digital Age

Summer school by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation 

Rot an der Rot | Germany

03/2015

Introduction to Management Consulting

Spring school by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation 

Papenburg | Germany

02/2015 - 03/2015

3-week Intense Language Course in Spanish

Language Course by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation

Barcelona | Spain