Catharine Oertel

Catharine received her PhD in 2017 from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden. After
completing her postdoctoral position at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL),
Switzerland, she joined TU Delft in August 2019 as an assistant professor.

Her research interest lies on understanding and modeling human interaction to build socially
aware conversational agents able to engage with people in a human-like manner. She uses
multi-modal social signal processing to estimate conversational dynamics and generate attentive
and affective dialogue behaviours in the agent or robot. Much of her research has also focused
on modeling interaction with and in groups, either in the context of unconstrained or “in the wild” social

Together with Senthil Chandrasegaran, Catharine Oertel is a Principal Investigator of the Designing Intelligence Lab (DI_Lab). The DAI lab is a newly established Delft-AI lab ( It is established with the ambition to bridge research done in computer science with industrial design engineering. Our aim within this lab's scope is to design the tools and methods for human and artificial intelligence to work together creatively over extended periods of time. We will develop new multimodal techniques to study how designers collaborate in creative processes through language, gaze, gestures, and prototypes. Using the insights and data obtained, we will train artificial agents and social robots—robots designed to converse with people—to explore different types of creative processes and problems in collaborating with human designers.

We will apply our findings to complex problems in application areas such as health, mobility, and sustainability.If you are interested in doing your Master's thesis with us, please direct contact us or check out our website ( for listings.