Profile Maha Website-new
I am a User Experience (UX) Research Manager working at WhatsApp (previously at Google) in London leading the Integrity UX Research team. My work at WhatsApp previously focused on growth research, consumer, privacy and policy research, as well as business discovery research at a global scale. I have experience moderating user interviews in 3 languages (English, German & Egyptian Arabic) and have conducted in-person UX research in more than 12 countries.

Prior to my first full-time industry research job at Google I spent almost 7 years conducting academic research. My academic research background is highly multidisciplinary and combines a broad range of interests including multimodal communication, non-verbal expressiveness and motor control, safety and trust, as well as cultural differences in Human-Machine Interaction.

In my last academic full-time role I was a Research Fellow in the Adaptive Systems Research Group at the School of Computer Science, University of Hertfordshire, UK. My research there revolved around social Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) with particular focus on safety aspects for the design of trustworthy robotic assistants. In addition, I was employed as a Visiting Lecturer at the University’s School of Engineering and Technology.

Before joining the University of Hertfordshire, I worked as a Research Associate in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, where my research project focused on multilingual, cross-cultural HRI.

From 2008 to 2012 I conducted my
PhD studies at the Graduate School of the Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab), Bielefeld University, Germany, in association with the Artificial Intelligence Group and the Sociable Agents Group and was awarded the degree “Doctor of Engineering” (Dr.-Ing.) in July 2012.
My research was funded by the
Honda Research Institute Europe and centered on the generation and coordination of speech and gesture for the ASIMO robot as well as the evaluation of such multimodal behaviors in HRI.

As an undergraduate student, I studied Computer Science with a minor in Economics and in collaboration with Siemens AG at the University of Paderborn, Germany, and the Queensland University of Technology, Australia, graduating with the degree Bachelor of Computer Science in November 2004. Subsequently, I studied Interdisciplinary Media Studies at Bielefeld University, Germany, and the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and received the degree Master of Science in May 2007.