Marcus Foth is Professor of Urban Informatics in the QUT Design Lab, Faculty of Creative Industries, Education, and Social Justice, at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He is also an Honorary Professor in the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University, Denmark.
Marcus’ research brings together people, place, and technology. His current research foci include: urban media and geoprivacy; data care in smart cities; digital inclusion and participation; blockchain and food supply chains, and; sustainability and more-than-human futures.
His research directly coincides with a historic moment: Cities now house most of the world’s population as well as both major physical and digital infrastructure. Marcus founded the Urban Informatics Research Lab in 2006. Ahead of their time and well before the term “smart cities” became popular, he championed a new field of research: Urban informatics examines people creating, applying and using information and communication technology and data in cities and urban environments.
For two decades, Marcus has been at the helm of ubiquitous computing and human-computer interaction (HCI) research into interactive digital media, screen, mobile and smart city applications. This work has been adopted by industry (e.g., smart city programs by McKinsey, Intel, CISCO), and universities (e.g., urban informatics courses at NYU, University College London, Warwick, Northeastern). His leadership in establishing the field was recognised by the Australian Computer Society inducting Marcus as a Fellow in 2017 for ‘a sustained and distinguished contribution to the field of computer science’ and by the Australian and New Zealand Governments, which included urban informatics as a new field of research in their 2020 Standard Research Classification.
In 2021, the Australian Government again recognised Marcus’ distinguished research leadership by appointing him to the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts.
Marcus has made significant contributions to knowledge including more than 200 peer-reviewed publications. His h-index is 50 with 8,000+ citations (Google Scholar). His major publications have often been field-defining. For instance, his 2009 Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics demonstrates the merits of a transdisciplinary research approach integrating the physical and digital aspects of cities.
The outputs of Marcus’ research have received many awards. For example, the Rapid Analytics Interactive Scenario Explorer Toolkit received the 2021 National Award for Cutting Edge Research of the Planning Institute of Australia for significantly accelerating the calculation of value uplift in linear infrastructure projects such as rail networks. His BeefLedger project was recognised as a 2020 Good Design Australia Award winner twice: in the commercial services category and for design strategy, for demonstrating tangible benefits and impact of blockchain and smart contract applications for industry. Nominated by the Smart Cities Council Australia / NZ, Marcus was awarded ICT Researcher of the Year 2017 (Gold Disruptor) by the Australian Computer Society.
Marcus has made substantial contributions to academic service, including being conference chair of OZCHI 2009, Communities & Technologies 2011, and ACM SIGCHI Designing Interactive Systems 2016. He is an active reviewer, associate chair, and editorial board member for various conferences and journals. In recognition of his service, he received the 2018 Publons Peer Review Award (cross-field), which honours the top 1% of reviewers.
Marcus is an ACM Distinguished Speaker and has been giving invited keynote talks and presentations at international conferences and leading research institutions, including Aalto University Helsinki, Aarhus University, Harvard University, IT University of Copenhagen, KAIST, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, MIT, Politecnico di Milano, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tsinghua University, University of Oulu, University of Oxford.