Emeritus Professor Doug Mahar - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Emeritus Professor Doug Mahar

PhD Tas., BA(Hons)(Psych) Tas.

  • Emeritus Professor
Sunshine Coast
Emeritus Professor Doug Mahar

Emeritus Professor Doug Mahar specialises in experimental psychology. His research focuses on the application of basic perceptual and cognitive theories to issues in human–computer interaction, psychological disorders and the assessment of an individual’s abilities. Doug's expertise in these areas has been recognised via invited colloquia at international universities including the University of Rome, the University of York and the University of Vermont.

In early 2018, Doug retired following almost five years as Head of School, Social Sciences. Previously Doug worked at QUT for 18 years where, aside from his teaching and research work, he served in a number of senior administrative roles including Head of School (Acting) and Chair of the University Animal Ethics Committee. He is also a past president of the Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology. From 1990 to 1995, Doug was a lecturer at ANU where he also served as co-director of a large research centre (TRUST) which focused on the development of behavioural biometric computer security systems.


  • USC Advance Awards, 2016: AQT award for Advancing Quality Teaching. Awarded for teaching staff and teaching teams who engage students in a quality learning experience by applying rich and engaging teaching approaches that substantially improve students' learning experiences. Awarded to Dr Kate Mulgrew as the team leader and the PSY102 teaching team (including Doug Mahar)
  • 2009 Vice Chancellor’s Performance Award
  • 2002 QUT University Award for Outstanding Academic Contribution (Service).
  • 2001 Student Guild Best Lecturer Award
  • Nominated for 2009 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence (Teaching & Research)

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • Memory
  • Hearing
  • Touch
  • Psychological assessment
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Anxiety

 Research grants

Project name Investigators Funding body Year
Speaker-secure transaction processing systems Millar, J.B., Krishnamurthy, E.V., MacLeod, I.D.G. & Mahar, D.P. DITAC Syndicated Research and Development Grant (A$3.65 million) 3 years
The creation of an eye movement recording facility in Queensland Horberry, T., Burt, J.P., Mahar, D.P., Tay, R., Humphreys, M.S., Lipp, O.V., Kwantes, P.J., Hansen, J.A., Bowey, J.A. ARC (RIFF) (A$100,000) 1 year
Facilitating older users' interaction with complex devices Blackler, A., Popovic, V. & Mahar, D. ARC (Discovery) (A$291,876) 3 years

Research areas

  • memory
  • hearing
  • touch
  • psychological assessment
  • human-computer interaction
  • anxiety

Professor Doug Mahar's specialist areas of knowledge include perception, cognition and human computer interaction.

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