Techno pioneer Richie Hawtin backs new Ph.D. scholarship – EurekAlert

image: Richie Hawtin
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Credit: University of Huddersfield

A PhD Scholarship in the name of electronic musician, DJ and techno pioneer Richie Hawtin, aka Plastikman, has been unveiled by the University of Huddersfield.

Applications for the scholarship, titled the Richie Hawtin PhD Scholarship in Electronic Music, Cultures and Production, are now being taken up until 10 February to start in September 2023. The winning applicant will be selected by the university with guidance from Richie Hawtin, who will also offer tutorial support throughout the scholarship.

“There is huge scope for research within this PhD,” says Rupert Till, the University’s Professor of Music and an acclaimed musician in his own right under the name Professor Chill. “It could be anything within music such as electronic music, dance music, club music, DJ culture, or even around composition or analysis.

“Richie has set up his own labels, technology companies, an investment fund, a sake brand, has run a residency in Ibiza and written many genre-defining albums. This is a wonderful opportunity to tap into his knowledge and experience.”

The University has deep links with Richie, starting when the British-Canadian artist was the subject of a PhD around a decade ago. Since receiving his honorary doctorate in 2015, Richie has visited to give masterclasses and one-to-one sessions with students where he has offered advice on their music.

Speaking about the PhD Scholarship, Richie Hawtin comments: “I’m honoured to continue my relationship with the University of Huddersfield and participate in their PhD Scholarship program.

“My hope is to offer my experience and insight into the many areas of techno culture, which I’ve been involved in over the past 30 years, to assist in a student’s exploration of the past and inner workings of our industry and to offer them a new critical analysis from a contemporary perspective.”

The University features more than 20 different recording and production studios, all equipped with top-of-the-line hardware, software and plug-ins, and there is an impressive collection of industry-leading microphones and recording equipment. It’s music department is ranked 5th in the UK for music research and is ranked 25th in the QS World University Subject Rankings.

Although the successful candidate would usually be expected to be based in Huddersfield, the University also has a distance learning PhD route. It also offers degree and masters courses in creative music production.

The successful candidate will work within the Popular Music Studies Research Group (PMSRG), which is part of the Centre for Research in Music and its Technologies (CRMT). The PMSRG is a hub for practice-based, practice-led and text-based research around popular music. It has hosted a string of international research events including the Ambient @ 40 symposium in 2018 and the industry-focused Creative Sampling, Sound Design, Artificial Intelligence in Mixing Day in 2022.

Full details of the Richie Hawtin PhD Scholarship in Electronic Music, Cultures and Production

Additional information 

Closing date: 10 February 2023.

Prof. Rupert Till (Head of Department of Music and Design Arts) [email protected]
Dr Steven Jan (Music and Music Technology Research Coordinator) [email protected]  

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