Professor of Gerontology

T: 778-782-5375
Office: SFU Vancouver, Room 2800



Andrew Sixsmith

Dr. Andrew Sixsmith is a Professor in the SFU Department of Gerontology and Director of the Science and Technology for Aging Research (STAR) Institute. He is also Deputy Director of the SFU Interdisciplinary Research in the Mathematical and Computational Sciences (IRMACS) Centre and President of the International Society for Gerontechnology (ISG) for 2014-2016. Dr. Sixsmith has been a member of the British Society of Gerontology Executive Committee and has been UK representative on the EU's COST-A5 Committee on Ageing and Technology. Since 2000, he has developed research and teaching links with 26 universities worldwide and has actively collaborated with over 30 major commercial and governmental organizations.

Andrew received his PhD from the University of London in 1989 after completing his thesis on the "Meaning and Experience of Home Amongst Older People." From 1986 to 1989, he worked as a research associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Liverpool, evaluating new initiatives in the care of people with dementia. He was appointed lecturer in gerontology in the Institute of Human Ageing at the University of Liverpool, where he was responsible for teaching on the MSc in Gerontology and carrying out evaluations of community care for older people. From 2000-2007 he was a lecturer in the Department of Primary Care at the University of Liverpool.

Dr. Sixsmith's research has two main themes. Firstly, he has extensive research experience within the area of health and quality of life of older people and the role of health and social care services. Recent work includes: the development of management tools for health and social care performance evaluation and decision making (EU-funded CareKeys project) and; the links between the home environment and health and wellbeing outcomes (EU-funded ENABLE-AGE project). Secondly, he has been particularly involved in the strategic development of research in the area of technology for independent living. Dr. Sixsmith has used gerontological knowledge, theories, and methods to provide input into user-centred design and development of community care technologies (telecare) to facilitate and deliver health and social care services for older and disabled people. Currently the EU-funded SOPRANO project aims to explore the potential of "ambient assisted living" (intuitive interfaces and smart environments) to support independent living.

Much of Andrew's research has an applied perspective with a specific aim to transfer empirical results into policy and practice. Since 2000, he has attracted funding for several prestigious research projects from the European Commission, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Department of Health, and Department of Industry in the UK. He has been principal investigator for ten externally funded projects totaling £2.0 million from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, of which Dr. Sixsmith's direct funding was £917,000. As well, European Union R&D Framework 5 and Framework 6 funding amounted to €14.2 million in total of which Dr. Sixsmith's funding was €1.2million. One of the major facets of these projects has been their interdisciplinary nature, particularly involving social gerontologists, architects and designers, health and social care researchers, health economists, and engineers

Dr. Sixsmith has substantial teaching experience within gerontology and has been responsible for innovatory educational initiatives in the UK and internationally. He was jointly responsible for planning and delivering the MSc in Gerontology at the Institute of Human Ageing at University of Liverpool and was responsible for modules on demography, economics of aging and research methods. From 1994–1997 he was co-leader of a teaching collaboration between universities of Liverpool, Eindhoven, Bamburg, Louvain, Oulu, Royal College of Art and the Technical University of Berlin on an EU-funded Intensive Programme on Gerontechnology. From 1995–2001, Dr. Sixsmith collaborated with 37 other Institutions across Europe on an EU-funded initiative, GENIE: Gerontechnology Education Network In Europe. From 1999–2001, Andrew was the coordinator of the Occupational Therapy Internet School curriculum held as part of the EU-funded OTIS project, involving collaborators in the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium.


  • PhD (Geography) King's College London
  • MA (Geography) University of Keele
  • BA Joint Hons. (Geography/American Studies) University of Keele

currently teaching

Dr. Sixsmith is not currently teaching any classes in Gerontology.


Health and quality of life of older people and the role of health and social care services; strategic development of research in the area of technology for independent living.