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VR demonstration

This one-day workshop hosted by the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR) at Durham University explored the breadth of work involving virtual reality at Durham and potential strategies for its greater integration into hazard, risk, and resilience research and practice.

This workshop coordinated by Dr Aaron Neil (IHRR research associate) and Professor Bruce Malamud (IHRR director) brought together 21 academics working with virtual reality (VR) or similar technologies from Durham University English Studies, Geography, Computer Science, Geography, Physics, Business, Psychology, and Archaeology, and the Durham Centre for Academic Development. A series of brief presentations highlighted the diversity of ongoing research into and applications of VR:

  • Dr Aaron Neill (IHRR PDRA) provided an overview of potential applications of VR in hazard, risk, and resilience research and practice, with some live examples of how the IHRR is already using VR.
  • Professor Bruce Malamud (IHRR Executive Director) demonstrated the use of multiplayer VR and outlined a vision for developing a VR app around hazard, risk, and resilience.
  • Dr Alistair Brown and Dr Mark Childs presented their Theatre in the Round project that examined whether the use of 360 video and VR headsets might enhance a student’s ability to perceive critical issues in dramatic performance.
  • Dr Sim Reaney discussed the use of VR as a tool to communicate complex environmental modelling results to stakeholders.
  • Dr Pippa Petts presented augmented reality teaching materials for undergraduate Physics and demonstrated a virtual optics laboratory table using a Hololens.

There was also the opportunity for workshop participants to try out virtual and augmented reality headsets, including the Meta Quest Pro and Microsoft Hololens, before a general discussion was held around collaborative opportunities and a strategy for increasing the integration of VR into hazard, risk, and resilience research and practice.