Building Worlds in Virtual Reality: Exploring Careers in Engineering and Technology

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Journey into the exciting world of virtual reality in this episode of Exploring Careers in Engineering and Technology. Meet Dr. Shamus Smith, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at The University of Newcastle, Australia.

Smith's interdisciplinary research involves exploring how advanced interactive technologies are applied to real-world problems. His current research interests include touch-based technologies (e.g. multi-touch tables and haptic devices), the reuse of gaming technology (e.g. for hazardous environment simulation and healthcare applications) and technology-enhanced learning.

Smith's recent work has focused on the use of virtual environments for training in hazardous environments, including simulations for medical procedures and fire evacuation drills. In one of Smith's studies, he used gaming technology to create a virtual environment to simulate fire evacuee behaviors and evacuation scenarios in 3D virtual buildings. Using a virtual environment can provide dynamic experiences over a wide variety of scenario-based environments, which has implications for future training and support for those in the front line of hazardous situations.