In June 2020, AIBE collaborated with UQ Business, IT and civil engineering researchers, and international research organisation GRONEN to deliver two sessions in virtual reality at a conference for business and management academics.

The conference series was conducted as a study to investigate the potential for virtual reality in creating more sustainable conferences worldwide. 

GRONEN's innovative approach to virtual conferencing, including the Virtual Reality study, was recently featured in an article in leading scientific journal Nature

The two sessions were presented at the Sustainability in the Digital Age GRONEN2020 Conference  and included a professional development workshop (PDW) and a social event providing a unique social interaction experience for conference attendees.

As part of the conference project, researchers modelled the University’s first virtual reality world off the UQ Global Change Institute building. This provided the opportunity for people around the world to engage with each other in a world where the limits of reality don’t exist. The research team and GRONEN will continue to explore opportunities for academics to reduce their carbon footprints and reimagine the way they work through immersive reality technologies.

Social interactions in virtual reality, particularly if you are in a VR headset are completely different from interactions on other virtual platforms such as webinars. Alex Smith, AIBE researcher.

The professional development workshop session asked the corporate sustainability scholars to use their experience in the virtual reality world to explore how we can embrace emerging technology, particularly immersive reality to reimagine academic work and impact. In addition to virtual reality, other immersive reality technologies also offer significant opportunities for research and teaching which UQ is already using in a variety of applications. Dr Jurij Karlovšek, UQ School of Civil Engineering.

AIBE was honoured to have the PDW session opened by Professor J. Alberto Aragon-Correa, who agrees with the potential for emerging technology to allow academics to reduce their impact on the environment from traveling to conferences. The virtual reality sessions were attended by a range of researchers including Masters and PhD students, post-docs and eminent professors.

Project members

UQ Research Team

 

Dr Cristyn Meath
Research Program Leader - Sustainability & Research Fellow, AIBE
Lecturer, UQ Business School

 

Alexander Smith
Principal Research Officer, AIBE

 

Dr Jurij Karlovsek
School of Civil Engineering

 

Associate Professor Stephen Viller
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

 

Dr Mashhuda Glencross
Senior Lecturer in Computer Science

 

Professor John Mangan
Director, AIBE

Catolica Lisbon

 

Dr Christina Bidmon
Smart City Innovation Lab Católica-Lisbon

 

Associate Professor René Bohnsack
Smart City Innovation Lab Católica-Lisbon

World Builder

Luke Bubb