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Improving Communication in Engineering Through Mixed Reality

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Communicating complex geological conditions and risks posed by geohazards, such as those encountered in large civil engineering projects, can lead to miscommunication, and result in opinions formed and decisions made on incorrect interpretations. Traditional means of communicating such scenarios involves 2-dimensional (2D) maps and drawings; this is a significant challenge when communicating complex 3-dimensional (3D) scenarios. To address this challenge, BGC Engineering is developing a solution, utilizing Microsoft’s Hololens technology, that will enable everyone to understand applied earth science as immersive, 3D landscapes. This has the potential to transform how we communicate on a day-to-day basis.

Applied earth sciences deal with the world in three dimensions. But our industry still communicates with stakeholders using 2D drawings on flat screens. This makes it difficult to show the scale and scope of a project. Our novel solution combines geomatics data, engineering design and real time computer graphics to visualize an immersive version of an engineered landscape. With this solution, experts and non-technical stakeholders can visit a digital version of their project site, at any time, past, present, or future.

This open lecture by Dr. Matthew Lato, senior geotechnical engineer at BGC , will highlight the challenges of communicating complex engineering and geoscience ideas with clarity. Real world applications so far have included global mining companies such as Rio Tinto Plc. and Barrick Gold, among others. The lecture is open to all who are interested.

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