conference

NTNU Digital Transformation seminar 2022

Every year since NTNU’s Digital Transformation initiative started in 2018, WoWW (as one of the 9 projects funded by this initiative) is invited to present its latest results. WoWW’s presentation followed directly after the event was introduced by director for NTNU Digital, John Krogstie (see image below). With some of the WoWW members spread across the country due to exchanges, our presentation was partly in Trondheim and partly remote.

John Krogstie, director for NTNU Digital, introduces the seminar (©Adina Moraru)

Oddbjørn Bruland, project leader for World of Wild Waters and team leader for work package 2 (see image below) creating hydrologic and hydraulic models of flash floods , introduced the project presentation with an impacting question for the audience: “Is it safe where you live?” followed by an animation of a 2D hydraulic simulation of the flash flood that severely damaged his hometown in 2017 (the case was widely covered by different news outlets, and the flood’s hydrology and hydraulics are analyzed in two of WoWW’s journal publications: Bruland (2020) and Moraru et al. (2021)). The follow-up question to this animation was “Does this scare you enough to act?“. If your answer is “no“, you need to continue reading… and watch the whole presentation in WoWW’s YouTube channel (linked below).

Oddbjørn Bruland, project leader for WoWW, presents the motivation for WoWW’s research (©Adina Moraru)
Full recording of the presentation (©Adina Moraru)

Gebray Habtu Alene, PhD candidate in work package 3 in charge of studying flow landslides of sensitive clays, such as the devastating episode in Gjerdrum (Norway) on the 30 December 2020 presented the integrated workflow from his numerical modelling of the quick clay landslide beforementioned (see image below) to its preparation for gamification in work package 4. This is not as straightforward as one might expect, and the team identified a significant obstacle to overcome during this workflow. I personally found it fascinating how quickly the Virtual Reality clip that Gebray shared triggered a response in the audience! Check out the video recording of the presentation above to see what I mean.

Gebray Habtu Alene, PhD candidate in work package 3, showcases the difference between scientific visualization of results and their gamification in Virtual Reality (©Adina Moraru)

Lastly, Andrew Perkis, team leader for work package 4 (see image below) responsible for creating an immersive and interactive experience of natural hazards concluded the project presentation by addressing the gap that WoWW has had to bridge throughout the project duration. Although research projects oftentimes encounter obstacles along the way, the gap between work packages in WoWW had little to do with research and external consultants were needed to fill the role of “the black box” that converges from numerical simulation results to graphically visualized outputs.

Andrew Perkis, team leader for work package 4, highlights the main challenges of WoWW and the Digital Transformation initiative (©Adina Moraru)

World of Wild Waters

Serious gaming and flood risk communication in Gemini.no

The Norwegian scientific magazine covers news on technology, environment, natural sciences, innovation, and society among other topics. This week they released a news article on World of Wild Waters and our focus on the use of serious gaming for a successful dissemination of flood risk.

Foto Anne Jørgensen Bruland_20170724_080512
Documentation on the flood event affecting the municipality of Utvik in July 2017, where WoWW’s project leader and his family, among many others, were affected (©Anne Jørgensen Bruland)

The original article, written in Norwegian, can be briefly summarized into:

i) the flood event in Utvik (2017) was the starting point and where the World of Wild Waters started. Our project leader, a hydrologist that noticed a potential risk in his hometown, warned the local authorities with no response in return.

ii) the need of effective (in a precise yet understandable manner to non-experts) flood risk communication was identified.

iii) advanced hydrologic and hydraulic knowledge needed to be gathered and embedded into a serious gaming platform. Seven PhD candidates started their journey to make this possible. However, the final product will be incomplete without the collaboration of external partners from the gaming industry. The sooner these partners step in, the sooner the municipalities and decision-makers will benefit from this user-friendly flood risk assessment and communication tool.

World of Wild Waters

WoWW’s project leader interviewed by Lørn.Tech

Oddbjørn Bruland was recently hosted on Lørn Tech, a podcast covering top technology topics in Norway, such as Gaming, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Block Chain, Big Data or Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR), among many others. Sunniva Rose, a well known nuclear physicist in Norway, conducted the interview on the topic VR.AR, very relevant to our project.

In the podcast (translated to “Wet, Wild and Virtual“, which are World of Wild Waters’ keywords par excellence), Oddbjørn talks about the concept of Serious Gaming and introduces our project’s goals and how uniquely multidisciplinary our team is.

Original podcast (in Norwegian)

The scientific community is already very familiar with advanced hydraulic simulations and writing long and dull reports presenting the simulated results. However, such reports might not have the desired impact when presented to decision-makers and stakeholders that oftentimes do not have such hydraulic engineering background. As highlighted during the interview, World of Wild Waters attempts to bridge this communication gap. Our goal is, primarily, to facilitate scientific dissemination of natural hazards by presenting the flood and landslide scenarios through exciting and realistic simulations within the framework of a virtual environment. This is expected to improve sound decision-making and save lives and cost.

Related image
Example of mixed reality (VR+AR) used in flood risk communication (Photo: The Weather Channel)

We are always happy to talk in further detail about what we do in WoWW, and we appreciate Lørn.Tech’s invitation to their podcast.