World of Wild Waters

WoWW presented at IBM’s end-of-the-year seminar 2019

The department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Institutt for Bygg- og Miljøteknikk) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) held its end-of-the-year seminar at Scandic Hotel (Trondheim) today. World of Wild Waters was presented, among other projects held within the different research groups in this department, this time by the IBM’s PhD candidates within WoWW.

IBM’s PhD candidates within the World of Wild Waters presenting at the department’s end-of-the-year seminar (Photo: A. Juárez)

After the session where the main research groups (Building and Construction, Geotechnical Engineering, Hydraulics Engineering, Marine Civil Engineering, Road-Transport-and-Geomatics, Water and Waste Water Engineering, etc.) presented their progress and near-future goals, the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) group briefed us on the importance of a balanced psychosocial work environment and mental health.

The WoWW project’s presentation was held within the third session of the day: the Excellence in Action! session. The presentation slideshow is available here.

Although the project started about a year ago, our last PhD candidate (Silius Mortensønn Vandeskog, Dept. of Mathematics) joined us officially this Autumn. This presentation is, therefore, one of the first public presentations since the WoWW team is complete.

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 (Photo: 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.

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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.