Virtual reality to mitigate environmental, social and economic issues


Transportation of people is one of the most important sources of CO2 emissions contributing to global warming. We can reduce transport emission significantly, quickly and in a cost-effective manner by using virtual reality. Virtual reality offers a viable alternative to commuting for all activities involving face-to-face meetings for education, business, or for accessing services. In addition, allowing people to work, study and access services from home has a plethora of social, economic, commercial, environmental, and cultural benefits for regional Australia. This project will measure the effectiveness of STEM learning in a virtual immersive face-to-face environment compared to an in-class environment. This project will enable and accelerate the adoption of VR technology by addressing the psychological factors of resistance and providing an open and transformative VR platform.


Associate Professor Patrice Rey

Research Location

School of Geosciences

Program Type



Design a suite of simple undergraduate STEM learning activities and deliver them in a Virtual Reality and normal classroom environments. Collect, analyse, and interpret data comparing and contrasting the learning outcomes and learning experiences achieved through VR and classroom environments. Measure the capacity of VR technology to help STEM students to develop better 3D thinking and better 3D spatial awareness. Document and measure students' engagement in VR worlds.

Additional Information

We will consider outstanding students with a background in STEM, Education, Statistics, Psychology. This project is supported by an ARC-Linkage project 2020-24.

The additional supervisor for this project is Associate Professor Hamish MacDougall

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

  • Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
  • Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
  • Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
  • Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
  • Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
  • Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
  • Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
  • Hold a current scuba diving license;
  • Hold a current Working with Children Check;
  • Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Virtual Reality, STEM, teaching and learning

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2839

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