BU Academic Targeted Research Scheme : Immersive Environments for Disaster Management

I joined the Disaster Management Centre as a Senior Lecturer in December 2019 and my post is also part of the Academic Targeted Research Scheme. The Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC) is part of Bournemouth University Business School (BUBS).

My research is focused on Immersive Environments for Disaster Management. This involves a review of current Disaster Management education, training and exercise methodologies and recognised practice and how technology enhanced learning platforms might be used to inform and add to current practice in Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management. Although my research will be wide-ranging, after a career of more than 20 years in Public Health, my initial research has centred around looking at the potential of immersive environments, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality for preparing for pandemics and other high consequence infectious diseases (HCIDs) with the potential to cause pandemics.

I started out in public health research and then went into health sector emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR). I began my career as a research scientist specialising in microbiology and moved into health emergency preparedness and response with the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in 2005. This organisation became part of Public Health England (PHE) in 2013 where I was the strategic lead for EPRR.

While with HPA and then PHE,  I managed teams involved in the development and delivery of training, simulations and exercises in health security for the health sector both at home and abroad. These included the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s strategic schedule of emergency response training and exercises and international training and exercise events for organisations such as DGSante, (European Commission), the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC).

My national EPRR responsibilities included managing PHE’s EPRR Programme which included preparing for and management and co-ordination of emergencies such as the Swine Flu pandemic in 2009, the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Novichok poisoning in Salisbury in 2018.

My international public health work includes the development and delivery of a programme of work to strengthen the emergency preparedness and response capability and capacity for public health emergencies in Africa and Asia. This involved the co-creation of EPRR solutions, including “off-the-shelf” tools using innovative solutions, such as simulations, in order to build EPRR capability and capacity in these countries.

I’m going to be reaching out to colleagues across BU to foster collaborations and in order to enrich my research in the area of immersive environments and enhanced learning platforms, including the potential for these technologies to be applied in emergency preparedness and response in a post CoVID-19 world.

If you’re interested in the work that I am doing or if you think I can provide input into your areas of interest please get in touch.