Immersive Controlled Environment
The School of Built Environment is collaborating with ConstructionSkills to develop an innovative system to support current apprenticeship training. The technology would allow existing apprentices to perform real life tasks such as bricklaying and roofing in an Immersive Controlled Environment (ICE). It would be hosted at Edinburgh €™s Telford College. The use of ICE for specifically supporting apprenticeship training is the first time to be used in the UK and Europe. Not only will the ICE support the future skills needs of the construction industry but it has the potential to help redundant apprentices complete their training. Professor Garry Pender, Head of School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University stated "We are delighted to be working with ConstructionSkills which is another example of Heriot-Watt's strength in working innovatively with business and industry."
Dr Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, a lecturer at the School of the Built Environment and the instigator of the project said "This project is the culmination of hard work over the past few months with ConstructionSkills and it presents a good starting point for building further collaborations for addressing the strategic skills needs of the construction industry."
We are delighted to be working with ConstructionSkills which is another example of Heriot-Watt's strength in working innovatively with business and industry
John Laing the Senior Business Manager from Edinburgh's Telford College said "We are delighted and excited our learners have been asked to be involved in this project. Using virtual technology to simulate the working environment, whilst actually performing real practical craft skills, is an amazing concept for future apprenticeship teaching and learning."
Dr Abdel-Wahab will work with Dr Frédéric Bosché, an expert in construction IT to develop the technology. Dr Bosché explained that "Technologies for 2D/3D sensing as well as virtual and augmented reality are developing rapidly, and are proving valuable in construction management and equipment operation training. This project aims to make these technologies available for apprenticeship training for a range of construction trades."
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between ConstructionSkills Scotland and the School of Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University on Wednesday 25 April at ConstructionSkills/Sgilean Togail office in Inchinnan Business Park, Renfrewshire.
Graeme Ogilvy, Director of ConstructionSkills Scotland commented that "We are pleased to be signing this Memorandum of Understanding with Heriot-Watt University, as the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the construction industry and we feel this will support the strategic skills needs of the construction industry in Scotland".