The University of Southern Mississippi has teamed with a Spanish
university to explore scholarly and economic development opportunities
using virtual reality technologies.
members of the International Center for Engineering Education (ICEE),
a multidisciplinary educational development and research hub housed
at Southern Miss, hosted Dr. Jorge Capote, director of the Grupo
de Investigacion y Desarrollo de Actuaciones Industriales (GIDAI).
The purpose of the trans-Atlantic visit was to discuss an initiative
that would allow the universities to share information and collaborate
on engineering projects in real time, using both existing and newly
Housed at the
University of Cantabria in Spain, the GIDAI focuses on the application
of modern techniques for the design, planning and organization of
reality is a visual tool," said Dr. Tulio Sulbaran, professor
of construction engineering technology at Southern Miss. "Most
of our engineers are visual learners, therefore we believe that
using virtual reality in English and any language, including Spanish,
should enhance the learning experience of our students - whether
in construction, polymer science or industrial safety."
of numerous books and monographs about construction equipment and
fire safety, Capote has participated in the planning and construction
of numerous industrial, commercial and residential projects in Latin
America, Africa and the Middle East. Through an interpreter, Capote
said that construction engineering and fire protection are the two
main lines of investigation for his group, GIDAI.
delighted to welcome Dr. Capote to Southern Miss and to discuss
prospective areas of collaboration between our institutions,"
said Susan Steen, director of the Center for International and Continuing
our conversations will lead to terrific opportunities for partnerships
in research, economic development, and student and faculty exchanges
that will benefit both institutions."
discussed in Monday's day-long visit with Capote included voice
communication in virtual reality environments and characteristics
of virtual environment education. Others included virtual reality
environments of a building construction timeline and the evaluation
of professional scheduling practices and related training issues
an instructor in the School of Engineering Technology, said the
initiative would enable his students at Southern Miss to expand
their educational opportunities by collaborating with students in
Spain, and eventually, across the globe.
currently do a project and collaboration, and they must be able
to have meetings in a virtual way," Crosby said. "They
talk in real time and put their projects online. That same idea,
we feel, can be expanded globally."