Masterplan idea wins award for Scott Sutherland lecturer

Amar BennadjiA lecturer from the Scott Sutherland School has recently been recognised by an international body for his idea to adapt existing software to make it more environmentally friendly.

Dr Amar Bennadji took part at the 3D and Virtual Reality Symposium, which was held in Tokyo during November, and was awarded the Academy Encouragement Award and a cash prize.

Dr Bennadji based his idea on software called UC-win/Road, which is used by master-planners to design roads and infrastructure, and adapted it with the possibility to visualise the traffic’s gas emissions. “This would enable planners to opt for more environmentally friendly routes and therefore, more sustainable planning,” Dr Bennadji explained.

Dr Bennadji used the University’s Garthdee Masterplan as a case study for the software. He said, “Statistics demonstrate that the A90 is an extremely busy road, with the congestion starting about 4 miles away from the River Dee. In addition, when the city centre campus moves to Garthdee, this will inevitably generate more traffic towards the south of Aberdeen.

“As a member of the University community, I am concerned about the volume of traffic heading to and from Garthdee, and the consequent gas emissions. I therefore wanted to come up with an idea that would save the University population travelling time and money, as well as protecting the environment for future generations.”

Dr Bennadji began his demonstration with a virtual reality tour of the A90, crossing the Dee Bridge, before reaching Garthdee Road. He simulated a heavy traffic jam on the route. He then showed a second fly-over from about 4 miles away from the Dee Bridge from where he created a derivation route, which travellers from the south could use to take them to a new timber deck car park, student accommodation, sports and shopping facilities at the south bank of the River Dee. This would then be linked to the current campus by a pedestrian bridge. He also envisaged a light tram which would travel through the campus on the north bank of the river.

After delivering his presentation, Dr Bennadji was approached by a Korean company, who advised him that they would be happy to provide an electric filling station in the car park, for electric cars. “This would work in conjunction with the solar panels on the buildings, enabling users to charge their cars while they are working or studying at the University,” he said.

Dr Bennadji is a member of World 16, a body of 16 members from various parts of the world, created three years ago by Professor Yoshihiko Kobayashi of Arizona State University, USA, to discuss virtual reality and develop new ideas.

As a result, the Institute for Innovation, Design and Sustainability Research have granted Dr Bennadji funding for a researcher to continue the work he started for future demonstrations both within the University and for the local authorities.


Pauline Smith
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