Q&A: Prof Masi Mohammadi and A/Prof Nimish Biloria
In November 2017 Prof Masi Mohammadi, from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) Department of The Built Environment visited UTS to collaborate with Dr. Nimish Biloria, Associate Professor at UTS’s Design, Architecture and Building Faculty. The two academics are working on adaptive smart environments for active ageing and wellbeing.
What was the purpose of your visit to UTS? What is your collaboration and what are you focusing on?
Mohammadi: My goal was to explore possibilities of collaboration on joint research activities in my research field, Smart Architectural Technologies. In my research program, Empathic Environments, we (twenty (PhD) researchers) have combined social sciences, smart technologies and architectural principals and approaches to theorize how smart technological means and methods evolve the art and science of architecture, as well as, how and to what extend this smart architecture affects the wellbeing and social engagement of its inhabitants.
What is the benefit of this collaboration between the two universities?
Biloria: TU/e brings an exciting agenda of working on Empathic Health Environments to UTS. This research is highly complementary to the work that my research in smart environments is engaged with. The collaboration helps in strengthening our knowledge base and developing democratic frameworks at both fundamental and applied research levels for enhancing urban health.
Additionally, learning from a European context (especially the Netherlands) where Active Ageing, Elderly Care and working with Dementia have already gone through a series of experimentations and advanced research, can offer a rich data pool from which the Australian context, can benefit.
What is the benefit of meeting at UTS in person, rather than working together remotely?
Mohammadi: I received an understanding of the Australian (academic) context and cross-cultural differences/similarities. This provided me with clarity about realistic possibilities for future collaborations, the omens are very positive. In my opinion this couldn't have happened through the Skype or the phone.
What is the impact of your research, how do you think it benefits society?
Biloria: The collaborative research between the two universities operates within the domain of Health and Wellbeing and its strategic link with the Built Environment and Smart Technologies. The research not only caters to preventive healthcare measures which can be applied for developing solutions for home based care but also for urban environments wherein we redesign physical infrastructure and land use patterns for enhancing active living.
The idea of working with Living Labs as experimental testbeds for understanding the user, testing and validating new technologies as well as actively interacting with the users, are all oriented towards achieving impact from a social, technical, economic and contextual perspective.
What outcomes have you achieved since your visit in 2017?
- Collaborative writing of a Springer Book Series Chapter on Smart and Empathic Health Care: S.M.A.R.T. Environments Springer Book Series (to be published in 2018).
- Exchange of one PhD candidate from UTS to TU/e for engaging in real-time interaction based experiments for smart healthcare solutions in one of Living Labs in Arnhem, The Netherlands (to be initiated in 2018).
- Invitation for TU/e to act as consultant for the upcoming Smart Cities and Suburbs grant (deadline April 2018).
- Initiation of EU H2020 proposal on Smart and healthy living at home (with UTS as a partner for the proposal).
- Conducted extensive progress review of PhD candidates and PD Eng. students at TU/e in January 2018.
- Initiated discussions for possible collaboration for real-time interactive componential systems (for instance the Robotic-stairs) and affordable and smart living units to be showcased at the Dutch Design Week in October 2018.