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PHD student Kaveh Heshmati travelled to Australia for two weeks to discuss his research on occupant comfort in tall buildings with world-leading expert Prof Kenny Kwok at the University of Sydney, Australia. Kenny is an international authority on the impact of tall-building vibrations.

Kaveh is studying for a PHD investigating human ‘acceptability’ of wind induced vibrations in tall buildings using the globally unique VSimulators facilities, which are designed to simulate realistically wind-induced vibrations in tall buildings. His research will use the VSimulators facility at the University of Bath.

The aim of the visit was to initiate a research collaboration between the Universities of Bath and Sydney, and to learn from Kenny Kwok’s past experiences of testing with vibration simulators. During the visit, Kaveh presented his work, discussed the aims and objectives of the project, the research methodology and the pilot tests carried out using the Bath VSimulator. Kenny provided feedback and recommendations to help Kaveh with his PHD and took Kaveh to visit the University of Sydney’s wind tunnel facility.

While at the University of Sydney, Kaveh also visited the Human Factors Research Lab at the School of Psychology where Associate Professor Hamish MacDougall showed him the facilities, including the spacecraft simulator, aeroplane simulator and virtual reality equipment. The spacecraft simulator is a collaborative project between the University of Sydney and NASA, where astronauts are tested and exposed to six degrees of freedom motion.

While in Sydney, Kaveh also visited the Western Sydney University (UWS) School of Medicine where Dr Daniel Boulton, a researcher in neuroscience and integrative physiology, showed him the laboratory, facilities and research techniques being used to conduct physiological measurements in neuroscience tests.

In addition, Kaveh had a Skype meeting with applied psychology expert Steve Lamb at the Ministry of Education, New Zealand whose research into the acceptability of wind-induced vibration in office environments inspired Kaveh’s PHD research. Steve provided feedback on Kaveh’s research methodology.

The visit was funded by the Santander Travel and Collaboration Grant.

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