Leeds College of Art runner up in Guardian University Awards 2017

30 March 2017

We are pleased to announce that Leeds College of Art and the School of Earth and Environment (University of Leeds) are runners up in the Guardian University Awards 2017 for Digital Innovation.

Students on courses with a Geology element can use the tool developed by the Virtual Landscapes team at the University of Leeds and Leeds College of Art to help them to prepare for field work. Annabeth Robinson, Senior Lecturer BA (Hons) Animation and Research Technology Cluster Leader, led the project on behalf of Leeds College of Art.

The tool enables students to explore a virtual landscape as they would a real one, interacting to collect real-time data, determine location, and map regional geology. This means that time can be used more profitably when they are out in the field. It can also be used by students who cannot undertake fieldwork due to illness or injury, enabling the same skills and processes to be taught in a manner not previously possible.

The project was developed through a collaborative opportunity between Leeds College of Art and the School of Earth and Environment, forming an interdisciplinary bridge between Arts and STEM disciplines.

Professor Randall Whittaker, Director of Studies at Leeds College of Art, said:

“We were delighted to be shortlisted for Digital Innovation at the Guardian University Awards 2017; an important recognition of the innovative work carried out by our staff and students. This collaborative project demonstrates the benefits of using creative and digital skills to address real-world problems and deliver engaging digital solutions.”

Dr Jacqui Houghton, from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, is director of the Virtual Landscapes project.She said:

“This is a fantastic example of team working, using experts from different disciplines and institutions to find a solution to a problem we had been grappling with for some time. Virtual Landscapes was developed from a pencil and paper exercise into a tool that has revolutionised the way that students learn about geology.” 

The tool has been so successful that it is being evaluated by other UK Universities, including Keele, Durham, and Liverpool, and used in universities in the USA, South Africa and Guyana.

Find out more about all the award winners and runners up HERE