PhD Scholarship in Using Virtual Reality to Better Understand Evacuation Behaviour in Bushfires

This project is a multidisciplinary research project spanning computing technologies, engineering and the social sciences.

Seeking a motivated PhD student on this multidisciplinary research project to understand evacuation behaviour during bushfires using virtual reality technology.

The PhD student would be funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to perform cutting edge research in understanding and predicting evacuation behaviour in bushfire events.

While virtual reality (VR) technology has been used to study how people behave in certain scenarios, including evacuating from a building fire emergency and driving in non-emergency conditions, few studies have used VR technology to examine human behaviour during evacuation from bushfire events.

A student involved in this work will\

  1. develop VR simulations that can be used to test specific aspects of evacuation decision-making and response in bushfires (e.g., routing decisions through bushfire-affected communities);
  2. conduct experiments with participants to collect data on decision-making during simulated bushfire events; and
  3. develop statistical models that identify the relationship between environmental, social and individual factors and evacuation outcomes. 

The findings from this project will be presented to fire and emergency services agencies in Australia to better plan and prepare for future bushfires and protect residents living in at-risk areas across the country.

$33,826 per annum for 3 years.

One scholarship available.

Standard RMIT PhD enrolment requirements apply, please see entry requirements webpage.

Open now

15 May 2024

Please send CV, cover letter, and academic transcript to

Experience with VR, Unity/Unreal (or comparable 3D programming) is preferred.

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.