Job: PhD position at HIT Lab NZ: VR exploration for multi-dimensional land use management

Open PhD Position
Virtual reality exploration for multi-dimensional land use management
The Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand

The goal of this PhD project is to explore how virtual-reality technology and super-computing capability can be used to assist decision-makers in understanding the impact of alternative optimal solutions in land management. Over 50 years worth of spatial data showing land use changes over time has been collected.  An evolutionary algorithm has been developed to find optimal solutions for land use, using this data set. However the output of this algorithm is difficult to visualize and understand. So the PhD work will cover visualising this preprocessed multi-dimensional data on a virtual reality (VR) immersive display. The system will allow users to explore the solution space interactively using motion-tracking technology and get greater understanding of the data set and evolved solutions. This is a joint project between the University of Canterbury, SCION and the US NSF-funded BEACON Center. This project has a duration of three years and is funded by a NZD 25K P.A. SCHOLARSHIP.

The Eligible Student Should have the Following background:

  • MSc or first class honours graduate degree;
  • Programming in Python and C++ desirable;
  • Graphics programming ability
  • Experience with scientific visualization and/or virtual reality
  • Interest in GPU programming/CUDA development
  • Only for a full-time student.

About the Lab

The Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand (HIT Lab NZ) is developing and commercializing technology that improves human computer interaction and by doing so unlocks the power of human intelligence. The HIT Lab NZ conducts research with new emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality, Next Generation Video Conferencing, Immersive Visualization and Human-Robot Interaction. Interaction Design techniques are used to adapt these technologies to the needs of end users and solve real world problems. The end goal is to improve the user experience with technology.


International applicants will be required to arrange for their NZ student visa after an offer of a place. Please check http://www.immigration.govt.nzfor information about what type of visa might be most suitable and the process of acquiring it. The university has various types of accommodation available on campus. Please check http:/ for information about the options and prices. International students should also consult the International Student website at to learn about the cost of living, fees, and insurances.


Your application must include your RESUME, ACADEMIC RECORDS, TWO REFERENCES and YOUR PREFERRED STARTING DATE. Please send you complete application by JULY 18th to our online system at: Please contact if you have any questions about the opening or the application process.


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