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Personal profile

Research interests

Ryan Southall’s core research interests include the potential for the manipulation of open-source software tools to provide specific learning outcomes or experiences.

He is actively engaged in the incorporation of environmental simulation data into virtual design environments. This work has initially centred on the use of the modelling and animation tool Blender as a pre/post-processor for the lighting simulation software Radiance and the building performance simulation softwareEnergyPlus. Radiance and EnergyPlus are powerful and accurate simulation tools which both lack an easy-to-use interface. By creating an intermediary interface called the VI-Suitewithin Blender, with the scripting language Python and based upon Blender's scriptable nodes, the geometry and materiality of a scene can be easily created, and the results visualised in-situ. See VI-Suite project website.

In conjunction with this digital approach Ryan Southall is interested in parallel physical processes, for example, the recreation of accurate physical lighting conditions for the illumination of physical models, where there are challenges in reproducing accurate physical simulation of sunlight in a compact and cost-effective way. This investigation of creating physical sunlight conditions with commodity electronics involved collaboration with Glenn Longden-Thurgood.

Dr Southall is also developing innovative physical components for 'Smart' natural ventilation systems. 

Dr Southall's other recent research activities include running the CEBE funded project 'LightLab - Where Environment Meets Design'. This project utilised High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging, which allowed students to capture their own real lighting conditions and then apply them as illumination sources to their virtual models. A journal paper resulted form this project and was published by CEBE Transactions (http://cebe.cf.ac.uk/transactions/index.php).

 

Scholarly biography

A physicist by background, Dr Southall completed an MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology, and received his PhD in the 'Design Optimisation of the Supply Air Ventilated Window' from the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the editorial review board for Smart and Sustainable Built Environment journal and teaches building performance/environmental for both the post and undergraduate architecture courses within the university. 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 2 Jan 2006

Master, Loughborough University

1 Sep 19978 Dec 1998

Award Date: 1 Jan 1999

Bachelor, University of Leicester

1 Sep 19911 Jun 1994

Award Date: 1 Sep 1994

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