How can state-of-the-art Digital Tools used in Built Heritage Conservation inspire the Video Games industry?


The preventive conservation and maintenance of the architectural heritage is a priority for European institutions. It is worth noting that architectural heritage conservation assumes high relevance not only because of the building itself but also because it usually contains artworks, e.g. sculptures, paintings and frescos. This means that when a structural pathology involves architectural heritage, it is likely that artworks are damaged, producing a loss of artistic and historical materials and, at the same time, an immaterial loss of memory and people identity. In the last decade, impressive advancements have been made in documenting and preserving our architectural heritage. The possibilities offered by today's tools and workflows for digital representation and information e management open new perspectives and challenges in terms of geometry acquisition, data structuration, advanced methods of analysis, structural health monitoring and data dissemination.

Regarding the dissemination purpose, it is fundamental to adopt social media for disseminating knowledge interactively. One can note how the video games industry may play a key role in inspiring and raising young people's awareness of architectural heritage. Indeed, video games couple high-quality representations of architectural heritage sites with legends and myths that grow the gamers' curiosity and historical awareness. Moreover, this research field can also use the innovation brought by the spread of augmented reality.

Our talk will address approaches and techniques adopted to conserve and preserve architectural heritage's structural integrity, which may also be successfully adopted in the video games industry. The discussion will be enriched with practical examples of 3D digital surveys and advanced analytical and numerical strategies developed by the Historic Masonry Structures research group (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minho, ISISE, Guimarães, Portugal).

Curriculum Vitae Paulo B. Lourenço

Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minho, Portugal, and Head of the Institute in Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering, with 250 researchers. Experienced in the fields of non-destructive testing, advanced experimental and numerical techniques, innovative repair and strengthening techniques, and earthquake engineering. Specialist in structural conservation and forensic engineering, with work on 100+ monuments including 17 UNESCO World Heritage. Leader of the revision of the European masonry code (EN 1996-1-1). Coordinator of the European Master on Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historical Constructions, with alumni from 70+ countries and European Heritage / Europa Nostra Award (most prestigious in Europe). Editor of the International Journal of Architectural Heritage and advisor of the Conference Series on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions. Supervised more than 60 PhD theses and coordinate multiple national and international research projects. Awarded an Advanced European Research Council Grant of 3.0 M€ to develop an integrated seismic assessment approach for heritage buildings. Coordinator of an Innovative Training Network on sustainable building lime applications via circular economy and biomimetic approaches with 15 PhD students across Europe.

Curriculum Vitae Marco Francesco Funari

Marco Francesco Funari obtained his PhD at the University of Calabria (Italy) in 2019. The PhD program was focused on the development of advanced numerical models based on the use of a moving mesh approach to predict both debonding at the interfaces and crack propagation in 2D solids. He has also pursued his interest in masonry structures by collaborating with the Laboratory of Digital Survey of the University of Calabria. In particular, He participated in the 3D Survey of Sanctuary of San Francesco of Paola (Cosenza, Italy) and the 3D modelling and video animation of San Francesco in Rocca Church's painted walls (Sassuolo, Italy). These collaborations, in the framework of cultural heritage, allowed him to strongly improve his background in survey techniques like 3D laser scanner and digital photogrammetry, as well as the most recent approaches in 3D modelling such as polygonal and NURBS modelling. Currently, he serves as a post-doctoral researcher at ISISE in the S4H project led by Prof. Lourenço at the ISISE (University of Minho). He is mainly responsible for developing an integrated analytical approach for the out-of-plane seismic assessment and subsequent intervention design of heritage masonry buildings.

Curriculum Vitae Javier Ortega

Javier Ortega is an architect with a PhD in Civil Engineering and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow at the Instituto de Tecnologías Físicas y de la Información (ITEFI) “Leonardo Torres Quevedo” of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), in Madrid, Spain. He was awarded the MSCA-IF to develop novel non-destructive inspection tools for the mechanical characterization of historical masonry, through the 3D internal reconstruction of masonry assemblies based on acoustic wave propagation techniques. He is co-founder and associate of FENEC, a consulting engineering association providing non-destructive testing and specialized structural analysis services for the built heritage. He has over eight years of professional and academic experience in the field of conservation of historical and vernacular structures, with work on many monuments throughout the world including several UNESCO World Heritage sites. His research has focused on advanced structural analysis, detailed and large-scale seismic vulnerability assessment, and documentation of cultural heritage and historical sites. He has participated in eight research projects in the field of conservation of heritage structures, being coordinator of three of them, including the Heritage Within European project, focused on the use of new techniques for the inspection, 3D reconstruction and presentation of the non-visible parts of the built cultural heritage.

Curriculum Vitae Daniel V. Oliveira

Daniel V. Oliveira, MSc and PhD in Civil Engineering, is Associate Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering of University of Minho, Portugal. His main research interests are related to the experimental and numerical analysis of traditional and heritage masonry structures, earthquake engineering, strengthening of masonry based on innovative materials, earthen construction, vernacular stone heritage and risk analysis. He has been involved in about 35 research projects in the field of masonry, funded on a competitive basis. In particular, he has been the principal investigator of the HeritageCare European project about the preventive conservation of cultural heritage buildings resorting to digital tools. He supervised about 30 PhD students and 90 MSc students, being the author of more than 300 technical and scientific publications about masonry. He worked in 4 RILEM committees as researcher (being the Secretary in two of them), dealing with the performance of masonry and earthen constructions. Daniel Oliveira is Deputy Coordinator of the international Master course in Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historical Constructions (SAHC,, coordinated by University of Minho and funded by the European Commission as Erasmus Mundus Master Course for a period of 10 consecutive years, award winner of the “EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2017”.

Paulo B. Lourenço
Department of Civil Engineering
University of Minho, ISISE
Guimarães, Portugal

Marco Francesco Funari
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Surrey
Guildford, United Kingdom

Javier Ortega
Instituto de Tecnologías Físicas y de la Información "Leonardo Torres Quevedo" (ITEFI)
Madrid, Spain

Daniel V. Oliveira
Department of Civil Engineering
University of Minho, ISISE
Guimarães, Portugal

Game Industry and Academic Collaboration: A Personal Journey


This talk spans 25+ years of my career working both in the games industry as a lead developer, and in academia as a senior lecturer in games engineering. Having worked for 12+ years in games development with companies including Ubisoft, Rockstar, BBC Games, Atari and Sony, I decided to move into academia and join a teaching and research group focusing on core C++ programming for games. In that time I have collaborated across the bridge between academia and industry with a focus on both education and on research.

The talk will detail the specifics of how to engage with industry as an academic educator (ie tailoring a course toward industry needs and bringing industry on board), and will explain how various research projects, largely in serious games and in underlying engine technology, have utilised industry links for collaboration, or harnessed industrial practice for project success.

The takeaways from the talk should be some understanding of how to align industry and academic needs in a productive manner, from the point of view of both industrial practitioners and academic educators and researchers. The accompanying paper will be a set of recommendations and guidelines, based on past experience to enhance and evolve academic and industrial collaboration on game development and technology.

Curriculum Vitae

Present-day, Senior Lecturer & Director of Business and Engagement, School of Computing, Newcastle University. In the past, Engineering Manager and Project Manager at Ubisoft Reflections, Newcastle; Technical Lead at Reflections Interactive, Newcastle, Lead Programmer at Absolute Studios, Glasgow and Lead Software Developer at VIS Interactive plc, Dunfermline. Obtained a Ph.D. from the Signal Processing Group, Dept of Electrical Engineering, University of Edinburgh and a B.Sc.(Hons) in Electronics at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST).

Gary Ushaw
School of Computing
Newcastle University
Newcastle, United Kingdom

Com@Rehab – Terminology meets VR in Rehabilitation Scenarios based on Real-Life Activities


Com@Rehab – a collaborative research project awarded by Santander/NOVA 2019-2020 – brings together several competences, such as linguistics, communication and health literacy, motor rehabilitation, as well as virtual reality and game development, to facilitate health communication using technology. Com@Rehab is a multidisciplinary project whose goal is to develop a Digital Communication Module (MCD Rehab) contributing to the rehabilitation of post-COVID patients in hospitals and/or home environments.

We are working on the development of communicative skills of the various agents involved while enhancing technological literacy and interactivity with technology, thereby helping to improve human-human and human-machine interaction, where terminology has a central role. Our methodology encompasses scenarios of real-life activities supported by Virtual Reality (VR) that, together with several communicative scenarios, lead to the development of linguistically precise motor rehabilitation exercises.

Ultimately, the project aims to bridge the communicative gap between patients, caregivers and healthcare providers while improving the patients’ interaction with the technology.

Curriculum Vitae Rute Costa

Associate Professor with tenure and Habilitation in Linguistics at the FCSH | NOVA University Lisbon .She is the Head of the Linguistics Centre of the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa – CLUNL - and coordinator of Lexicology, Lexicography and Terminology Group - LLT. She is a collaborator researcher at Digital Humanities Lab and a consultant at the infrastructure ROSSIO, the Portuguese representative at the" Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities". (DARIAH). She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Portuguese Value-Based Healthcare CoLAB.

Curriculum Vitae Micaela Fonseca

Micaela Fonseca holds a PhD in Physics. Micaela is Principal Researcher at HEI-Lab (Digital Human-Environment Interaction Lab) and assistant Professor at the ECATI, Lusófona University. Micaela has been engaged in several VR-based simulation projects, she is co-founder of VR4NeuroPain and Games for Good. She has published several scientific papers in ehealth and serious games.

Rute Costa
Linguistics Department, FCSH
NOVA University Lisbon
Lisbon, Portugal

Micaela Fonseca
Lusófona University
Lisbon, Portugal