City-scale Modelling Version 1.0

Speaker: Professor Debra Laefer

Date: 20 July 2017

Time: 12:00 – 13:00

Venue: The Alan Turing Institute

Watch the full event video


Despite tremendous advances in virtual reality and gaming environments, little of this has translated into city-scale models with engineering functionality, despite the pressing need for such models in a wide range of subjects (e.g. energy usage, urban heat island, pollution dispersion, pedestrian wind comfort, and blast vulnerability). As such, Prof. Laefer will present the current state of the art with respect to the creation of an automated pipeline for computational model creation that is representative of the actual built environment. Of particular interest is how the latest generation of laser scanning combined with hyperspectral imagery may prove to be a game changer in the auto-generation of computational models at a city-scale.

Professor Debra Laefer is with NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, an interdisciplinary center that looks to harness urban informatics for improving the management and livability of cities. Trained as a geotechnical engineer, Prof. Laefer’s Urban Modelling Group focuses on creating a pipeline from remote sensing data for the automatic generation of city-scale, computational models for tunnel-induced damage prediction. She holds degrees from Columbia University, NYU, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was a 2012 recipient of a European Research Council award for her project RETURN:  Rethinking Tunneling in Urban Areas and has recently been appointed to the Irish Research Council.