by BIM Academy | March 9, 2022 | 5 min read
In the third interview of our International Women’s Day series, Dr Melanie Robinson, Project Manager for BIM Academy, talks to Dr Kay Rogage, Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University.
Kay lectures in Digital Living and is based in the Department of Computer Science in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment for the University. She is also a member of Northumbria University’s BIM Academy Research Team.
Kay is an applied researcher whose work spans across the disciplines of computer science and the built environment. Her research focuses on developing technical solutions that allow data integration across technologies, enabling the interoperability of building models to overcome the technical barriers around data exchange in the built environment.
Tell us about your role and what you do?
I am a Senior Lecturer in Digital Living based in the Department of Computer Science in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment for Northumbria University. My areas of interest involve understanding the complex interactions between buildings and people and improving the way we design, construct and operate buildings through developing new smart digital approaches to these interactions.
I am lucky enough to be able to explore these topics within my research whilst also delivering teaching on a number of related technologies, such as IoT, data science, human computer interaction and human building interaction.
What attracted you to your industry?
I’m a software engineer. I like to use technology to fix problems and my first role was developing software for the construction industry and I have remained in this field ever since.
Buildings are all around us and we use them for all aspects of life. The use of digital technologies in the built environment domain is underexplored and incredibly exciting.
What exciting projects are you working on right now?
I’m developing a Digital Twin of the University city campus – it is incredibly exciting seeing the different types of data that are available and exploring how you can link them together and gain insights for a whole range of different things.
What steps have you taken in recent years to support climate change action?
A lot of my research is around supporting sustainability goals. My research around Smart Connected Buildings looks at ways of improving the operation of residential buildings to reduce the carbon emissions of buildings. I am also working on an international project looking at how to use machine learning and smart technologies for reducing carbon emissions in building retrofitting projects.
When it comes to sustainability and climate change, what major challengers or opportunities do you foresee for your industry in the next five years?
We talk a lot about using data and technology to support climate change initiatives but actually we forget that the data needs to be stored somewhere and processing the data consumes energy and technology becomes obsolete really quickly often ending up in landfill.
While exploring how we can use technology to improve the way we carry out activities within the building sector we also need to consider how we can intelligently use the data and technology we already have. On the flip side we can offset some of those carbon emissions by implementing greener designs and more sustainable ways of working.
What single piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in your profession?
Build yourself a network of people who you enjoy working with that can support you working towards your goals and you theirs.
Name your favourite place in the world?
What would your superpower be?
So that I could tell my former self that there was nothing to worry about and I’d get where I needed to be regardless of what happened on the way!
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