Dr Cheng Qian is a Research Fellow of virtual reality (VR) simulator development within the Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team.
He received a B.Eng. in Electronic and Information Engineering at Nanjing University of Posts & Telecommunications in 2006. He graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2009 with a M.Sc. in Electronic and Computer Engineering, and in 2015 with a Ph.D. in Electronic and Electrical Engineering.
Over the past 6 years, funded by the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM), in collaboration with military and civilian medical personnel within the Intensive Care Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB), Cheng has been reconstructing two scenes of nature based on real-world locations – Wembury Bay and Burrator in South Devon. As the main object of Dr Qian’s Ph.D., this work investigates patient cognitive restoration though improvement of sleep quality, and the minimisation of delirium or the time to transfer patients to mainstream wards.
From 2013 to 2015, Cheng worked with the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham, for the development of VR railway simulations including virtual reconstructions of a central-controlled railway network with surrounding environment for future railway systems. Cheng has also been involved in various virtual heritage projects, most of which are compatible with VR headset and augmented reality technologies, including the virtual reconstruction of “the Wembury Docks That Never Were”, the HMS Amethyst, the HMS A7 submarine, the Royal Navy’s first submarine – Holland 1, the host to the first of 65,000 recorded submariner fatalities – the Maria, the site of former RAF Harrowbeer airfield, 3D models of data converted from high-definition multi-beam sonar surveys of the James Eagan Layne ship wreck, the Mayflower ship for the historic 2020 Mayflower 400 celebrations and 1960's subsea habitat – the GLAUCUS etc.
Since 2015, Cheng has been developing new prototypes of VR simulations for interactive technology-enhanced rehabilitation (respiratory muscle and skeletal muscle) on critical care. The HIT team work together with virtual heritage projects have been showed off during the final stage of the BBC’s Dare to be Digital Roadshow at Birmingham’s Mailbox, featured on BBC Radio 4, and Plymouth Herald. Most recently, Cheng is developing the simulated content of the HIT team’s Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) trainer, under a contract with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine. Currently, the MERT trainer is based on a detailed 3D recreation of a Chinook helicopter. Cheng is helping to develop other virtual platforms including a Royal Marines Mark V Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP), a Royal Marines hovercraft and an Army Mastiff land vehicle. This exercise was the first of a number of similar excursions on military vehicles, enabling the research team to develop appropriate media to increase the “believability” of the MERT simulation.