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First draft for my PhD Research

Two weeks ago I moved from Curitiba, Brazil, to Enschede, Netherlands, in order to conduct a PhD Research at the University of Twente. I’m now working at the Construction Management & Engineering department. It’s a whole new experience for me: a new country, a new language, and a new research area, of course. Our department rely much on multidisciplinary research and they expect me to bring the creativity and collaboration of the Design disciplines to Civil Engineering. It’ll be a big challenge to bridge the gaps!

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My research is concerned with the participation of users, healthcare professionals, and managers into hospital constructions. The Dutch culture is  very participative and those type of construction often requires many time-consuming meetings with various stakeholders. Users and low-level professionals are already included into the Design process, but the participation is not always productive nor enjoyable.

It was proposed to me, in the first instance, to design a virtual reality game to facilitate the participation. That can change over time, but I outlined my research topics with that goal in mind. The following diagram shows the main and secondary topics of research and expected “conceptual bridges” to build across them.

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The Main Topics are the research core. I know, of course, that each one deserves it’s own PhD thesis, but I prefer not to define in advance witch specific part of the human knowledge boundary I’ll push, as Matt Might puts in it’s illustrated guide to a PhD.

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I expect to change my interests over the 4 years I have to go, but that are my cornerstones by now. If you are researching one of this topics or wants to give any kind of suggestions, please, drop me a line.

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