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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
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Manhattan, KS 66506

April 3, 2023

Shakil Kashem receives Kansas NSF EPSCoR grant

Submitted by Thom Jackson

Shakil Kashem

Shakil Kashem, assistant professor of landscape architecture & regional and community planning in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, or APDesign, will receive a Research and Education Innovation grant of $70,858 from the Kansas  National  Science  Foundation Established Program to  Stimulate  Competitive  Research, or Kansas NSF EPSCoR, Office. 

Kashem's proposal is titled "Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies for Enhancing Disaster Risk Awareness in Vulnerable Communities." He is collaborating with Hyung Jin Kim, associate professor of landscape architecture & regional and community planning, and Bala Natarajan, professor of electrical and computer engineering, for the project.

The project will contribute to the NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 project titled "Adaptive and Resilient Infrastructures Driven by Social Equity", or ARISE, supported by the National Science Foundation and matching support from the State of Kansas through the Kansas Board of Regents.

Kashem intends to use the grant to evaluate emerging technological opportunities of augmented reality, or AR, and virtual reality, or VR, for disaster risk communication and participatory resilience planning in vulnerable urban and rural Kansas communities. Funding decisions for this grant were based on merit review by a panel consisting of research faculty and senior research administrators at Kansas State University, Wichita State University and the University of Kansas.

"Traditional participatory planning processes rely heavily on two-dimensional maps that can give an imperfect perception of the spatial context of natural hazards, which is particularly problematic for hazard risk communication," Kashem said. "AR and VR technologies allow creating an immersive experience for hazard risk communication that can benefit resilience planning process."

This study will contribute to the resilience planning process by evaluating the effectiveness of AR and VR technologies.

"This important funding award recognizes both the importance of Dr. Kashem's work and the value of interdisciplinary collaboration," said Huston Gibson, professor and department head for landscape architecture & regional and community planning.

The Kansas NSF EPSCoR enhances the scientific research capacity in Kansas while developing a diverse, well-qualified workforce. It fulfills an NSF mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide, ensuring that all U.S. citizens have access to experiences in science and technology. Through the program, NSF establishes partnerships with government, higher education and industry that are designed to effect sustainable improvements in a jurisdiction's research infrastructure, its capacity for research and development capacity, and hence, its competitiveness for research funding.

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