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Ruth Falconer

Head of Division

    • 478 Citations
    • 12 h-Index
    20052019
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    Personal profile

    Personal profile

    Professional Qualifications:
    1998 BSc Physics                                              University of Dundee 
    1999 MSc (Distinction) Information Technology   University of Abertay Dundee
    2006 PhD Ecological Modelling                            University of Abertay Dundee
    2010 PGCERT HET                                             University of Abertay Dundee            

    Professional Employment History:
    2017 - present               Head of Division: Computing & Mathematics and Professor of Complex Systems Modelling
    2014 - 2017                   Senior Lecturer in Computational Modelling and Visualisation
    2006 - 2014                   Lecturer in Modelling and Visualisation
    1999 - 2006                   Teaching Fellow, School of Computing and Creative Technologies

    Professor Ruth Falconer Head of Division: Computing and Mathematics in the School of Design & Informatics.

    I currently teach Data Structures and Parallel Programming (GPGPU) and have previously taught 3D graphics, statistics and programming to a range of cohorts. I hold a BSc in Physics and PhD in Ecological Modelling and my ongoing research interests are the development of modelling and visualisation frameworks to understand complex systems. My innovations include developing the first theoretical model and visualisation framework for indeterminate organisms. These modelling and visualisation skills have been applied across disciplines to develop interactive visual simulations of urban sustainability, heat loss and gain from built environment and precision agriculture. I am interested in applying games technology including games engines, graphics hardware and related infrastructure, to develop playable models of complex systems. Current areas of application are the Water-Energy-Food-nexus, Microbial Ecology and Health and Social Care. I am interested in the broader applications of game technology to develop intuitive systems models. I am an editorial board member for Scientific Reports, have over 55 peer reviewed articles and have secured research income over 1M. I am a Co-I and PI on several RCUK and charity-funded grants.

    Teaching

    CMP201 Data Structures & Algorithms I

    CMP202 Data Structures & Algorithms II

    I also supervise Hons and MSc projects in the areas of: Procedural Content Generation, Complex Systems in Games, Parallel Programming and GPGPU applications.

    Research interests

    I have a BSc in Physics, MSc in IT and my PhD developed a computational approach within theoretical ecology. My research is interdisciplinary and to date focuses mainly on environmental problems (e.g.using  sustainablity and nexus  approaches) that involve spatio-temporal and/or other multi-dimensional complexity. Numerical modelling, simulation, analysis and visualisation are critical components of this research that I implement using scripting, native programming, API’s and “engines” (Matlab/R/C#/C/C++/DirectCompute/Unity) as appropriate to achieve project goals. My personal research interests include the application of games technology (using GPGPU, games engines and related infrastructure) for computation and visualisation to scientific problems  e.g. the Water, Energy, Food Nexus; Interactive visualisation of multicontaminants from atmospheric chemistry models; streaming and visualising AGRI-Data in the field on mobile devices and biophysical modelling of soil-microbial complex. I am also interested in computer games as complex systems and the translation of complex system approaches to games and game design to enhance the player experience.

    Funding

    Research (> 732K) and Consultancy (>37K) Awards

    2017– 2019 Principal Investigator (Abertay) on Modelling the resilience of below-ground microbial communities. RCUK (NERC): £220K; Abertay share £25K. NE/P014208/1.

    2016 – 2019 Principal Investigator (Abertay) on Modelling the Water-Energy-Food Nexus: STEPPING UP. RCUK: (EPSRC): 1.4M; Abertay share £178K. Work Package Leader. EP/N00583X/1.

    2015 – Present    Co-Investigator on Sustainable methods to supply clean water to Scotland’s rural communities. CREW: £35K.

    2014 – Present     Principal Investigator on AGRI-AP: Applied Graphics and Rendering Innovation for Agricultural Precision. TSB £17K

    2013 – Present   Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D.    Building Information Models (BIM) and Interactive Visualisation. SFC - (HEFC) £10,000

    2013 – Present   Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D.   Investigating web based game technologies (webGL and openCL) for generating optimized fertilizer and lime maps. SAGES  £11,434

    2013 - Present    Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D.     3D visualization for TAYplan strategic landuse planning. TayPlan £8,000

    2013 – Present   Blackwood D, Gilmour D, Isaacs J & Falconer R.       Scottish Water Sector Overview Map for CREW (Center of Expertise for Water. CREW  £60,000.

    2013 – 2013       Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D    Maximising passive solar gain: A physically based simulation and rendering approach. SFC - (HEFC) £10,000

    2013 – Present  Co-Investigator on Development of a potato breeding interactive decision-making  tool: combining sensory and consumer science data (INTERFACE-AGRICO £60,000)

    2012 - Present      Principal Investigator on developing and testing geovisualisation approaches for understanding multiple benefits from Scottish agricultural systems. Scottish Government and UAD funded (£74,000).

    2012 - Present      Undergraduate Carnegie scholarship -  GPGPU implemenation of microbial dynamics model (£1000)

    2012 - Present  Nuffield scholarship - Promoting 3D quantification of microbial biomass with respect to physical  architecture. (£1000)

    2009 - Present       Co-Investigator, Multiscale Modelling and Emergent Properties of Microbial Degradation of Soil Organic Matter. ANR - France  (671,902 euro). 

    2009 - Present      Principal Investigator on developing an Agent based Model for the effect of land management decisions on the sustainability of urban/rural interface. Scottish Alliance of Geoscience, Environment and Society: SAGES (£50,000).

    2011 - Date          Simulation and Visualisation of  St Andrews Sand Dunes, for Fife Countryside Trust (£29,000)   .

    2011 - Date          Sustainability Assessment and Visualisation of the Dunfermline Edge Development, for Fife Council. (£10,000).

    2009 - Present      Co-investigator, Sustainability Enhancement and Visualisation of Dundee Waterfront, for Dundee City Council (£40,000). 

    2008 - Present      Co-investigator, DC Noise – Demographic Change: New opportunities in shrinking Europe, EU Interreg project (UAD share £102,000). 

    2008 - Present      Co-Investigator for developing an interactive simulation and visualisation tool for urban sustainability (UAD funded, £50,000) 

    2008 - 2011          Co-Investigator, Phosphates Life Cycle Management, for UK Water Industry Research Limited.  Lead Researchers - Consultants Atkins Ltd. (UAD share, £15,000).  

    2007 -  2011        Co-Investigator on the EPSRC project “Biological metaphors and crisis: building self healing, emergence and resilience into critical infrastructures” (EP/E062865: £366,002).  

    2007 -  2008         Co-Investigator on investigation into fungal-inspired network protocols.           Norman Fraser Design Trust (£9,000).

    2004                       “Inside Nature using Xray micro Computed tomography”. BBSRC: £2000

    Esteem

    Editorial, Board, Committee & Reviewer Roles

    • Women in Games Board membership  (May 2018 - Present)

    • CPHC: Council of Professors and Heads of Computing in UK membership  (August 2017 - Present)

    • Sicsa Committee: Abertay representative on SICSA committee (August 2018 - Present)

    • Editorial Board Member for Scientific Reports  (Jan 2015 - Present)

    • Associate Editor for SSSAJ: Soil Physics (Jan 2014 – Dec 2019)

    • Guest Editor Special Issue - Engineering Education on Geosciences in a Changing World - In Journal of Engineering Education (2013).

    • Expert reviewer for  European Commission: Marie Sklodowska -Curie Innovative Training Network Grants and Individual Fellowship Grants: Engineering and Informatics Panel (2016 – present).

    • Annually review 12-16 manuscripts for peer reviewed journals, 2-3 RCUK proposals and book chapters.


    Invited Talks & Panel Events

    1. RE Falconer (2018) Women in Gaming: The Next Generation. A UK-Italy dialogue on the future of video games. Organized by British Embassy Rome, UK Science & Innovation Network and Women in Games Rome. Villa Wolkonsky the British Embassy Rome. 20/11//2018.
    2. RE Falconer (2018) Education Panel with ReFIG. European Women in Games Conference. London City University. 12/9/2018.
    3. RE Falconer & V Stojanovic. (2015) Computational Modelling and Visualisation of Environmental Systems. 5/10/2015. CEH Edinburgh.
    4. RE Falconer. (2015) SAVE: Data, Information and Viz Tools. ESCOM Conference 7-8th May 2015. University of Edinburgh.
    5. RE Falconer. (2014) A Modelling and visualization framework for understanding ‘below-ground ‘fungal  ecology. FIRA Institute Henan China.
    6. RE Falconer (2014) Modelling and visualization framework for understanding ‘below-ground ‘fungal        ecology. SGM Annual Meeting. Loughborough.
    7. Falconer, RE. Pore scale modelling of microbial degradation. Workshop in 3D Imaging and Applications in Geosciences, University of Abertay Dundee  8/10/2013.
    8. Blackwood, D & Falconer. RE - A monitoring framework for sustainable development. Improvement Services Scottish Government.  18/1/2013
    9. Blackwood D & Falconer RE. Stakeholder Engagement via Immersive Visualisation. Exeter University, 10th Jan 2012
    10. Falconer, RE, Battaia, G and Otten,W. (2012) A pore scale model of Soil Organic Matter (SOM) dynamics and microbial colonisation. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 14, 8182, Vienna, 24/4/2012.
    11. Ruth Falconer. "3D Visualisation – Promoting The Development” House Building In Fife: “Building Relationships" Fife Council, Kirkcaldy, 28/11/2012.
    12. Blackwood, D, Isaacs, J., & Falconer RE. Stakeholder Engagement via Immersive Visualisation – Scottish Government, 24th November 2011.
    13. Falconer R. E. Interactive Visualisation for Sustainability @ Revealing Research in partnership with RCUK Digital Economy Programme, Pecha-Kucha. Dundee Science Centre, 9th November 2011.
    14. Blackwood D & Falconer RE. Stakeholder engagement through immersive visualisation technologies James Hutton Institute, 20th September 2011
    15. Falconer, RE and Otten, W (2010). From soils to.... University of Abertay Research Conference. 'The fundamental interconnectedness of all things'. Dundee, 15/9/2010.
    16. Ruth E Falconer and Wilfred Otten (2010). From soils to.... University of Abertay Research Conference. 'The fundamental interconnectedness of all things'.
    17. Ruth E. Falconer. (2009) Integrating techniques: Modelling fungal community dynamics in heterogeneous soil, SIMBIOS, University of Abertay Dundee, UK. At  Micro Soil: Integrating Biological, Physical and Chemical techniques for the study of soil micro-habitats.
    18. Ruth Falconer and Jim Bown (2009). Fungi for pervasive adaptive systems. Centre for Emergent Computing. Edinburgh Napier University. 11th Feb 2009.
    19. Ruth E. Falconer (2009) Modelling fungal growth in heterogeneous soil: analyses of the effect of soil physical structure on fungal community dynamics. Soils Complex and Non Linear Systems theme,  22nd April 2009. European Geoscience Union, Vienna, Austria.
    20. Perada Summer School. Bio-inspired Models Ruth E Falconer, University of Abertay Dundee, UK Emma Hart, Centre for Emergent Computing, Edinburgh Napier University, UK Ben Paechter, Centre for Emergent Computing, Edinburgh Napier University, UK. September 2008.
    21. Sessions organised (involved organising speakers)
    22. Ruth Falconer and Nia White (2010) Modelling Fungal Colonies and Communities. International Mycological Congress 9 The Biology of Fungi Edinburgh, UK. 1-6 August.
    23. Ruth Falconer, Invitation to European Geosciences Union (2010) Vienna 2-7 May 2010.Co-convenor of a session on Contemporary Education in Engineering and the Geosciences and paper presentation: Ruth Falconer, John Isaacs, and David Blackwood. Using interactive 3D visualisation to educate stakeholders in urban sustainability.


    External Examinations
    2017 PhD external examination. Guillermo Vidal Diez de Ulzurrun of Ghent University. "Fungal growth modelling and assessment: towards a three-dimensional spatially explicit fungal growth model"
    2015 PhD external examination. Rory McMullan of Ulster University. The Computational Modelling of large Scale Predator-Prey Systems.
    2011 PhD transfer external examination. Steven Hopkins of  Glamorgan University. A Hybrid Mathematical Model of Fungal Mycelia: Tropisms, Polarised Growth and Application to Colony Competition

    Knowledge Exchange

    Research (> 732K) and Consultancy (>37K) Awards

    2015 – 2018   Co-I (Abertay) on Water-Energy-Food Nexus: STEPPING UP. EPSRC. 1.4M Manchester University lead; Abertay share £178K

    2015 – Present    Co-Investigator on Sustainable methods to supply clean water to Scotland’s rural communities. CREW: £35K.

    2014 – Present     Principal Investigator on AGRI-AP: Applied Graphics and Rendering Innovation for Agricultural Precision. TSB £17K

    2013 – Present   Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D.    Building Information Models (BIM) and Interactive Visualisation. SFC - (HEFC) £10,000

    2013 – Present   Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D.   Investigating web based game technologies (webGL and openCL) for generating optimized fertilizer and lime maps. SAGES  £11,434

    2013 - Present    Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D.     3D visualization for TAYplan strategic land use planning. TayPlan £8,000

    2013 – Present   Blackwood D, Gilmour D, Isaacs J & Falconer R.       Scottish Water Sector Overview Map for CREW (Center of Expertise for Water. CREW  £60,000.

    2013 – 2013       Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D    Maximising passive solar gain: A physically based simulation and rendering approach. SFC - (HEFC) £10,000

    2013 – Present  Co-Investigator on Development of a potato breeding interactive decision-making  tool: combining sensory and consumer science data (INTERFACE-AGRICO £60,000)

    2012 - Present      Principal Investigator on developing and testing geovisualisation approaches for understanding multiple benefits from Scottish agricultural systems. Scottish Government and UAD funded (£74,000).

    2012 - Present      Undergraduate Carnegie scholarship -  GPGPU implemenation of microbial dynamics model (£1000)

    2012 - Present  Nuffield scholarship - Promoting 3D quantification of microbial biomass with respect to physical  architecture. (£1000)

    2009 - Present       Co-Investigator, Multiscale Modelling and Emergent Properties of Microbial Degradation of Soil Organic Matter. ANR - France  (671,902 euro). 

    2009 - Present      Principal Investigator on developing an Agent based Model for the effect of land management decisions on the sustainability of urban/rural interface. Scottish Alliance of Geoscience, Environment and Society: SAGES (£50,000).

    2011 - Date          Simulation and Visualisation of  St Andrews Sand Dunes, for Fife Countryside Trust (£29,000)   .

    2011 - Date          Sustainability Assessment and Visualisation of the Dunfermline Edge Development, for Fife Council. (£10,000).

    2009 - Present      Co-investigator, Sustainability Enhancement and Visualisation of Dundee Waterfront, for Dundee City Council (£40,000). 

    2008 - Present      Co-investigator, DC Noise – Demographic Change: New opportunities in shrinking Europe, EU Interreg project (UAD share £102,000). 

    2008 - Present      Co-Investigator for developing an interactive simulation and visualisation tool for urban sustainability (UAD funded, £50,000) 

    2008 - 2011          Co-Investigator, Phosphates Life Cycle Management, for UK Water Industry Research Limited.  Lead Researchers - Consultants Atkins Ltd. (UAD share, £15,000).  

    2007 -  2011        Co-Investigator on the EPSRC project “Biological metaphors and crisis: building self healing, emergence and resilience into critical infrastructures” (EP/E062865: £366,002).  

    2007 -  2008         Co-Investigator on investigation into fungal-inspired network protocols.           Norman Fraser Design Trust (£9,000).

             2004                       “Inside Nature using Xray micro Computed tomography”. BBSRC: £2000

    2013 – Present   Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D.    Building Information Models (BIM) and Interactive Visualisation. SFC - (HEFC) £10,000

    2013 – Present   Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D.   Investigating web based game technologies (webGL and openCL) for generating optimized fertilizer and lime maps. SAGES  £11,434

    2013 - Present    Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D.     3D visualization for TAYplan strategic landuse planning. TayPlan £8,000

    2013 – Present   Blackwood D, Gilmour D, Isaacs J & Falconer R.       Scottish Water Sector Overview Map for CREW (Center of Expertise for Water. CREW  (£60,000).

    2013 – 2013       Falconer RE, Isaacs JP, Gilmour D & Blackwood D    Maximising passive solar gain: A physically based simulation and rendering approach. SFC - (HEFC) £10,000

    2013 – Present  Co-Investigator on Development of a potato breeding interactive decision-making  tool: combining sensory and consumer science data (INTERFACE-AGRICO £60,000)

    2012 - Present      Principal Investigator on developing and testing geovisualisation approaches for understanding multiple benefits from Scottish agricultural systems. Scottish Government and UAD funded (£74,000).

    2012 - Present      Undergraduate Carnegie scholarship -  GPGPU implemenation of microbial dynamics model (£1000)

    2012 - Present  Nuffield scholarship - Promoting 3D quantification of microbial biomass with respect to physical  architecture. (£1000)

    2009 - Present       Co-Investigator, Multiscale Modelling and Emergent Properties of Microbial Degradation of Soil Organic Matter. ANR - France  (¿671,902). 

    2009 - Present      Principal Investigator on developing an Agent based Model for the effect of land management decisions on the sustainability of urban/rural interface. Scottish Alliance of Geoscience, Environment and Society: SAGES (£50,000).

    2011 - Date          Simulation and Visualisation of  St Andrews Sand Dunes, for Fife Countryside Trust (£29,000)   .

    2011 - Date          Sustainability Assessment and Visualisation of the Dunfermline Edge Development, for Fife Council. (£10,000).

    2009 - Present      Co-investigator, Sustainability Enhancement and Visualisation of Dundee Waterfront, for Dundee City Council (£40,000). 

    2008 - Present      Co-investigator, DC Noise – Demographic Change: New opportunities in shrinking Europe, EU Interreg project (UAD share £102,000). 

    2008 - Present      Co-Investigator for developing an interactive simulation and visualisation tool for urban sustainability (UAD funded, £50,000) 

    2008 - 2011          Co-Investigator, Phosphates Life Cycle Management, for UK Water Industry Research Limited.  Lead Researchers - Consultants Atkins Ltd. (UAD share, £15,000).  

    2007 -  2011        Co-Investigator on the EPSRC project “Biological metaphors and crisis: building self healing, emergence and resilience into critical infrastructures” (EP/E062865: £366,002).  

    2007 -  2008         Co-Investigator on investigation into fungal-inspired network protocols.           Norman Fraser Design Trust (£9,000).

             2004                       “Inside Nature using Xray micro Computed tomography”. BBSRC: £2000

    Outreach

    Public understanding of science has always played a central role within my activities. This is illustrated in my involvement in activities during the UK Science week (funded by BBSRC), open days, and presentations to local schools, and café science events. For the last 5 years I have supervised Nuffield students during the summer period providing them with research experience. I also supervise Baccalaureate students. In the past I have received funding for and organised a Science week event: where 5 local schools visited Abertay University to participate in an interactive workshop on XRay CT. I have also proactively sought funding from BBSRC (local school coordinator capacity) and the Royal Institution and organised the content and speakers for two separate series of math masterclasses for secondary and primary schools.

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ruth Falconer is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    sustainability Earth & Environmental Sciences
    visualization Earth & Environmental Sciences
    Visualization Engineering & Materials Science
    stakeholder Earth & Environmental Sciences
    soil Earth & Environmental Sciences
    modeling Earth & Environmental Sciences
    decision making Earth & Environmental Sciences
    urban development Earth & Environmental Sciences

    Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

    Research Output 2005 2019

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    14 Downloads (Pure)

    Combination of techniques to quantify distribution of bacteria in their microhabitat at spatial scales

    Juyal, A., Otten, W., Falconer, R., Hapca, S., Schmidt, H., Baveye, P. C. & Eickhorst, T., 15 Jan 2019, In : Geoderma. 334, p. 165-174 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
    microhabitat
    microhabitats
    bacterium
    bacteria
    soil
    32 Downloads (Pure)

    Hardware acceleration of reaction-diffusion systems: a guide to optimisation of pattern formation algorithms using OpenACC

    Falconer, R. E., Houston, A. N., Portell, X. & Otten, W., 10 Jun 2019, Spring Simulation Conference (SpringSim), 2019. IEEE , p. 472-483 12 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
    File
    Hardware
    Natural sciences computing
    Ecology
    Computer graphics
    Data transfer

    Stepping up. What will it take to accelerate a step-change in sustainability for water, energy and food? EPSRC funded project EP/N00583X/1 final report

    Larkin, A., Abdel-Aal, M., Druckman, A., Falconer, R., Forbes, P. J., Hoolohan, C., Lumbroso, D., McLachlan, C., Scott, M., Shu, Q., Simpson, M., Soutar, I., Suckling, J. & Varga, L., 2019, Manchester. 18 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

    Open Access
    decision making
    sustainability
    innovation
    food
    energy

    Computational tools to support soil management decisions

    Vessia, G., Falconer, R. E., Zimmermann, B. & Tarquis, A. M., Apr 2018, In : Biosystems Engineering. 168, p. 1-3 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    32 Downloads (Pure)

    Control of pore geometry in soil microcosms and its effect on the growth and spread of Pseudomonas and Bacillus sp.

    Juyal, A., Eickhorst, T., Falconer, R., Baveye, P. C., Spiers, A. & Otten, W., 13 Jul 2018, In : Frontiers in Environmental Science. 6, 12 p., 73.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
    microcosm
    geometry
    bulk density
    aggregate size
    soil

    Datasets

    Bacterial distribution in soil microhabitats at different spatial scales

    Otten, W. (Creator), Eickhorst, T. (Creator), Juyal, A. (Creator), Falconer, R. (Creator), Hapca, S. M. (Creator), Schmidt, H. (Creator), Baveye, P. C. (Creator), Cranfield University, 8 Aug 2018

    Dataset

    Thesis

    Sustainability assessment and visualisation in urban environments

    Author: Isaacs, J. P., Jul 2011

    Supervisor: Blackwood, D. (Supervisor) & Falconer, R. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

    File

    Widening stakeholder involvement: exploiting interactive 3D visualisation and protocol buffers in geo-computing

    Author: McCreadie, C., Jun 2014

    Supervisor: Falconer, R. E. (Supervisor) & Blackwood, D. J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

    File