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Digital Water Lab: two MENDELU faculties collaborate on a new form of teaching in the future

6. 9. 2023

A digital water laboratory is being established at the Institute of Applied and Landscape Ecology, which will be part of a network of centres using mixed reality to teach future experts in water management. The digitisation of water management data, or its conversion into virtual reality, has started a close cooperation between the Spatial Hub research centre of the Faculty of Business and Economics and the Institute of Applied and Landscape Ecology of the Faculty of Agronomy. Other faculties of MENDELU have also been marginally involved, and more intensive cooperation is expected in the future.

Last week, the Spatial Hub hosted the third of the intensive development weeks, where a team of students, under the expert guidance of academics, created prototypes of applications for the academic projects of both faculties. “This is a form of learning in the sense of a summer school, where students learn and develop bits and pieces of prototypes at the same time,” described David Procházka, head of the interdisciplinary Spatial Hub. In past years, this form of development has proven to be very effective. It allows to prepare students for future employment in real-life deployments and at the same time helps the university to create applications from its own resources that it would otherwise have to obtain expensively from an external supplier. “We took the collaboration to create apps for future water experts as an excellent opportunity to use our experience and create a virtual environment for environmentally focused majors. We have ambitions to take learning in a virtual environment even a level higher, we are working on creating an environment that would make it possible to collaborate in a virtual world,” Procházka added.

It is not possible in the 21st century for higher education to lag behind the rapid development of technologies available in the commercial sphere. Incorporating virtual and augmented reality into teaching will soon be standard in the university environment. We would like to set an example with the newly created Digital Water Lab and enable students to verify their theoretical knowledge using augmented reality,” emphasized Milada Št’astná, Head of the Institute of Landscape and Applied Ecology. Representatives of the political sphere, universities, industry and the general public will be involved in the formation of the European University Alliance on Digital Water, of which the Digital Water Lab will become a part.

The basis of the prototype, which should in future allow academics to create their own learning environments, will be presented at a summer school for experts at the University of Exeter in August/September. The Digital Water Lab is being developed as part of the WATERLINE and PoVE Water Scale-up projects.

Contact for further information: Ing. David Procházka, Ph.D., +420 545 132 240,, Department of Informatics, Faculty of Economics, MENDELU; Ing. Michaela Menšíková, MSc, Ph.D., +420 771 125 473,, Department of Applied and Landscape Ecology, FA MENDELU

* You can find the original article on the MENDELU website.

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