College students find novel uses for computer gaming

Published: 11th December 2015

Published by City College Southampton

The Centre for Maritime Intelligence Systems (CMIS) at Portsdown Technology Park this week hosted a group of creative media production and advanced manufacturing students from City College Southampton. The students experienced first-hand how computer gaming technologies are being applied in a novel way to counter the complex threat of piracy in the real world.

The CMIS is a UK centre of excellence for the unmanned vessel industry and has created a Synthetic Environment laboratory for the rapid development of future concepts. This includes using 2D and 3D gaming technologies to explore and validate design concepts long before the manufacture and build stages of new products.

The students took control of an experimental future self-defence force comprising unmanned small boats and aircraft. Their task was to defend an offshore oilfield from a group of pirates attacking in fast RIBs. The game environment allows tactics and concepts of use to be explored and effective rules of engagement to be developed.

David Bradley, Head of the CMIS commented, “The CMIS is all about innovation and collaboration. We were pleased to show the students that there are many ways that the skills they are learning could be applied in the future.”

City College Assistant Principal Alison Kent said “We want our students to have the broadest view of career opportunities open to them. This visit to CMIS shows them a valuable insight into how their creative and technical design skills could be used to solve real-world problems.”

The students were also able to meet apprentices and graduate trainees from QinetiQ and BAE Systems to get an insight into local career and training opportunities. The defence sector is increasingly looking to new and innovative technologies to complement traditional ways to meet demands for diverse operations such as counter-piracy and disaster relief, where rapid reaction and the ability to generate capacity quickly are crucial.