Colonised Mars landscape

Living in outer space

Over the last decade, Space Architecture – the theory and practice of designing and building an environment for humans in outer space – has become an emerging challenge.

The research project: Multidisciplinary Investigation of System using Sintering Instrumentation Of the Next generation (MISSION), led by Dr Sungwoo Lim, Research Fellow in Space Sciences, will address important challenges of construction processes in an extra-terrestrial environment such as on the Moon and on Mars.

Scientist in a lab

Bringing the laboratory to you

Technology continues to make it possible for us to learn in less formalised ways.

The OU is at the forefront of making laboratory facilities available to distance-learning students with the OpenSTEM Labs platform allowing students to connect remotely to the most up-to-date scientific equipment to enhance their studies.

Developed by Professor Nicholas Braithwaite, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM), the platform offers a model for future science and engineering education which will increase the supply of STEM graduates beyond what can be achieved through reliance on traditional campus-based teaching labs.

Finger pressing a button on an Amazon Echo Dot

Using virtual assistants for carers in later life

As we live longer and are keen to remain in our own homes, virtual assistants may provide a solution:

OU Health and Wellbeing Priority Research Area Research Fellow, Dr Hannah R Marston and independent researcher Julie Samuels have published a paper, Creating Age-Friendly Communities: Housing and Technology, which examines the national and international age-friendly frameworks for older adults who are carers of dependents with disabilities. The central theme of the paper is how the use of virtual/personal assistants (like Google Home, Amazon Echo and Alexa) can enhance the quality of end-of-life care life.

Find out more about OU research into Digital Health and Wellbeing

Migrants walking along a grass mound

Migration and forced displacement

Migration and forced displacement are amongst the most pressing global challenges of our era.

Research in our International Development and Inclusive Innovation priority research area research focuses on two key areas: the development and skills needs of mobile populations and how these mobile populations are challenging notions of citizenship and rights.

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