Professor Terrence Fernando

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Professor Terrence Fernando

Contact Details

Maxwell Building Room 712 (THINKlab)

Please email for an appointment.


Current positions

Director, THINKlab


I have a broad background in conducting multi-disciplinary research programmes involving a large number of research teams in areas such as urban simulation, virtual building construction and collaborative workspaces. From 2001 to 2004 I led a EPSRC/OST-funded regional research centre on advanced virtual prototyping (Grant Ref 55214/01) involving the Universities of Salford, UMIST, Manchester and Lancaster. This project resulted in developing collaborative visualisation and simulation technologies for the engineering sector. I was also the Scientific Director of the EU-funded CoSpaces project (, 17 partners); a core member of the INTUITION Network of Excellence project (, 50 VR Centres) and the Visionair project (25 VR Centres) which developed and demonstrated a range of novel collaborative virtual environments for sectors such as aerospace, the automotive sector, building construction and urban planning. Recently, I have successfully completed three EU projects: Design4Energy, PROSECO and CrossDrive which focused on developing a collaboration platform for creating energy efficient neighbourhoods, eco-products and space mission planning for Mars.

My EPSRC-funded projects Vivacity ( and FIRM (EP/H003738/1) have led to the development of several collaborative platforms for urban planning. The outcome of this work has resulted in creating unified information models and a collaboration platform for urban planning involving multi-agencies. This work has been deployed in many real-world projects in partnership with the Black Country Consortium (defining a 20 year vision), Salford City Council & multi-agencies (Better Life Chances Project), Manchester City Council & multi-agencies (Troubled Family Agenda Project) & Greater Manchester Resilience Forum. I was the Principal Investigator of the MOBILISE project ( funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and EPSRC to develop a “Collaborative Multi-Agency Platform for Building Resilient Communities” in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Pakistan. This project focused on developing a digital infrastructure that can offer intelligence to a range of agencies to reduce the impact of disasters such as floods and landslides on communities. I am the Principal Investigator for the ESRC/GCRF-funded project on “Technology Enhanced Stakeholder Collaboration for Supporting Risk-Sensitive Urban Development” in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia ( This project is addressing a range of research challenges such as a framework for measuring local community resilience; a collaborative technology platform for government agencies and NGOs to work towards building resilient communities, overcoming challenges in community participation, and stakeholder collaboration in risk sensitive urban design etc.

Areas of research

Disaster Risk Reduction, Collaborative Environments, Virtual Reality, Modelling, Simulation, Smart Cities

Areas of supervision

Digital platforms for supporting multi-agency collaboration in building resilient and smart cities, Adaptive governance, Virtual platforms for training and exercises, Early warning systems, Disaster response systems

Research Interests

I have interest in bringing digital innovation to the area of disaster management and climate change adaptation. In this context, I am interested in developing digital solutions for:

  • Multi-agency collaboration
  • Mass scale community engagement
  • Early warning systems
  • Disaster response and rescue
  • Risk assessments
  • Policy modelling

Qualifications and Memberships


  • PhD Computer Science (UMIST)
  • MSc Microprocessor Engineering & Digital Electronics (UMIST)
  • BSc (Hons) Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering (University of Moratuwa)