Introducing Team Occa

Systems & Tools 12 December 2014 | 1.59pm

Dubbed ‘Team Occa’, we are a group of four Monash University students developing applications with Oculus Rift at Arup’s Melbourne office over the next 3 months.

Following the usual hiccups that come with starting at a new company, including sorting out IT requirements and mispronouncing the company name (Ay-rup? Ah-roop?), we’ve had an exciting first week getting to know the friendly faces at Arup and learning about the project and technologies available to us.


No one on the team had previously used the Oculus Rift, so day two was a buzz of excitement as we all had a go experiencing a virtual reality demo, after which we felt nauseous, had a headache or some combination of the two. We’ve been looking into what could be the cause of these issues, and we think we can rectify it and create a comfortable experience with a new graphics card allowing for an increased display frame rate.


It has been a big learning curve this week as we became familiar with Unity, the software we’ll be primarily using to program with Oculus. We’ve opened and altered some of Arup’s own Revit models in Unity, virtually exploring 120 Collins St. The team at Brisbane kindly supplied us with their own Oculus-ready demos of some Arup projects which gave us an idea of the applications that are already underway. Our minds are bubbling with a myriad of possibilities for uses of Oculus at Arup, and we’re thinking about ways of integrating the many Arup disciplines into the models, and what features would be beneficial to Arup and their clients.

In the next week we are planning on importing more models, learning more about Unity and familiarising ourselves with the Arup Soundlab, so we can then integrate it with the Oculus Rift for the ultimate virtual reality experience.


Introducing the team


Andrew has completed Electrical and Computer Systems engineering at Monash. Andrew has a great interest in computing, 3D visualisation and electronics. During the summer of 2013/2014, Andrew was a part of the CAVE2 visualisation project at Arup and has developed an interest in data visualisation. His hobbies include listening to music, watching movies and playing computer games.


Tara has a fascination with the future, and the possibilities for technology. This manifests in a love for science fiction, robots and, more practically, has drawn her to the field of engineering.

Tara is entering the final semester of her Mechatronics Engineering/Arts double degree next year.

As well as studying Science Fiction Literature within her Arts degree, she has undertaken units of Japanese, French and Swedish.  She has a keen interest in languages, culture and travel. Indeed, earlier in 2014, she spent a semester on exchange in the northern part of Sweden.


Ash is a final year Electrical/Science student at Monash University. Ash has an interest in high powered computing and parallel/distributed systems and has turned this into the focus of his double degree where he is in the computer science and computer systems streams. Ash is also an avid skier and football/futsal player, spending much of his time playing or watching these sports, and enjoys reading books and studying history.


Is a 3rd year electrical engineering student current studying at Monash University. His main draw card to engineering is the inherent challenging, problem solving nature and the possibility of useful, constructive and often amazing creativity. 3D printing is something from the latter category that has always interested him and he recently (finally) got a printer to play with. Outside this he’s your general sports fan, a keen player of basketball and futsal and a (very) casual cyclist and fitness enthusiast.


Tara Morgan

Melbourne, Australia

“I am a Monash University student with a fascination with the future, and the possibilities for technology. ”

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  • Lian Heather

    Thanks for bringing the Oculus upstairs and showing it to everyone. While the rollercoaster was fun – I definitely look forward to seeing what you can do with our models.
    I always think of the end scene of the 1995 Michael Douglas/Demi Moore movie Disclosure when I think about this kind of virtual reality thing – hopefully our models will come with less mayhem attached.