School of Creative Technologies


Photo of Dr Wendy Powell

Dr Wendy Powell

  • Qualifications: PhD, BSc Hons, BA. DC, PGCLTHE, PGCRes, DipIT, DIPComputing
  • Role Title: Reader in Virtual Reality
  • Address: Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2DJ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 5667
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Creative Technologies
  • Faculty: Creative and Cultural Industries


I am a Reader in Virtual Reality at the University of Portsmouth and a subject matter expert in the engineering of virtual reality systems, with 12 years experience in creating and studying virtual environments and interactive applications,.  I direct the Virtual Interactions and Applications Research Group at the University of Portsmouth and am also Deputy Director of the Centre for Health Modelling and Informatics. I am a VR Technical Expert for, and Senior Member of, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). I have a particular research interest in the way in which VR alters our perception and behaviour, and implications for the design of VR for rehabilitation.

I originally trained as a Chiropractor and was in private practice for a number of years before returning to education to study for a degree in Computing and Information Technology. This was followed by a PhD in Creative Technologies, studying walking behaviour in virtual reality.

Since 2008 I have been leading the Virtual Reality teaching and research in the School of Creative Technologies, responsible for the development and delivery of the virtual reality curriculum [more information available at University of Portsmouth VR Lab].

I am an active researcher in virtual reality and interactive technologies for health, well-being and education, and also studies the impact of hardware and software on user behaviour and perception. I use my cross-disciplinary background and technical expertise to facilitate innovation and collaboration between academia, healthcare and industry, and have been involved with over £2 million successful research funding, as well as acting as VR expert consultant on a range of industry and academic projects.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Lecturing on the following units:
    • Applications of Virtual Reality
    • Tools for Animation
    • E-portfolio
    • Final Year Project
    • Foundations in Graphics
    • Introduction to Computer Graphics
    • Designing Interactive Content
  • MSc Computer Games Technology supervision
  • PhD supervisor and examiner


  • Life 3D - This project is creating a prototype of a new interactive teaching tool for molecular visualisation in Bioscience
  • Application of Emerging Technologies for Enhanced Mirror Therapy This project is developing a novel application for treatment of phantom limb pain in amputees.
  • RITA (Responsive Interactive Advocate) This multi-disciplinary project is creating a new service model for elderly care, designed around a humanised empathetic avatar
  • iMoVE (Interactive Motion in Virtual Environments) A number of ongoing research projects studying physical interactions in virtual space

Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile