The Comfort Pursuit

Month in review: April 2018 (with a hint of February and March 2018)

Photo by John Baker on Unsplash

I am falling behind with my ‘month in review posts’. Truth is I’ve drafted February, never wrapped it up. Drafted March and combined with February, and never wrapped it up again. Double fail! It is sad, because not publishing these posts means I stop writing my achievements, and end up getting get demotivated. So consequence of not tracking? Not writing!

Let’s try to fix this for April…

April was a full month, with a lot of field work preparation and realisation, teaching (since February I’ve been to Townsville three times for semi-intensive teaching weeks), marking, grant writing, and a conference presentation.

Travelling to Townsville in February, March and April was nice as I got to meet some colleagues I haven’t yet had a chance to spend time with, and got to know better JCU’s main campus. March also started well and in Sydney for a research meeting.

After getting the Fulbright Specialist grant last January, we also got the World Urban Campaign approval to host an Urban Thinkers Camus at JCU next June. Exciting times with a lot of work ahead!

Below is what happened in the research, writing, presentations, teaching and learning space.

 

Research

I spent several hours mapping the location of the sensors for the Sensing Cities Project, and prepared mastersheets with images of each location. Along with my JCU colleague Dr Bronson Philippa, we started seeking approval to place these sensors. We already got some, but they are 75 in total!

I also started working on some industry partnerships in collaboration with a colleague from Griffith University. This is a very exciting project, which hopefully will come to fruition in the near future.

For February and March I also started other research collaborations. The first one is international which also involves Griffith University, and UNESP and UEMA in Brazil, and for which we have prepared a grant application. And the second one is an ‘in-house’ very inspiring collaboration with Dr Taha Chaiechi from the College of Business, Law & Governance at JCU. Taha and I are working together on the project ‘Evidence-based Economic Assessment of Urban Comfort’

 

Writing

I have a paper I have been working on which has been stuck for ages (shame on me!). The data is from a few years ago and I have been struggling to get it out of my hands. I then started working on a reverse outline and it seems to have helped to clear up the text. Still a fair bit of work to do before submitting – aimed at mid-June –  but looking and feeling better now.

In the past months, the full paper presented at the Urban Design Conference last November has now been published and is available here.

In these past months I’ve also decided to be more gentle with myself and change my writing goals from 2hs/day to 15 minutes minimum, as per Jo VanEvery‘s advice. It is my aim to share my (new) writing routine soon in this space, but progress has already been made.

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Presentations

On the 19th April I presented a paper entitled ‘Urban Comfort, Sensing City and Urban Economy’ at the IPWEAQ 2018 Conference (Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia North Queensland Branch), here Cairns.

 

Teaching

Since February I’ve been teaching Design Communication (EV2120) and Advanced Design Communication (EV5120). In April I had a guest tutor, my dear colleague from New Zealand Simon Fenwick. We used to teach together at times at Lincoln University, and it was great to have Simon here in Cairns to add a different perspective. In these subjects I’ve also been experimenting with blended learning tools for teaching.

As I am going to be on leave from mid-June to mid-December, I’ve started preparing the second semester subject Introduction to Urban Ecosystems (EV2130) and Urban Ecosystems (EV5130), which will be led by a colleague from UNESP.

In April I’ve also delivered a couple of guest lectures on Urban Design for Introduction to Planning (EV1009) and Weather and Climate for Urban Geography and Design (EV2301).

 

Learning

I participated in a Blackboard workshop in April, and in the past months I’ve also attended (again) the Mediasite training, which I have done a year ago, but haven’t used the system for a whole year.

A long time ago I attended a training workshop for advisors of postgrad students. There were some assignments to be completed which I have completed half and have now finally finalised it all!

In March I also attended a workshop on the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy (Q-CAS) 2017-2030. It was very interesting to hear, especially from the Helth Services members, how they see the threats of climate change. It will be interesting to lead discussions on JCU’s Urban Thinkers Campus with these comments in mind.

Finally, I’ve started the CitiesX: The Past, Present and Future of Urban Life, with Edward Glaeser, which I am just over half way and am really enjoying.

 

So here is a comprehensive summary of what has happened in the past few months =. Although there is still a fair bit of marking to be done in the mext month or so, the classes will slow down from now on, which hopefully will help to open up more space for research.

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