Chapter 21: The Utility of Virtual Reality for Science and Engineering

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In our daily usage of the large-scale immersive virtual environment at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), we have observed how this VR system can be a useful tool to enhance scientific and engineering workflows. On multiple occasions, we have observed scientists and engineers discover features in their data using immersive environments that they had not seen in prior investigations of their data on traditional desktop displays. We have embedded more information into our analytics tools, allowing engineers to explore complex multivariate spaces. We have observed natural interactions with 3D objects and how those interactions seem to catalyze understanding. And we have seen improved collaboration with groups of stakeholders. In this chapter, we discuss these practical advantages of immersive visualization in the context of several real-world examples.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationVR Developer Gems
EditorsW. R. Sherman
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-2C00-68498


  • immersive environments
  • virtual reality
  • visualization


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