Mel Slater joined ICREA in January 2006 and is at the University of Barcelona. He became Professor of Virtual Environments at University College London in 1997. He was a UK EPSRC Senior Research Fellow from 1999 to 2004, and was founder of the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group at UCL. Thirty seven of his PhD students have obtained their PhDs since 1989. In 2005 he was awarded the Virtual Reality Career Award by IEEE Virtual Reality `In Recognition of Seminal Achievements in Engineering Virtual Reality.' He is Co-Director of the Event Lab (www.event-lab.org) at UB. He held a European Research Council Advanced Grant TRAVERSE (www.traverserc.org), and has been awarded two ERC Proofs of Concept. He started a new European Research Council Advanced Grant 1st January 2018.
Mel Slater's main goal is to radically extend the boundaries of virtual reality. His research aims to provide a framework for the scientific understanding of how people act and respond in immersive virtual reality. He works on applications that involve simulations of social situations that are difficult or impossible to realise in physical reality, even to the extent of transforming the very body of the participant. This research also contributes to the neuroscience of body representation. His research is concerned with presence, that is, understanding the conditions under which people tend to respond realistically to virtual situations and events. The Event Lab at UB carries out research on both the technical side of real-time computer graphics and virtual reality systems, as well as on the scientific side. The application areas of interest include various forms of rehabilitation, including psychological therapy. He was awarded a European Research Council Advanced Grant 2009-2015 and two subsequent ERC Proof of Concept grants. He started a new ERC Advanced Grant in January 2018.