PhD candidate Morgane Dumont has joined SMART Infrastructure Facility for a short time in order to capitalise on the unique modelling capabilities of the Facility’s research team.

A former student of Dr Johan Barthelemy, Associate Research Fellow, SMART Infrastructure Facility, Morgane, who studies at the University of Namur, has a research focus on spatial microsimulation, with the end goal of assisting planning authorities in choosing locations for seniors’ residential areas.

Morgane’s research is related to VirtualBelgium, a micro-simulation framework for Belgium that Dr Barthelemy designed during his PhD thesis. VirtualBelgium relies on a synthetic population that currently lacks dynamic evolution models (for example, aging, births, immigration, residential mobility) in order to forecast the state of the population in the future.

Relishing the opportunity for collaboration at SMART, Morgane said she is enjoying the propagation of new ideas.

“There are not so many places where a group can make and speak about synthetic populations; SMART has experience in all the stages [I cover] in my thesis.”

“It is a pleasure to collaborate with Morgane,” said Dr Barthelemy of the PhD candidate’s visit. “She never runs out of ideas, is full of energy and really passionate about her work.”

“Undoubtedly this will reinforce the links we already have with the Namur Center for Complex Systems from the University of Namur,” he continued.

Morgane’s visit comes soon after the publication of a book the researcher co-authored with environmental geographer Dr Robin Lovelace. Titled, ‘Spatial microsimulation with R’, the book explores modelling individual-level data within administrative zones. The SMART connection is continued through Dr Lovelace, who visited the Facility in 2015, during which time he presented a summary of his research as part of the SMART Seminar Series.