Who We Are?

Our Mission

The UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research develops world-class immersive technology applications for research, scientific collaboration, and higher education. We help researchers solve urgent real-world problems in safe virtual spaces, encourage faculty and administrators to re-imagine the university experience with virtual and augmented reality, and partner with industry to develop innovative data visualizations, training simulations, and user experiences. Our multidisciplinary approach combines subject matter expertise from the university’s scientific community with UCSIM’s technical expertise in augmented and virtual reality application development, computer simulations, 3D modeling, UX/UI, and instructional design to create applications that unleash the potential for scientific discovery, innovation, and creative play with immersive technologies. 

OUR STORY

The UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research started as a solution to a growing problem: how does one make up-and-coming technologies accessible to a wider audience in need of safe training, scientific collaboration, and higher education? During a time when large corporations were picking up on the potential of virtual reality and releasing their own headsets at astoundingly high costs, Chris Collins decided to bring the knowledge from her existing virtual reality company to the University of Cincinnati where she created UCSIM in the UCIT Division of Innovation & Partnerships. There she has trained students and faculty in developing virtual reality applications, computer simulations, and instructional designs that unleash the potential for scientific discovery, innovation, and creative play that solve urgent real-world problems and provide companies access to one of the nation’s top public research universities.

MEET THE TEAM

MEET THE TEAM

Chris M. Collins | Sr. IT Manager

Chris M. Collins founded the UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research at the University of Cincinnati and serves as the Center’s technical lead. Her work focuses on the use of immersive technologies and virtual environments for scientific collaboration, academic research, and higher education in the IT@UC Division of Innovation & Partnerships.  Prior to her current position, Chris worked in the University of Cincinnati Information Technology (UCIT) department for eighteen years in a variety of roles, consulting with faculty in the Faculty Technology Resources Center and serving as the Business Manager for the Presentation Technology Services Group. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati.

Chris M. Collins | Sr. IT Manager

Chris M. Collins founded the UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research at the University of Cincinnati and serves as the Center’s technical lead. Her work focuses on the use of immersive technologies and virtual environments for scientific collaboration, academic research, and higher education in the IT@UC Division of Innovation & Partnerships.  Prior to her current position, Chris worked in the University of Cincinnati Information Technology (UCIT) department for eighteen years in a variety of roles, consulting with faculty in the Faculty Technology Resources Center and serving as the Business Manager for the Presentation Technology Services Group. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati.

Ryan Gorsuch | Software Applications Developer

Ryan Gorsuch is responsible for providing software architecture for UCSIM developed applications. He develops and expands functionality of new and existing products and through code and design, creates novel and intuitive means for interacting with virtual environments. 

Ryan Gorsuch | Software Applications Developer

Ryan Gorsuch is responsible for providing software architecture for UCSIM developed applications. He develops and expands functionality of new and existing products and through code and design, creates novel and intuitive means for interacting with virtual environments.

 

Christina Harris | Program Manager

Christina Harris is a Program Manager in IT@UC’s Center for Simulations and Virtual Environment Research. She Graduated from UC in Fall 2017 with her Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing and Operations Management and received her Master’s in Information Systems (MSIS) in December 2019 from the UC Lindner College of Business. As a Program Manager she helps manage programs and services that serve the business, research, and education simulation needs of UCSIM clients. She represents IT@UC Innovations and Partnership At-large on the IT@UC Staff Council and Serves as Co-chair of the IT@UC Social Committee.

Christina Harris | Program Manager

Christina Harris is a Program Manager in IT@UC’s Center for Simulations and Virtual Environment Research. She graduated from UC in Fall 2017 with her Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing and Operations Management and received her Master’s in Information Systems (MSIS) In December 2019 from the UC Lindner College of Business. As a Program Manager she helps manage programs and services that serve the business, research, and educational simulation needs of UCSIM clients. She represents IT@UC Innovations and Partnership At-large on the IT@UC Staff Council and serves as Co-chair of the IT@UC Social Committee.

Eric Camper | Computer & Info Analyst

Eric Camper has an MFA in Electronic Art from DAAP. He has been working in video, 3D modeling, virtual reality, sound design, motion capture, and animation for 20 years. He has been teaching at the college level for 15 years and is currently also an adjunct assistant professor in eMedia at UC Blue Ash. Eric is a long time advocate for VR, seeing it as the last, and most powerful art medium or means of communication.

Eric Camper | Computer & Info Analyst

Eric Camper has a MFA in Electronic Art from DAAP.  He has been working in video, 3D modeling, virtual reality, sound design, motion capture and animation for 20 years. He has been teaching at the college level for 15 years and is currently also an adjunct assistant professor in eMedia at UC Blue Ash. Eric is a long time advocate for VR, seeing it as the last, and most powerful art medium or means of communication.

Caleb Smiley | Computer & Info Analyst

Caleb Smiley has been on staff in the art team at UCSIM since  January 2020 but began working as a student worker in 2017. Caleb graduated from UC’s Digital Media Collaborative with minors in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. At UCSIM, he is responsible for scene blocking, sound design, lighting, video editing, and 360 filming.

Caleb Smiley | Computer & Info Analyst

Caleb Smiley has been on staff in the art team at UCSIM since January 2020 but began working as a student worker in 2017. Caleb graduated from UC’s Digital Media Collaborative with minors in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. At UCSIM, he is responsible for scene blocking, sound design, lighting, video editing, and 360 filming.

Student workers

Alexandra Papaioannou | 3D Artist and UI/UX Designer

Alexandra is a 3D artist who graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BS in Fashion Design. She has been working at UCSIM from 2018 to 2020 and creates 3D models/animations for VR/AR applications, concept art for game development, and UI/UX design. Alexandra works primarily in the Adobe Suite, Maya, Substance Painter, and Unity.

Alexandra Papaioannou | 3D Artist & UI/UX Designer

Alexandra is a 3D artist who graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BS in Fashion Design. She has been working at UCSIM from 2018 to 2020 and creates 3D models/animations for VR/AR applications, concept art for game development, and UI/UX design. Alexandra works primarily in the Adobe Suite, Maya, Substance Painter, and Unity.

Zach Filla | Software Developer

Zach Filla is a third year student at UC pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in IT with a cybersecurity focus. He graduated with honors from Batavia High School in 2018 and since then has pursued virtual reality first as a hobby and now as a student software developer with UCSIM. As a software developer, he has been able to use new and emerging technologies as they are released while also working on the medium he believes will define the future. 

Zach Filla | Software Developer

Zach Filla is a third year student at UC pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in IT with a cybersecurity focus. He graduated with honors from Batavia High School in 2018 and since then has pursued virtual reality first as a hobby and now as a student software developer with UCSIM. As a software developer, he has been able to use new and emerging technologies as they are released while also working on the medium he believes will define the future.

Summer Gasaway | Software Developer

Summer is a third year at UC pursuing a Bachelor’s in IT with a focus in game development. She graduated from Hilliard Darby High School in 2018 with honors and eighteen credit hours of college completed. She currently works in Unity as a software developer, assisting Ryan and Zach with developing, debugging, and play testing games for AR and VR. She also helps with the management and regulation of the UC Sim website through WordPress, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Summer Gasaway | Software Developer

Summer is a third year at UC pursuing a Bachelor’s in IT with a focus in game development. She graduated from Hilliard Darby High School in 2018 with honors and eighteen credit hours of college completed. She currently works in Unity as a software developer, assisting Ryan and Zach with developing, debugging, and play testing games for AR and VR. She also helps with the management and regulation of the UC Sim website through WordPress, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Scott Lanham | UI/UX Designer & 3D Modeler

Scott is a Game Developer and 3D Modeler currently studying in UC’s School of IT.  He has worked with UCSIM on and off since 2018 and has worked on UI design, 2D and 3D asset creation, UX design, and some sound editing.  He has worked on several exciting projects here and looks forward to doing more. 

Scott Lanham | UI/UX Designer & 3D Modeler

Scott is a fifth year Game Developer and 3D Modeler currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Game Design from UC’s School of IT.  He has worked with UCSIM since 2018 and has worked on UI design, 2D and 3D asset creation, UX design, and some sound editing.  He has worked on several exciting projects here and looks forward to doing more.