The Metaverse is rapidly developing into an engineering reality since its beginnings as an imagined, futuristic, virtual world. 

Engineering is at the heart of the metaverse across all levels of its construct, from technological ambition through to its evaluation and application. At York we are leading in the development and implementation of these technologies, including virtual, augmented and extended reality, and simulation and digital twinning. 

We work closely with industry partners across sectors to accelerate the foundational and translational work in this area, ensuring our work is beneficial to and driven by societal and industry needs. 

We collaborate across the University and its research centres which house cutting edge facilities for Metaverse research across its campuses and within its City Centre base. 

Within the School of PET, these facilities include:  

  • an interactive multi-channel loudspeaker listening room
  • a standards-compliant listening space
  • three networked professional recording studios with VR studio functionality
  • State-of-the-art hardware for virtual and extended reality
  • Mobile body, brain, head, eye and motion tracking and monitoring equipment
  • The industry focussed XR Stories R&D Lab in the Guildhall. 

Research themes

Contact us

Professor Helena Daffern
+44 (0)1904 322350

We work closely with our external partners providing core engineering, design, delivery and evaluation of interactive and immersive virtual environments across sectors, including the UK creative industries, major tech and engineering companies, the cultural sector, health and social care, and government organisations. We apply our research across multiple areas including audio, media broadcast, gaming, music, sports science, healthcare and therapeutic technologies.


Learn more about our current projects

CoStar Live Lab

The CoSTAR Live Lab with partners Production Park, Screen Yorkshire, Wakefield Council, York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Authority, and Vodafone, will develop technologies for future live performance experiences using virtual production, from small-scale pilots to arena-sized productions.

We will provide research and development (R&D) capabilities to develop innovative, low-cost technologies and efficient workflows to transform the live performance sector and enable commercialisation of research and novel technologies that are close to market and shaped by the needs of industry.

XR Stories

A £15m investment by AHRC, ERDF, the University of York, the British Film Institute and Screen Yorkshire. Based in York’s Guildhall it supports research and development with companies working in cutting-edge digital technologies in the Yorkshire and Humber region to champion a new future in storytelling. XR Stories supports a programme of funding, research collaboration and connection working across film, TV, games, media arts, heritage, advertising and technology.

Find out more about XR Stories

To date from a core investment from AHRC of £5.9m XR Stories has leveraged Co-Investment of more than £20m across a portfolio of 80+ R&D Projects, studentships, internships, placements and business assists.

Project Partners include: WarnerMedia, Sky, BBC R&D, National Science and Media Museum, National Railway Museum, Production Park/XLOR, Prox & Reverie, MegaVerse, Joi Polloi, Reflex Arc, Studio McGuire, Live Cinema, Tyke Films, Northern Ballet, Opera North, Bang&Olufsen,, XR Games, Revolution, Bright White, Pilot Theatre, Cooperative Innovations, Vidaveo, BetaJester, AIR TV, Human/HumanVR, Dubit, Fierce Kaiju, Bellyfeel, Duck Soup, Gazelle Twin, IOU Theatre Etc.

Digital Engineering employs sophisticated digital models to accurately represent and manage complex products or systems. With the integration of digital twins, a new era of agility and performance enhancement is revolutionising the product value stream, constructing detailed digital models of a system or product poised for development. Rather than stand-alone simulations, these digital twins are dynamic models that mirror every characteristic and behaviour of their physical counterparts in real-time. These models generate valuable data and insights and, especially with Artificial Intelligence embedded, facilitate a seamless integration of a product's design, development, delivery, and lifecycle support.

Digital Twins inform safe operation strategies and build on our existing expertise at York’s Institute for Safe Autonomy. We work closely with industry to develop simulation capability to inform an inspection, monitoring, and maintenance strategy that meets the requirements of regulatory bodies.

Our partners

  • ARUP
  • Assystem
  • National Trust
  • York Museums Trust
  • City of York Council
  • Production Park / Explore
  • Houses of Parliament
  • Digital Culture Media and Sport
  • Business Energy Industrial Strategy
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships
  • UK Atomic Energy Authority
  • Hartree Centre
  • Meridian Audio
  • Bang and Olufsen
  • Dolby
  • Sony Interactive
  • Sonos
  • Audio Analytic
  • Google
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Huawei
  • Peratech
  • Microsoft
  • Screen Yorkshire
  • British Film Institute
  • BONZA Music
  • Netflix
  • ITV
  • Channel 4
  • BBC
  • WarnerMedia
  • Universal Music
  • Sky
  • Production Par
  • Prox and Reverie
  • Sony Interactive
  • BetaJester
  • MegaVerse
  • Joi Polloi
  • Cooperative Innovations
  • Pilot Theatre
  • Opera North
  • York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • AgeUK
  • Wellburn
  • Carehomes
  • Grow Medtech
  • Autistica

Contact us

Professor Helena Daffern
+44 (0)1904 322350