With advancement in technology, building structures are becoming bigger and more complex. Incidences of horrifying fires that occur in such complex structures resulting in loss of property as well as lives are recorded worldwide. Emergency evacuation training can play a crucial role in mitigating damage not only in cases of fire, explosion or chemical spill but also in cases of natural calamities like floods and hurricanes. Conventional safety training provided in industries mostly comprises of unidirectional flow of information. Due to this passive learning style, response of employees in real life emergency situations is known to be ineffective. The proposed research focuses on the development of virtual emergency evacuation safety training for residents, workers and employees. This research developed a 3 dimensional (3D) virtual fire safety and emergency evacuation training for building occupants. A 3D model of a real engineering college building in the University of Central Florida (UCF) was developed in a virtual world and participants could interact with various objects and scenarios in this virtual building on a standard desktop computer using keyboard and mouse. Expert interviews and literature review were utilized to develop contents of fire safety and emergency evacuation training. Also, a slide based fire safety and emergency evacuation training was developed based on same contents and made available through a website. An effort was made to develop both trainings- virtual and slide based to be comparable in terms of contents. A case study with two sets of experiments comprising of 143 participants from UCF community was conducted to understand factors such as fidelity, simulation sickness, engagement and effectiveness of 3D virtual and slide based fire safety and emergency evacuation training. Results of fidelity and simulation sickness validated use of 3D virtual training for training building residents on fire safety and emergency evacuation. Data analysis of knowledge tests allowed to compare short terms and long term effectiveness of 3D virtual training and slide based training. To further understand engagement, physiological measure- electroencephalograph (EEG) of 40 healthy participants was recorded in second set of experiments. Ratio of Beta and Alpha frequency bands was studied to understand attention paid by trainees in 3D virtual and slide based training.


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Graduation Date





Rabelo, Luis


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering









Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)