Digital Twins: Enhancing Model-Based Design with AR, VR and MR (online)


Digital Twins: Enhancing Model-based Design with Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality 


The idea of "digital twins" originated with NASA. Digital twins were then adopted into the manufacturing industry as a conceptual version of the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).

Engineering systems have always used abstraction techniques to model complex problems. But the digital twin takes this idea further by allowing you to model and simulate a problem.

Thus, the digital twin is a virtual model that incorporates all the necessary information about a physical ecosystem to solve a particular problem - typically involving a simulation process. 

Other industries have adopted the digital twins paradigm with complex processes, such as construction (built environments) and healthcare. This course covers digital twins' overall design and development principles but emphasises using digital twins for manufacturing and construction (built environments). The digital twin is also a key component of the metaverse.

In this course, you will learn the following:

  • The use of Machine learning and Deep Learning techniques (collectively referred to as artificial intelligence (AI)) in developing and deploying digital twins
  • How to use simulation techniques with digital twins. 
  • Modelling digital twins using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and other strategies for complex problems.  
  • Learning and pedagogy in AR/VR systems for education
  • Responsible AI for digital twins
  • AR/VR and digital twins
  • Simulation techniques for digital twins: agent-based modelling, systems dynamics, discrete event simulation
  • Applying digital twins to 'model-based design.' Model-based design help engineers and scientists design and implement complex dynamic systems using virtual (digital) modelling technologies. As a result, you can iterate your design through fast, repeatable tests. In addition, you can automate the end-to-end lifecycle of your project by connecting virtual replicas of physical components in a digital space. Once the system is modelled as a twin, various existing and new engineering problems, such as predictive maintenance and anomaly detection, can be modeled and simulated. 
  • Implementing digital twins – but prior knowledge of these systems is not needed. 
  • Application of digital twins to manufacturing and construction problems
  • Using the digital twin to design and implement use cases and services in the metaverse

The course takes a case study approach in the form of motivating case studies where we apply digital twin perspectives to real-life problems. The course involves code walkthroughs but not hands-on coding.


The course targets aspiring and seasoned simulation engineers and industry practitioners who want to develop digital twin models. Prior knowledge of engineering or built environments in any discipline is preferred, but prior knowledge of coding is optional. 

Note: for the first time this year, the course covers digital twins for built environments (construction). Details for this section will be updated soon. But if you have any questions, please contact us. 

Programme details

Dates, Times and Delivery

This course will run over six live online sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 14:00 - 18:30, with a half-hour break in-between. 

Session dates:

  • Monday 3 June
  • Wednesday 5 June
  • Friday 7 June
  • Monday 10 June
  • Wednesday 12 June
  • Friday 14 June

Sessions will be 14:00 to 18:30 (UK time). In some cases, the sessions will extend to 19:00, and will be delivered online via Microsoft Teams.

A world clock, and time zone converter can be found here:

No attendance at Oxford is required and you do not need to purchase any software.

Accessing Your Online Course 

Details about accessing the private MS Teams course site will be emailed to you during the week prior to the course commencing.  

Please get in touch if you have not received this information within three working days of the course start date. 

Digital Certification

To complete the course, you will be required to attend and participate in all of the live sessions on the course in order to be considered for a certificate. Participants who complete the course will receive a link to download a University of Oxford digital certificate. Information on how to access this digital certificate will be emailed to you after the end of the course.

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended. You will also be able to download your certificate or share it on social media if you choose to do so.


Description Costs
Course fee £1095.00


All courses are VAT exempt.

Register immediately online 

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required.

Request an invoice

If you require an invoice for your company or personal records, please complete an online application form. The Course Administrator will then email you an invoice. Payment is accepted online, by credit/debit card, or by bank transfer. Please do not send card or bank details via email.


Ajit Jaokar

Course Director

Based in London, Ajit's work spans research, entrepreneurship and academia relating to artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT). 

Ajit is the Course Director and/or tutor for Continuing Education’s portfolio of artificial intelligence courses for professionals:

Ajit is also a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Engineering Science here at the University of Oxford.

He also works as a Data Scientist through his company feynlabs - focusing on building innovative early stage AI prototypes for domains such as cybersecurity, robotics and healthcare.

Besides the University of Oxford, Ajit has also conducted AI courses in the London School of Economics (LSE), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and as part of the The Future Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

He is also currently working on a book to teach AI using mathematical foundations at high school level. 

Ajit was listed in the top 30 influencers for IoT for 2017 along with Amazon, Bosch, Cisco, Forrester and Gartner by the German insurance company Munich Re.

Ajit publishes extensively on KDnuggets and Data Science Central.

He was recently included in top 16 influencers (Data Science Central), Top 100 blogs (KDnuggets), Top 50 (IoT central), and 19th among the top 50 twitter IoT influencers (IoT Institute). 

His PhD research is based on AI and Affective Computing (how AI interprets emotion).

Dr Lars Kunze

Course Director

Lars Kunze is a Departmental Lecturer in Robotics in the Oxford Robotics Institute (ORI) and the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. At ORI, he leads the Cognitive Robotics Group (CRG).

Lars is also a Stipendiary Lecturer in Computer Science at Christ Church, a Programme Fellow of the Assuring Autonomy International Programme (AAIP), and an Editor of the German Journal of Artificial Intelligence (KI Journal, Springer).

His areas of expertise lie in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). His goal is to enable robots to understand their surroundings, to act autonomously, and to explain their own behaviour in meaningful human terms. To this end, his research concerns the design and development of fundamental AI techniques for autonomous robot systems. He focusses on the combination of knowledge representation, reasoning, machine learning, and robot perception; motivated by applications in complex, real-world environments.

Lars studied Cognitive Science (BSc, 2006) and Computer Science (MSc, 2008) at the University of Osnabrück, Germany, and partly at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

He received his PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, in 2014. During his PhD, Lars worked on methods for naive physics and common sense reasoning in the context of everyday robot manipulation. He contributed to several national, European and international projects including RoboHow, RoboEarth, and the PR2 Beta program.

In May 2013, Lars was appointed as a Research Fellow in the Intelligent Robotics Lab at the School of Computer Science at Birmingham University.  Here he worked on qualitative spatio-temporal models for perception planning and knowledge-enabled perception, contributing to the European research projects STRANDS and ALOOF.

He was a visiting researcher in the JSK Lab at the University of Tokyo, Japan (Summer 2011) and the Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory at Tufts University, US (Spring 2015).

Simon Blakeney

Guest Speaker

Technical Account Manager, Epic Games 

Technical Account Manager Simon Blakeney is an Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, and XR expert at Epic Games.  

His thought leadership contributes to the evolution of Epic’s ecosystem of software products and the generation of publicly available resources for end users in the AEC community.  

In his capacity as a dedicated specialist for Epic’s key AEC accounts, Simon helps firms successfully adopt cutting-edge real-time solutions. This includes providing guidance on the integration and scaling of the many software solutions under the Unreal Engine umbrella and how to produce interactive worlds with the advantage of AR, VR, and LiDAR technologies.  

Prior to Epic, Simon was a team member of the Advanced Digital Engineering group within Ove Arup & Partners, where he developed bespoke solutions for a wide range of advanced AEC use cases. 

Rajkumar Bondugula


Rajkumar Bondugula has earned a M.S. and a Ph.D. from University of Missouri-Columbia, USA, both in Computer Science with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence (AI). He has co-authored 20 peer-reviewed scientific publications, a book titled "Application of Fuzzy Logic in Bioinformatics", 16 patent applications and his work has been cited over 250 times in the academic literature. He is a frequent guest lecturer in multiple universities, an executive faculty at Emory University Continuing Education, and a frequent podcast guest speaker. In nearly two decades, he has professionally used AI for computer vision, computational biology, e-commerce, social intelligence, Fintech and Telecom. In addition, he is also an expert in natural language processing and distributed computing. 

 He joins us from Verizon, where he is currently an AI Luminary Scientist and Data Science Fellow. He leads Digital Twin initiatives and is responsible for AI and Simulation modeling aspects of Digital Twins. In addition, he also leads the development of Cognitive Classifiers used for corporate data management.  

Before Verizon, Raj was a Distinguished Scientist and a Fellow at Equifax. He was responsible for leading a team of Data Scientists and Big Data Engineers to develop innovative solutions to hard problems that lead to organizational growth in 3-5 years.  Prior to Equifax, he did a brief stint at a startup called Shoutlet, established data science practice at Home Depot, lead a machine learning team at Sears Holdings Corporation and was a scientist at Department of Defense Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute. 

Dr Francesco Ciriello


Lecturer in Engineering Education, King’s College London

Francesco is a Lecturer in the Department of Engineering at King’s College London, where he teaches interdisciplinary design and mechatronics. He previously worked in the Education Group at MathWorks and provided consultancy services to educators and researchers on the use of MATLAB & Simulink. Francesco has broad expertise in Simulation and Artificial Intelligence, with application to Robotics & Control systems, signal processing and IoT. He also holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge for his work in experimental fluid dynamics and a MEng in Civil Engineering from Imperial College London. 

Dirk Hartmann


Dirk Hartmann is a distinguished scientist, intrapreneur, and thought leader in the field of Simulation and Digital Twins.  

Among many distinctions, he has been awarded the prestigious Wernervon-Siemens Top Innovator by the Siemens CEO and CTO for generating novel products and services cross product lines through his innovations.  

In his career he took several leading roles in research, innovation, and development including a lead of a 2-digit million Siemens R&D program and the technical leadership for the Simulation & Digital Twin field at Siemens Technology.  

He is a passionate mentor, teacher, and supervisor for the next generation of innovators and experts exploring jointly promising Digital Twin solutions for the industry.  

Beyond this, he is a member of several high-level international conference committees and associations like EU-MATH driving industrial mathematics both on a national, European, and international level. 

Namrita Mahindro


Namrita is a senior strategic executive with CXO level success in leading organisations transform their businesses leveraging digital and technology.
Currently, she is the Chief Digital Officer at Aditya Birla Chemicals, Filaments and Insulators (CFI)

Over the past two decades she has been both an entrepreneur and part of the corporate world across sectors (Agriculture, Automotive, Chemicals, Retail, Travel & Hospitality, Technology), working in India, US & UK with FTSE 100 companies like Inchcape, Tata Group (USD$100bn), Mahindra Group (USD$20billion) & Aditya Birla Group (ABG, USD$60bn)

An award winning digital transformation thought leader and practioner, Namrita’s forte lies in creating competitive advantage for organisations by re-defining business models, re-imagining customer experiences, re-engineering business processes, building people capabilities and orchestrating shifts in organisation culture. 

Over the past few years, particularly, Namrita has been leading the smart manufacturing & supply chain transformations working on building IIoT platforms which house digital twins for critical assets, driving energy optimisation, împroved asset & plant reliability, AR / VR  & cobots led safety & training initiatives; logistics platforms for better cost & productivity efficiency; third party integrated business planning platforms for better demand forecasting, supply planning & dynamic scenario planning for the VUCA world we live in.

A technology evangelist, Namrita is deeply committed to building data driven organisations; fostering a data & analytics culture; driving Responsible AI, defining data & AI ethics policy & governance; predicting & mitigating data privacy & security risks; enabling data based value creation & responsible innovation.

Namrita is also an Independent Board Director and a Shadow Board member at CFI.
Additionally, she is a Start Up Mentor and Life & Leadership Transformation Coach and gives back to community by teaching and serving as an advisory member across different industry bodies including NASSCOM’s Cloud Advisory committee, one of the founding member’s of  IAMAI’s Chief Digital Officer’s Club and across various committees at DMAi India

Namrita’s accolades include digital transformation awards for Taj Hotels, Club Mahindra, Mahindra Auto and Aditya Birla Chemicals.
More recently she was also the recipient of the CIO100 Game Changer Award by Foundry.
She was featured at TEDx Gateway Salon in Mumbai in November 2022 amongst the top ten women leaders at Aditya Birla Group who are Breaking Barriers and recognised in CXO Junction as one of the top 10 most followed Chief Digital Officer’s in India in Dec 2022.

Dr David McKee


Dr David Mc Kee, Chair of the Open Source, Standards, and Platform Stacks at the Digital Twin Consortium / CEO, CTO and founder, Slingshot Simulations

Dr David McKee is the CEO, CTO and founder at Slingshot Simulations, an enterprise fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering, and chairs the technology working groups at the OMG Digital Twin Consortium. As CTO at Slingshot since 2019 David leads the company’s work on Digital Twins working across Cloud, IoT, and machine learning platforms.

At the Digital Twin Consortium David jointly lead the work on standardising a Digital Twin definition and continues to lead the Technology, Terminology, and Taxonomy working group. He is also responsible for leading the Open Source Initiative and a collaborative effort including Microsoft, Bentley Systems, DELL, and NTT to define a reference architecture for building Digital Twin Systems.

Before forming Slingshot David was a senior researcher at the University of Leeds building these systems for partners including the likes of Jaguar Land Rover and AliCloud.

Christoffer Noring


Senior Cloud Advocate, Microsoft 

Chris is Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft with more than 15 years in the IT industry.  He's a published author on several books about web development as well as the Go language.  He's also a recognized speaker as well as keynote speaker and holds a Google developer expert title.   

David Stevens


Regional Director for Customer Success, Neo4j 

David is the Regional Director for Customer Success at Neo4j, where he helps customers realise their business goals with Graph database solutions.  

He has over 25 years of experience and before joining Neo4j, he was a member of the Office of CTO at Hewlett Packard and held the title of Distinguished Architect, working on emerging technologies and designing data driven solutions. 

David has a strong passion for solution architecture and ensuring technology delivers the outcomes desired by business users and sponsors.
His experience with Graph databases spans almost 10 years, designing CMDB, NLP engines and HR and workforce developments solutions. He won a Graph industry award in 2018.  

Sharad Ughade


Director (Information Technology)

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation

My professional journey has been a melange of impact driven leadership and innovation in urban governance. Currently serving as Assistant Municipal Commissioner at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Mumbai, I lead the 'D' ward with a half-million population, overseeing 3,000 employees and managing a $30 million IT infrastructure and technology budget.

My responsibilities encompass crucial municipal services, from water supply and solid waste management to disaster response and healthcare. Throughout my tenure, I've spearheaded pioneering initiatives that redefine how Mumbai’s citizen enjoy hassle free civic services. Notably, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I played vital role in establishing India's first Jumbo COVID center at the National Sports Club of India and introduced innovative measures like telemedicine and drone-based insecticide treatments at inaccessible areas in my neighbourhood. My role extends to the realm of technology as Director IT (Additional Charge), where I've set benchmarks for citizen services through the 'MyBMC' portal and a WhatsApp Chatbot. I also hold additional charge, as the Director of IT for Mumbai, where I oversee implementation of innovative technologies for urban safety & citizen welfare. Introducing long-distance visibility traffic signals during my tenure led to a 25% reduction in road accidents. The latest 3D digital twin mapping pilot project in my Ward has inspired a fresh model for city planning and disaster management.

Beyond my managerial role, I've been recognized for my contributions, receiving the esteemed Balasaheb Thackrey Award for Best Assistant Commissioner. As a thought leader, I've delivered a TEDx Talk on "Reclaiming Public Places in Mumbai" and addressed IAS officer trainees on "Public Realm Design." Additionally, I've represented India at global platforms, including the World Geospatial Summit at Rotterdam and the Shanghai Expo.

I believe my education spanning an MBA in Financial Management, and a PG program in AI-ML, ongoing Ph.D. in Urban Management have honed my expertise in policy implementation, local body governance, and leveraging technology for urban solutions. As I progress in my journey, my focus remains on contributing to the transformation of urban landscapes, fostering sustainability, and driving impactful change. At Oxford, I aim to elevate the leadership capacities of students, integrate global perspectives, and further advance innovative solutions on a national and international scale, for a rapidly evolving society.

Nicolas Waern

Guest Speaker

CEO and Founder, Winniio 

Reality Researcher and Digital Twin Specialist, Nicolas Waern is a widely recognized subject matter expert in leveraging digital twin technology to digitally transform the built environment lifecycle.

He is the co-chair of the Manufacturing working group, the telecommunication working group for the Digital Twin Consortium, the Director of Dcarbon Solutions, the interim CSO of EDX Technologies, and the founder and CEO of WINNIIO Consulting.  

He has developed an innovative NASA-inspired reality improvement methodology for creating digital twins in any industry with special attention to the unique needs of real estate ecosystems through his globally recognized subject matter expertise in Smart Cities, Smart Buildings, BIM to Twin strategies and the Global energy transition.  

Nicolas is a thought leader in edge native strategies, federated digital twinning, and distributed intelligence. Nicolas excels at consolidating fragmented IoT data sources into a strategic AI-ready data fabric for the built environment providing informed perspectives on immersive XR visualization and human-centered design considerations enabling path-creation strategies leveraging digital twins in the AEC space.  

He is a keynote speaker, workshop leader, and sought-after educational expert when it comes to problem-solving, and digital transformation coupled with Digital Twin implementation strategies towards hi-fi holographic societies at scale coupled with 5G/6G national digital twin strategies. 

David Craig Weir-McCall


David brings over a decade of experience in real-time technology adoption in the AECO, cultivated through strategic roles in global AEC firms and Epic Games. With a proven track record in B2B business development, partnerships, and strategic planning, he specializes in distilling complex technical details into compelling narratives and democratising the adoption of new technologies within the industry." 

Working with strategic industry partners such as Autodesk, Google, Microsoft, and Nvidia, David has been involved in steering various innovations in AEC, focusing on real-time 3D, AR/VR, Digital Twins, Metaverse, and AI, and has played a pivotal role in supporting the growth of real-time powered solutions in the industry. 

Tingyi Li

Guest Speaker

Enterprise Solutions Architect
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Tingyi Li works as an Enterprise Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS) based in Stockholm, Sweden, and is the founder and leader of the AWS Nordics Generative AI community.  

She enjoys helping customers with the architecture, design, and development of cloud-optimized infrastructure solutions. Currently, she is focusing on demystifying Generative AI and working with companies across industries to unlock business values leveraging AI/ML and Generative AI technologies.  

Tingyi has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China and finished her master's degree in Machine Learning from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.  

Prior to AWS, she has worked as a Data and AI Engineer, as well as Software developer roles at Intel, Foxconn and Huawei etc., building large-scale intelligent industrial data systems and driving innovations using AI/ML.  

In her spare time, she also works as a part-time illustrator/prompt engineer who writes novels and plays the piano. 

Apurva Shah


Apurva Shah is a maker entrepreneur.

He is co-founder and CEO of Duality AI, were the team’s vision is to leverage virtual worlds for solving real problems. Duality’s Falcon platform provides digital twin simulation for the design and development of safe, predictable, and resilient smart systems. Customers include robotics and AI teams at DARPA, NASA-JPL, Honeywell and P&G.

This endeavor draws on Apurva’s prior roles as head of creative technology and design systems at Capital One, visual effects supervisor and member of the technical brain trust at Pixar, and SVP of global technology at Rhythm & Hues Studios. 
He is adjunct professor in the interaction design program at CCA and covers emerging technology topics such as Metaverse Design and Designing for Trust. He is a strategic advisor to Mumbai based real time technology studio, Green Rain.
His film credits include Ratatouille, Shrek, Finding Nemo, and Toy Story 3. He holds several innovative patents in simulation, rendering, and digital payments. He has served on the Siggraph committee and on the board of the Visual Effects Society. He currently serves as advisor for non-profit Kids & Art Foundation.


Course aims

What you will learn 

  • Understand the main engineering applications in which digital twin technology is being used 
  • Explain the value of digital twin technology and model-based design in engineering practice 
  • Explain the difference between a simulation and a simulator 
  • Interpret the results of a MATLAB analysis 
  • Interpret the results of a Simulink simulation 
  • Explain different workflows to interface a digital twin to AR-VR-MR software, including playback, co-simulation, and integration.  
  • Implement a physical model for a component given a schematic representation 
  • Implement a data-driven model for a component given an experimental data set 
  • Playback the results of a simulation into AR-VR-MR software  
  • Run co-simulations between Simulink and AR-VR-MR software (UE4) 
  • Integrate a physical model in Simulink into AR-VR-MR software 
  • Model an engineering component using Simscape 
  • Optimise a design parameter in Simulink 
  • Critique the difference between white, grey, and black-box modelling approaches 
  • Specify a deployment pipeline for a digital twin in a production system 
  • Identify fidelity-performance trade-offs for simulations and real-time deployment  
  • Critique the role of emerging AR-VR-MR technologies in model-based engineering design 
  • Design an engineering model of a digital twin given a set of specifications and demonstrate integration within a 3D graphics simulator 
  • How to use AR and VR for modelling 
  • Fundamentals of augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality  
  • Building professional AR/VR applications  
  • The AR/VR landscape for tools, technologies, and services


If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying, please click Contact Us at the top of this page.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online using Microsoft Teams. You will be required to follow and implement the instructions we send you to fully access Microsoft Teams on the University of Oxford's secure IT network.

This course is delivered online; to participate you will need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended Minimum computer specification.

It is advised to use headphones with working speakers and microphone.