The 3DVAL is an award-winning multi-disciplinary research lab that specialises in 3D computer animation and visualisation. The research explores the application of media-based creative practice, technical innovation and democratising immersive platforms to new 3D data visualisation challenges. Areas of research include 3D virtual world design, Virtual Reality (VR) education, simulation, training, biomedical communication, Visual Effects (VFX), 3D computer animation and serious video game design. The lab consists of state-of-the-art 3D computer animation and real-time VR digital content creation hardware with a full cohort of experienced animation and VR industry professional staff, academic post-doctoral staff, PhD and Masters students. The 3DVAL is also engaged in several active cross-faculty, cross-institution and industry-led research projects, notably with UNSW Medicine, UNSW Science, Monash University and the University of Queensland, in addition to industry-aligned projects involving St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, the Garvan Institute, Melbourne Science Gallery, the Australian Museum and Syngenta Australia.


John McGhee - 3DVAL Director and Founder - Scientia Fellow & Associate Professor

John’s research explores design-led modes of visualising complex bioscientific data and investigates the application of creative practice, technical innovation, and VR to new visualisation challenges.

Dr Andrew Lilja - Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Andrew has a research background in biomedical science and 3D animation. Andrew’s research investigates the application of 3D animation and immersive VR to complex 3D visualisation narratives.

Nick Gunn - Lead Unity Artist

Nick is the lead Unity3D artist and has a background in architecture, game design and media production. Nick's work explores new forms of communication through 3D spatiality and virtual kinaesthetics.

Campbell Strong - Senior Application Developer

Campbell is the lab’s lead technical developer. With a background in molecular microbiology and film VFX, he uses 3D modelling and simulation software tools to visualise molecular mechanisms.

Benjamin John Bailey - Research Assistant and Doctoral Researcher

John has a background in advertising and real-time game development, specialises in 3D worldbuilding, and serves as the technical lead for the lab's VR projects. John is enrolled as a Scientia PhD

Şenay Gürel - 3D Biomedical Animator

Şenay has a background in science, film and VFX, and specialises in storytelling using 3D animation. Şenay’s work utilises cinematic techniques for bioscience communication, education, and outreach.

  • Benjamin John Bailey

    Stefanie Kuzmiski

    David Wilkins

    Hao Zhou

    Sarah Eddowes

  • Bec Litvan

    Kate Patterson

  • Dr Grant Stevens, UNSW School of Art & Design

    Dr Rebecca Green, UNSW School of Art & Design 

    Professor Mari Velonaki, Creative Robotics Lab & HRI, UNSW School of Art & Design

    Dr Scott Brown, Creative Robotics Lab, UNSW School of Art & Design

    Professor Michael Balfour, UNSW School of Art & Media

    Professor Matthew Kearnes, UNSW 

    Professor Steven Faux, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney

    Dr Christine Shiner, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney

    Professor Tom Davis, University of Queensland

    Associate Professor Angus Johnston, Monash University

    Professor Robert Parton, University of Queensland

    Professor Kris Thurecht, University of Queensland

    Professor Maria Kavallaris, UNSW Medicine & Health and CCIA 

    Scientia Professor Justin Gooding, UNSW Science

  • Syngenta Australia


    Australian Museum 

    Garvan Institute of Medical Research


  • The team’s research paper investigating the impact of VR in science education was voted by CBNS Director Tom Davis as the most significant paper of 2017 at the CBNS Annual Research Workshop.

  • Journey to the Centre of the Cell project recreates a breast cancer cell using the Unity gaming software and was nominated in the Best VizSim Project category for visualisations that have real-world applications and for the overall Golden Cube award as part of the International 2016 Unity awards held in Los Angeles.

  • A fantastic voyage – travel inside your brain and visualise your own stroke

    Acknowledging the achievements in clinical health engagement, the team’s collaborative project with St Vincent’s hospital allows patients to explore personalised vascular scans to aid in disease comprehension and rehabilitation following stroke.

Contact us

A/Prof John McGhee
Director and Scientia Fellow
3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab