Senda Project

Simulation and visualization of Erosion and Nature Degradation due to Anthropogenic activities

Starting December 2022 — Finishing December 2024

During recent years there has been increased participation in outdoor activities. In general, more people are trying more activities on a more frequent basis. Unfortunately, the repeated transit of a large number of people in natural environments causes degradation and erosion on grass, dirt, or rock surfaces, direct damage to vegetation and fauna, plus uneducated behaviors such as littering. The goal of this project is to raise social awareness about the impact of recreational activities on the environment with interactive computer graphics and VR solutions. To do so we want to model the loop between human behavior and terrain degradation. The behavior and path choices of virtual agents will be driven by their personalities, capabilities, and terrain characteristics. This flux of people will impact the natural terrain and modify the established paths, which will then affect path choices made by future agents. The scientific contributions of this project will be in the form of novel algorithms and techniques related to: procedural modeling (automatic generation of hiking networks with semantic information and navigation meshes for complex uneven terrain), pathfinding and navigation in such terrains (pathfinding and route selection adapted to agents' abilities, planning of navigation in difficult sections), and simulation and rendering of anthropogenic degradation effects (trail erosion, litter, and other traces of passage). Our final results on the simulation and rendering of terrain degradation will be displayed both in Virtual Reality for a highly immersive experience, and as a web-based application to reach a larger audience.

Principal Investigators: Nuria Pelechano, Oscar Argudo.

Financing institution: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.

Job Opportunities

We seek two postdoc researchers to work on the main goals described in the project short summary (virtual human simulation and modeling of terrain degradation). We are looking for candidates with experience on some of the following topics: reinforcement learning, crowd simulation, path finding, geometric algorithms, procedural modeling, simulation of natural phenomena, virtual reality, computer graphics.

Candidates should hold a PhD in computer science, physics, mathematics, or some engineering discipline. Candidates should have a track record of publications in computer graphics, virtual reality, and/or animation. The following skills will be valued:

   -. Good programming skills in C++, C#, or Python.

   -. Computer graphics

   -. Experience with Unity and VR is a plus.

We offer two postdoc contracts of 1 to 2 years, depending on the candidate interest.

For further information, you can contact the PIs: Nuria Pelechano (nuria.pelechano @ or Oscar Argudo (oscar.argudo @

If you would like to apply, please send an email to Nuria with the topic “Postdoc SENDA” including your CV and a motivation letter.