top of page


Having spent 10 years in the British Army as a Royal Signals Officer, then 15 years running a hi-tech company working in areas such as conversational AI and the Metaverse, and now studying for a PhD in wargaming I have a pretty unique skill and knowledge set when it comes to defence and military matters. I have led over 2 dozen R&D projects for MOD and been involved in at least a dozen more either directly or indirectly for defence and defence related organisations and companies, covering all of these areas. The sections below give you some idea of the specific expertise I have, and link to public information on the projects I've done in this space.



Virtual Humans

My Defence projects on Virtual Humans have ranged from more "routine" application such as virtual assistants for situational awareness and data analytics to "Virtual Barry" which looked to see how well the technology of the mid/late 2010s would let us create a virtual copy of a real human in a role such as staff officer - it did surprisingly well as well as developing a novel way to manage a conversation in a human-like way. One of my current projects is the ongoing development an automated synthetic wrap for social media and military reporting funded under the DASA "Populating the World of Training" programme.

  • Listen to David talk about the Virtual Barry and a Virtual Mentor project at CogX.

  • A paper including the Virtual Barry work.

  • A paper on a project about using conversational agents within a non-declared setting to successfully run (and pass) a covert Turing Test

  • Some foundation research we did looking at the anonymous intimacy effect - how users may reveal more to a chatbot than to a human or normal computer application.

  • The extended abstract for the initial social media synthetic wrap projects as presented at IT2EC 2022.



Human-AI Teaming

Several of the virtual human projects have strayed more explicitly into the real of human-machine teaming (HMT). This has included AViD which looked to provide a bot within a 3D data visualisation environment to help users analyse data and maintain corporate knowledge between sessions and AiDA  which examined the whole concept of an intelligent (or even wise) ship as an entity to be talked to and engaged with. My latest project in this space (again DASA funded) was around looking at how co-operative boardgames (such as Pandemic) could be good test-beds for HMT research, and in this project case looking at the potential of shared mental models to inform human-machine teams.

  • Not a lot of this work has been published, but we're still hoping to get a paper out on  shared mental models and co-operative games for human-machine teaming.


P4VR Front Cover_edited.jpg

Virtual Environments

Most of my Defence work on virtual environments has been around their use for training, education and data visualisation/situational awareness. Much of my early work in this space was in social virtual worlds such as Second Life and Daden were multiple prize-winners at the US Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge. As well as our work for the MOD we also did work for other government departments and for FEMA/DHS in the USA. My main interest now is in the use of browser-based virtual environments, for mobile and HMD VR/MR that obviate the need for any downloads, and platforms which enable user-generated environment design and build.

  • The Gallery provide images of many of our projects in this area, particularly the FEMA/DHS and FVWC ones.

  • In 2022 we produced the Evidenced-Based Models for Virtual Reality Training eBook for MOD - available for free download in a civilian version.

  • Our White Paper on Immersive Visual Analytics covers a lot of our experience within this area and informed a lot of our MOD work - and again more pics in the Gallery.

  • My book, with Andy Fawkes, on "The Military Metaverse" should be published by Taylor & Francis as part of the Metaverse Series, that I'm also co-editing for them, in 2024.




My wargaming activity within Defence covers both professional projects (where I have worked in both grey-zone and AI wargaming) and my PhD related work on urban wargaming which is being developed in conversation with MOD (and other) professionals and will hopefully involve MOD (and other) play-tests. There is also potential (and actual) overlap with my work on conversational AI, human-AI teaming and virtual environments.

  • My PhD Wiki covers all of my work on urban wargaming - and my Urban Wargames Database is now linked from the US 40th Infantry Division (unofficial US Army urban leads) page on urban warfare.

  • I have a chapter on Wargaming in preparation for a new book on Just War Theory, to be published in 2025.

  • My article on the Battle of Hue (1968) and how well the wargames of it represent urban warfare was recently published by the Journal of Strategic Security.

  • I have run urban wargames at ConnectionsUK and DSET, as well as at other semi-pro wargame events.

More Information

If you'd like to know more about my Defence work, or have a project you think that I might be able to give advice to or help out on then please get in touch, and/or check out the other areas of the web site for more information.

bottom of page