DPD Design Sprint at FutureFest 2017

As part of an ongoing partnership between delivery and logistics company DPD and Staffordshire University, the Schools of Computing & Digital Technologies and Creative Arts & Engineering ran a highly successful Design Sprint competition for students as part of the recent FutureFest event in November.

Students spent a full day busily working in groups to create and design solutions for various challenge topics provided by DPD, and presented these to a prestigious panel of judges which included our own VC, Professor Liz Barnes, the CEO of DPD, DwainMcDonald, and School Deans Professor Eunice Ma and Professor David Hawkins.

Twelve teams presented their ideas with the three best teams awarded not only prizes, but also the opportunity to work further with DPD on future projects. All teams impressed the judges with their innovative suggestions and pitching skills, and picking the winners was a challenge in itself!

Huge congratulations to everyone who took part, and to our winning students!

 

 

Character concepts up close on the Harry Potter studio tour

On 19 October students studying Character Concept Design turned up for class at Hogwarts rather than College Road…

As part of their Character Concept Design module, one of our undergraduate classes took a trip to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter last week. Anne Ramsden, course leader for the foundation year for Concept Art for Games and Film, organised for Level 3 and 4 students to spend an eye-opening day at the Leavesden studios.

Student sketching Harry Potter characters

With worksheets designed by their tutors and sketchbooks at the ready, the students explored the rich world of the Harry Potter films. They took careful note of the behind the scenes information provided, looking especially at the concept art and models.

Dobby the house elf character design

Paying particular focus to costume and character design, along with set design and environment sketching, the students were encouraged to draw and sketch as they went along, and to take photo – which were then pooled together on the module’s Blackboard. Some of the students even got a close up of the goblin masks and concept art when the tour guides spotted their sketchbooks.

Display of hats on Harry Potter studio tour

The Concept Art students will show and critique their sketches from the trip in class in Week 6.

A day at PLAY Expo Manchester

Our Games Studies students experienced PLAY Expo Manchester at first hand when it took over EventCity earlier this month.

Dr Ying-Ying Law, our resident esports specialist, took her class to ‘the north’s biggest video game expo’ as part of their module on Esports and Competitive Gaming.

Dr Law’s lucky students had a tour from the director of the event, as well as getting to talk to the tournament organisers. They also had the chance to compete in the Smash Tournament, allowing the class to get a glimpse of how a tournament is run and to think about the mini-esports event they will be running themselves in Week 9 of this semester. It’s clear they’ve already learned a lot!

“During the tournament, they spotted a mistake made by the TO,” Dr Law said. “They spotted an incorrect match where a player from the winners’ bracket was playing against someone in the losers’ bracket in a double elimination tournament. I went through tournament rules with them last week – I felt so proud!”

Next stop for the Esports and Competitive Gaming class: Insomnia Gaming Festival!

Computing PhD Research Student scoops award at International Conference

Mr Awad AlRasheed, PhD research student from the School of Computing & Digital Technologies, scoops the award for Best Presentation at the 19th International Conference on Knowledge Management Systems.

Supervised by Head of Computing at Staffordshire University Russell Campion, Mr AlRasheed has also been honored as an outstanding PhD Research Student by His Excellency the Saudi Cultural Attaché Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Ali Almagushi at the Saudi Embassy in London in September 2017 and presented to HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, the Saudi Ambassador in the Saudi National Day Celebration.

Computer Science In Schools Conference ’17

Friday July 7th saw host to the annual Computer Science In Schools Conference, held for the first time in our brand new Mellor Building facilities on our College Road campus.

The event saw educators and computing specialists from across the area come together to discuss and improve the ways in which computing is taught in our primary and high schools, with keynotes & panel sessions from examining bodies AQA and OCR, as well as a number of other workshops available through out the day.

With such a positive response from this years event, 2018 looks to be an even bigger year for Computer Science In Schools Conference.

A special thank you to our sponsors for the event; AQA, OCR, Cambridge Institute and BCS.