High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering Steering Group Members

Our High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering courses have been developed in collaboration with a prestigious steering group from industry comprising:

Simon Barratt, Director at Barog Game Labs (steering group chair)

Barog Game Labs is an independent game developer which also provides business technical, production and business development consulting services to the games and tech industry. Founder Simon Barratt is a seasoned low level programmer with 18 years of industry coding experience as well as 10 years running his own games studio. Most recently he has been involved in Mobile VR projects, several PlayStation 4 and Vita conversions and the release of PS4/Xbox One and PC title “101 Ways To Die”.

Phil Scott, Developer Technology Evangelist, NVIDIA

Before joining NVIDIA in October 2000 Phil worked had worked for 13 years as a lead engineer on over 30 published titles. As manager of the European Developer Relations team, Phil speaks at conferences worldwide and works with AAA and independent developers advising and consulting so they get the most out of NVIDIA GPUs.

At NVIDIA we do a lot of work to educate existing GPU developers across many industries including games through our developer support, our website and events like the GPU Technology Conference and the Games Developer Conference. These new courses from the University of Leeds are a way to provide great education early on and gives the entire industry an ever stronger bed of talent to build on, with the required skill-set to lead the next generation of research in many areas.

“The GPU in modern computing terms, does a lot more than provide graphical output with hundreds of applications including deep learning, encryption, simulation, virtual reality, video processing and video game development. Skilled developers are needed to lead the development of techniques that best exploit the many-core approach of modern hardware.”

Mike Gamble, EU Territory Manager at Epic Games
Luis Cataldi, Educational Evangelist at Epic Games

Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of the Unreal, Gears of War and Infinity Blade series of games. Today Epic is building Paragon, Fortnite, and the new Unreal Tournament. Epic’s Unreal Engine technology brings high-fidelity, interactive experiences to PC, console, mobile, the Web and VR. Unreal Engine accelerates the creation of games, applications, visualizations and cinematic content. Download Unreal Engine for free at unrealengine.com, and follow @UnrealEngine for updates.

Mike Gamble, Territory Manager at Epic Games
“Since Unreal Engine became free to access for developers of all sizes a year ago we have seen a huge amount of technical enhancements from advanced lighting techniques to platform specific optimisations to the editor and tool improvements. Most recently we announced our support for new multi-platform graphics APIVulkan which allows UE4 developers to build even more performant games. The importance of understanding low-level APIs like Vulkan is a vital skill and while Unreal can be used without this knowledge Epic and the industry as a whole needs programmers with this knowledge and experience so we can continue to innovate in the technology we make available to game makers. The new MEng and MSc at the University of Leeds are a great initiative to producing the skilled technical developers the industry greatly needs more of.”

David Smethurst, Head of Programming at Team 17

Founded in 1990, Team17 Digital Limited is a leading international games label that hosts the Worms franchise, Yooka-Laylee, Allison Road, The Escapists, Beyond Eyes, Sheltered and many more from amazing developers around the world. www.team17.com

Paul Porter, COO at Sumo Digital  

Based in Sheffield, UK and Pune, India, Sumo Digital employs 260 staff developing games across all platforms and genres.  Recognised for its versatility, proprietary technology, creativity and high Metacritic, Sumo Digital’s portfolio of games includes LittleBigPlanettm 3, Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed, Forza Horizon 2 – Fast & Furious and Disney Infinity 3.0's Toy Box Speedway.

At the 2013 Tiga Game Awards, Sumo won Best Arcade Game (Large Studio) for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – SEGA’s bestselling console game of their FY2013, and Outstanding Leadership Award.  LittleBigPlanettm 3 also won the 2015 DICE award for Best Family Game.

“There is a real shortage of technical talent which is a limiting factor in the growth of the UK games industry. I expect that students on these new programmes will graduate with exemplary expertise in graphics technologies, ready to step into key positions in the gaming and related industries. They’ll be snapped up.”

Adrian Hirst, Director at Weaseltron Entertainment (contracted for Rockstar Leeds on PC version of GTA V and LA Noire)

Weaseltron provides technical consultancy across a wide range of platforms and genres. Most recently it has worked on the PC and next gen version of Grand Theft Auto V for Rockstar as well as the PC version of LA Noire.

Patrick Connor, Research & Development at Sony Interactive Entertainment

Patrick Connor has worked as a graphics programmer at various companies in the UK games industry over the last couple of decades. He's always been fascinated by the cutting edge of rendering and simulation and specialises in computer graphics, performance optimisation and virtual reality. Patrick is now part of the Research & Development group at Sony Interactive Entertainment where he focuses on PlayStation® technologies.