ECGBL Biographies

Below are the ECGBL Biographies of the Conference and Programme Chairs, Key Note Speakers and Mini-Track Chairs.

Conference and Programme Chairs

Dr Panagiotis Fotaris is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for BSc Digital Games Development and BSc Computer Science for Games at the University of Brighton. He has previously held posts at the University of East London, University of West London, King’s College London, and Abertay University. Before entering academia, he spent a decade in the Creative Industries in a variety of roles including mashup artist, radio producer, DJ, graphic designer, web developer, and music journalist. When not playing adventure games, Panagiotis focuses his research on the pedagogical potential of escape rooms, games, and immersive technology in the context of computing and design education.

Dr Marcus Winter is a researcher at the Centre for Digital Media Cultures and senior lecturer in the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Brighton. His research is about enabling people to create and share content and applications with and for emerging technologies in the contexts of learning, cultural heritage and public engagement. While his earlier work focused on computer-supported collaborative learning, with particular attention to situated and social-constructivist models of learning, more recent work explores game-based crowdsourcing, social interpretation in museums and creative engagement with machine learning. Marcus collaborates with charities, educational institutions, cultural heritage organisations and industry partners in projects funded by national and international organisations.

Dr Cate Grundy is a senior lecturer, design practitioner and researcher at the University of Brighton, focussed on the creative application of design thinking and interaction design principles across a range of disciplines. Cate is versed in UX methods and specialises in applying them to three dimensions, from digital games to product design.  Using the motivational power of games for social benefit is of particular interest and Cate currently works with Forestry England creating location-based games inside woodland areas, to encourage outdoor play for older children. Cate has developed new and innovative methods for co-designing games with young people, with a focus on addressing the latent and emotional needs that can lead to game success. She also developed an ‘experience map’ for games, to scaffold the user research process. These techniques been applied to a variety of projects, including the design of new games for Mind Candy Ltd., the creators of Moshi Monsters and Warriors.  During her 18 years of teaching experience, Cate has attempted to introduce a variety of real-world projects to students. She runs a design consultancy, known as Brighton Product Lab, with final years and has project managed teams working for a variety of clients, from designing toys and games for a Gambian school, to medical products. Cate has also worked professionally as a designer with innovation companies, PDD Ltd.

Key Note Speakers

Pete Jenkins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges.  Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK's Department of International Trade in January 2019. Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.  Pete is in his 12th year as a Lecturer at the University of Brighton. He lectures on gamification and entrepreneurship at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. He also guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe. Over the past 20 years Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce and an Export Champion for the Department of International Trade, UK.

Diana Laurillard, Professor of Learning with Digital Technology at UCL Knowledge Lab, University College London. Formerly: Head of the e-Learning Strategy Unit at the government’s Department for Education and Skills; Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning Technology and Teaching at the Open University. Served on: the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for IT in Education, Moscow; Visiting Committee on IT, Harvard University. Researching: Neuro-informed digital games for low numeracy; the Learning Designer tool. Leading the Blended and Online Learning Design course, free and open to all. Recent book: Teaching as a Design Science, Routledge. Lifetime Contribution Award, E-Assessment Association; Honorary Life Membership, Association for Learning Technology and Club Fondation Universitaire, Belgium.

Mini Track Chairs

Ronald Dyer is currently EMBA-Director & Senior University Teacher in the department of Executive & Professional Education at SUMS with over 20 years of project management experience across financial service, education, agriculture and energy focused organizational transformation initiatives. His research focuses on serious games, gamification and play with a specific interest in the use of these tools for improved risk-based thinking practices within projects as well as strong interest in artificial intelligence, theories of play for pedagogical innovation and ideation to support general learner improvement & retention.

Thorkild Hanghøj is a Professor of Games and Learning at the ResearchLab: IT, Learning and Design (ILD Lab), Aalborg University, Copenhagen, where he also co-coordinates The Center for Applied Game Research (CEAGAR). His work focuses on exploring links between games and dialogue, games and literacy, and how to learn through designing games. He currently manages the research project GBL21: Game-Based in the 21st Century (, which takes a Dialogic perspective on how students develop design competencies when redesigning games within Danish (L1), mathematics, and science.

Olga Shabalina, PhD, associate professor at Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Department in Volgograd State Technical University, leader of itGames Group, hosted by CAD Department. The subject of scientific research concerns methodologies and techniques of learning games (including adaptive learning games) design and using them for teaching and training children and adults.

Dr Charlotte Lærke Weitze, PhD in innovative use of educational technology. Founder of Digital and Creative Learning Lab. Former assistant professor at IT, Learning and Design (ILD Lab), Aalborg University, Copenhagen, and at LearnT, DTU Compute, Technical University of Denmark. Educated Pianist. Research focus: Learning through game design, design of motivating and efficient educational technology, design for students’ and teachers’ motivation and engagement in learning situations involving technology. 

Workshop Facilitators 

Guido Bruinsma has a background in work and organizational psychology. PhD based on an predictive workflow models of knowledge intensive interdisciplinary team collaboration during emergency response”. Guido is employed by the  University of Twente and Gamelaboost where he teaches,
researches and practices serious game design and design based research.

Luuk Collou finalized his PhD in 2020 at the University of Twente during which he developed and tested a simulation model and serious game for strategic human resource management (HRM). Currently Luuk is working as an associate lector for the research group strategic HRM of Saxion University for applied Sciences in Enschede, the Netherlands. 

Ton Spil teaches in the area of Business Information Systems for MBA and Management of Risk Management and Business and IT. He did his PhD thesis on the effectiveness of information strategies and after that he specialized in the application area healthcare and professional organizations. He is track chair e-health in main conferences and published on ISI A level. He was (guest) editor of JSIS and associate editor of several health journals. In 2017 his main topics are adoption of IT, business modeling, serious gaming and digital strategies applied on (tele) health, music and banking. He creates digital strategies for (social) media & health.