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 Katie Piatt is the eLearning manager at the University of Brighton, with over 15 years of experience in development, implementation and evaluation of educational technologies. Katie has a real passion for technology and how it can make teaching more effective – working with her team to support staff across the university to provide more engaging teaching and learning experiences. Katie works locally and nationally to integrate playful elements into adult learning contexts; projects have included alternate reality games for student induction, the NeverEnding Uni Quiz, gaming the Future of Technology in Education (FOTE) conference, and developing InfoBadges for recognising student information skills. Katie is co-Chair of the Playful Learning Association ( and loves being able to introduce techniques and tools to make learning more fun and engaging.


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

Dr Alex Moseley is Head of Curriculum Enhancement at the University of Leicester and a National Teaching Fellow; he is also a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Higher Education Futures, Aarhus University. He has had long experience as both practitioner and researcher of course design and development for higher education. His doctorate and research focus are in play based learning for adults in higher education and museums; he has published widely on play and games for learning (‘playful learning’) and also teaches innovative play-based courses in History, Archaeology and Museum Studies. He designs games – principally non-digital; was part of the team behind the first charity Alternate Reality Game, Operation: Sleeper Cell; and is a certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Facilitator. He chairs the Playful Learning Association, and co-organises the Playful Learning conference.

Nicola Whitton is Director of the Durham Centre for Academic Development and Professor of Education at Durham University. Her research focuses on play in adulthood, in particular games and learning in the context of Higher Education, and the potential of play in teaching, research, and academic practice. Her most recent projects have focused on the potential of escape room design as a model of failure-based learning.

Mini Track Chairs

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 dialogical perspective on how students develop design competencies when redesigning games within Danish (L1), mathematics, and science.

Dr Ian Stewart is Senior Lecturer and Academic Lead of the Management of Projects Research Group at the University of Manchester and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In teaching, he contextualises business and management Higher Education for projectised contexts, particularly construction and engineering. He has researched and used numerous experiential learning activities; live case studies, games and simulations. Through this, Ian won ‘Education Practitioner of the Year 2018’ from the British Academy of Management and a grant from them to support his research into the human and financial costs of experiential learning techniques for academics and students.


Workshop Facilitators 

Lars Elbæk is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics at the University of Southern Denmark and coordinator of the Sports Science Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. He has through the project “Play and Learning - Kids’n Tweens Lifestyle”, alike movement games and services projects and through his PhD knowledge and experience of interaction design and design research in sports, play, and exertion games.

Søren Lekbo and Rasmus Vestergaard Andersen are doctoral students in embodied creativity and are currently developing embodied methods and translating these into method cards for an embodied Design Thinking toolbox