Associate Professor, Director of Future Games and Graphics
College of Computing
Dr Carlo Harvey is an Associate Professor in Computer Games Technology at Birmingham City University, in the School of Computing and Digital Technology. He teaches C++ for Games, Computer Graphics and Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning. He is the Director of Future Games and Graphics overseeing the research arm for Games and Graphics within the DMTLab at BCU.
Since arriving at BCU in late 2017, I have been shortlisted for best personal tutor and inspiring teacher of the year. I have also seen the course BSc Computer Games Technology nominated for the TIGA award: Best Educational Institution for two years running.
Journey to BCU
My path to BCU is a little strange: a mix of industry and academia. I have worked for the Advanced Imaging Lab at the Kennedy Space Centre implementing high dynamic range (HDR) imagery into their digital imaging pipeline for space launches; for Jaguar Land Rover designing digital testing methodologies for virtual vehicles; for Sound Space Design designing audible spaces for theatres yet to be built; for Johnson Tiles creating visualisations of ceramics in situ for bathrooms and kitchens and for the NHS implementing virtual reality solutions for cognitive behaviour therapy.
I completed a PhD at the University of Warwick in Perceptually Aware Multi-Sensory Stimuli for Virtual Environments. Following this was a four-year research fellowship at the University of Warwick with Jaguar Land Rover, interspersed with consultancy on the projects listed above. I then left for Bournemouth University teaching and directing their games programming offering. A year later I decided to join BCU!
There are quite a few responsibilities bundled in that mix of titles and roles but predominantly this can be reduced to a trifecta. My day-to-day involves firstly providing excellent teaching in a broad spectrum of games development; secondly, enterprise engagement - seeing how we can realise reciprocal knowledge transfer to and from industrial partners; and finally, research activities where the team and I look to discover new insights or generate and deliver upon new technologies.
I joined the University in September of 2016. I initially joined as a senior lecturer with none of the above responsibilities so have been empowered to grow and develop by BCU over a relatively short period of time.
I have achieved several things since arriving nearly five years ago. The course related highlights are accreditation by The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA). TIGA is a trade association representing the games industry and their focus in on ensuring that graduates are achieving employment in the games industry and that graduates are meeting the expectations of the games industry. Receiving accreditation for the next five years, shows faith in our offering based upon metrics from our graduates. Additionally, we have orchestrated relationships with the two main providers of Game Engines, in the Unity Academic Alliance and Unreal Academic Partnership.
The course I oversee has been nominated by TIGA for Best Educational Institution three years running. I co-founded the Curzon Software House initiative offering summer placements to students wanting to further develop their work portfolio. This was also nominated by TIGA as the Best Educational Initiative and Talent Development. I have been nominated for I AM BCU awards, for Inspirational Teacher of the Year for five successive years.
However, I live vicariously through my student community, two of which won Graduate of the Year awards from TIGA last year in Games Programming and in Games Technology. This was a fantastic achievement as it is a national prize, considered amongst students from game-related degrees across the country.
Additionally, I am very proud of the staff-student community on the BSc Computer Games Technology degree. We are a tight knit bunch who learn, develop, and game together.
Working at BCU
My favourite thing about working at the University is that you are trusted with autonomy and given the power to innovate. This was the way to get the best out of me and I am glad my manager saw that immediately. Autonomy and empowerment suit me very well. There is never a dull day. The work is incredibly diverse and keeps me on my toes. Personally, I find tedium and monotony a recipe for dissatisfaction, so this status quo massively appeals to me.