The Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE) supports innovative research projects in digital media for the games, animation, visual effects, simulation, cultural and healthcare industries. Being an Industrial Doctorate Centre, CDE's students spend one year being trained at the university and then complete three years of research embedded in a company. To reflect the practical nature of their research they submit for an Engineering Doctorate degree.
Digital media companies are major contributors to the UK economy. They are highly-respected internationally and find their services in great demand. To meet this demand they need to employ people with the highest technical skills and the imagination to use those skills to a practical end. The sector has become so successful that the shortage of such people now constrains them from expanding further. Our Doctoral Training Centre is already addressing that and has become the national focus for this kind of training.
We do this by combining core taught material with an exciting and unusual range of activities designed to challenge and extend the students' knowledge beyond the usual boundaries. By working closely with companies we can offer practical challenges which really push the limits of what can be done with digital media and devices, and by the people using them.
We work with many companies and 40-50 students at any one time. As a result we are able to support the group in ways which would not be possible for individual students. We can place several students in one company, we can send teams to compete in programming competitions, and we can send groups to international training sessions.
This proposal is to extend and expand this successful Centre. Major enhancements will include use of internationally leading industry experts to teach Master Classes, closer cooperation between company and university researchers, business training led by businesses and options for international placements in an international industry. We will replace the entire first year teaching with a Digital Media programme specifically aimed at these students as a group.
The graduates from this Centre will be the technical leaders of the next generation revolution in this fast-moving, demanding and exciting industry.