School of Computing, Media & the Arts

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Malcolm McNeely

Malcolm gave up his first graduate job to start his PhD research.

Malcolm McNeely

PhD research

'Doing fundamental research that expands human knowledge is an inspiring idea.'

What brought to research at Teesside University?

I came here to complete a first degree in computer games programming. I was a mature student aged 23, after leaving school without A levels. The attraction was the course, which was one of the few in the country that was Skillset accredited. I enjoyed the course, particularly my final year project on the feasibility of using an eye tracker in computer games. I graduated with a First and started a job at a software company, Datapath, in Derby.

Then Fred Charles, who had supervised my final year project, got in touch. There was funding for a doctoral research post, he encouraged me to apply, and I was successful. So after four months at Datapath, I resigned and started on my PhD. Doing fundamental research that expands human knowledge is an inspiring idea.

How is the research going?

My topic is “Interactive storytelling for pervasive entertainment”. I’m working in partnership with a games company called Portal Entertainment, which is partly funding me. They create games in the Hitchcock thriller tradition, and have a successful game called The Craftsman. I started in February 2015, so I have only been researching for four months, but it is going well and I’m excited by the possibilities.

Completing the PhD may lead me to an academic career, but I’m open to the idea of returning to industry if the opportunity arises.