The Centre for Digital Entertainment Celebration Event

CDE-Asha-BlatherwickThe Beautiful City of Bath played host to this year’s annual conference, the ‘CDE Celebration Event’. The aim was to open the Centre for Digital Entertainment up to the world, offering something different and exciting, bringing together students, academics and industry partners to share experiences and celebrate all things CDE. And what better place to do this than in the magnificent Assembly Rooms in Bath, used in the eighteenth century for social occasions and still as grand and as welcoming as ever.

CDE is an EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre, funding research engineer students working in companies that specialise in computer games, animation and visual effects to name but a few.

The Student Exhibition was the perfect platform to showcase the fantastic research by our engineers, giving them the opportunity to network with some very high profile industry members and leaders. Delegates could experience first-hand, the diverse range of research projects in progress, including an interactive Punch and Judy Show, ‘Future Interactive Living Rooms’ and ‘Virtual Eye Tracking Systems’. Guests even had the chance to control a robotic arm using an ‘eye-gaze’ system and take part in a simulation to help brain injury patients relearn social skills. The atmosphere within the Student Exhibition was electrifying, with industry members, research engineers and academics all sharing knowledge and highlighting the potential impact and social importance these projects may have in the future.CDE-Rosie-Campbell

It was a privilege to welcome a number of industry guest speakers to help CDE celebrate in style.

Hans-Peter Seidel from Max Planck Institute for Computer Science and Saarland University engaged the audience with his talk on ‘3D image Analysis and Synthesis – The world inside the computer’.

Steffen P Walz from University of RMIT in Melbourne, Australia, discussed ‘How to Play in the Gameful World: Researching the Potentials and Pitfalls of a Ludic Age’

Andrew Vidler from Ninja Theory, Marco Romeo from Moving Picture Company and Andy Gibb from the BBC, also enthralled guests with details of past, present and future projects the challenges faced and the future of the industry.

Phil Willis – Centre Director CDE project (Bath and Bournemouth) said “It was a real delight to see 170 people come together at the Bath Assembly Rooms for two days of CDE Celebration. With the Major of Bath in attendance, the mix of 50 CDE Research Engineers, academics from Bath and Bournemouth Universities, six senior Research Council staff from EPSRC and AHRC, national and international research laboratory Directors and representatives of some of the most vigorous, exciting and fun companies in the digital entertainment sector generated a lively and hugely enjoyable event. I think everyone enjoyed our many student exhibits, the networking sessions and the presentations. We hope many others will want to join our growing CDE family!”CDE-Fabio-Turchet

All of this, combined with an inspirational showcase of the two Universities’ academic staff research, provided two days of high energy, interactive content and it proved to be the Centre for Digital Entertainment’s biggest and best event yet.

*50 students. 40 companies. £20 million of investment. See it all on our new web site: *

Centre for Digital Entertainment has funding renewed


The Centre for Digital Entertainment, jointly run by Bournemouth University and the University of Bath, has received funding for the next eight years.

The multi-million pound grant, from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), was announced today by the Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts.

It will fund another 50 doctoral students at the Centre for Digital Entertainment, which creates innovative funded research and development projects for the games, animation, VFX, simulation and cultural industries.

It embeds doctoral researchers into companies where they work on research and development projects, studying for an Engineering Doctorate while contributing positively to the industry in which they are working.

Professor Jian Jun Zhang, co-founder of The Centre for Digital Entertainment and Professor of Computer Graphics at BU, said: “I am thrilled to learn that our proposal to extend our Centre for Digital Entertainment has been funded by the EPSRC.

“Working with the University of Bath, this multimillion pound grant will allow us to produce another 50 doctoral students for the UK’s creative industry which urgently needs high-skilled people for this fast growing sector.

“We have already taken 50 students and have established strong relationships with more than 30 companies, including many world leading players, such as Sony, Electronic Arts and Double Negative.”

Students at the Centre for Digital Entertainment spend around 75 per cent of their time working in industry, where they are faced by the real problems experienced by professionals in the sector and contribute to the development of solutions.

“We forge a special three-way relationship by bringing together two world-class academic teams, a large number of world-class companies and top-quality doctoral students,” said Professor Zhang.

“Our mission is to develop next generation of technical leaders for the computer animation, games and visual effects industry.”

The funding from the EPSRC is part of £350 million that will be spent on postgraduate learning at Centres for Doctoral Training, focusing on key areas of engineering and the physical sciences that are vital to economic growth.

Science Minister David Willetts said: “I am particularly pleased to see strong partnerships between universities, industry and business among the new centres announced today.

“This type of collaboration is a key element of our industrial strategy and will continue to keep us at the forefront of the global science race.”

Find out more about the Centre for Digital Entertainment