A lecturer at Wrexham Glyndwr University has been named winner of the Grads in Games Academic Award – and seen his student secure the Student Hero trophy.

Richard Hebblewhite, Senior Lecturer in Computing at Wrexham Glyndwr University, was among 100 lecturers from universities and colleges across the UK who had been nominated for the award this year – and has added the award to a series of other awards he and his course have won over the years.

Meanwhile Rachel Rowley, who has just graduated from the MSc Computer Game Development course which Richard teaches on, has been named Student Hero at the same awards.

Judges cited Richard’s work alongside industry as one of the key reasons for his award – he has worked to develop, maintain and strengthen key industry links throughout his time at Glyndwr and in the past year worked alongside both Government and industry figures to set up Games Talent Wales to develop and nurture grassroots game developers in Wales.

He has also been named a regional organizer for Global Game Jam and helped to secure record-breaking wins – as well as working to ensure Glyndwr continues its strong record in the Tranzfuser Game Development competition – with three teams from the university among those competing in 2020 .

It is the fourth year in succession that teams from the Computer Game Development BSc at the university have been selected to participate in the Tranzfuser games design competition – and despite the complications students have faced this year, Glyndwr has been one of only four institutions across the country to successfully guide three full teams into the finals.

Richard said: “This was a tough lineup and I honestly wasn’t expecting to take the prize.

“However, I am delighted to have been chosen and would like to thank Grads in Games, the judging panel, all those who nominated me – and of course the staff and students at Glyndwr for their support too.

“Working together, we’ve been able to support our students by bringing in more than £40,000 of direct funding over the past four years – and to strengthen the links our course has with industry – something the judges recognised with this award.

“Those links include both the sessions where we welcome leading industry figures in to talk to our students about their work, and our students themselves – who have gone on to secure careers of their own with some of the world’s most recognisable games studios.”

Meanwhile, Glyndwr graduate Rachel Rowley was among thirty nominees for the Student Hero award – and eventually topped a shortlist of eight to take home the trophy.

Among the reasons people gave for nominating Rachel – who now lectures at Glyndwr herself – were her mentoring skills, her ability to motivate people – and her focus on encouraging more women to consider both studying and working in Games Development.

Rachel herself paid tribute to her colleagues after accepting the award.

She said: “This award couldn’t have been possible without the help and support I received through studying here at Glyndwr!

“The Computing Department and the Games team are the real most valuable players here.”

To find out more about studying Computer Game Development at Wrexham Glyndwr University – in a subject area rated first in the UK with a 100 per cent overall satisfaction score in the National Student Survey* – visit: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Undergraduatecourses/ComputerGameDevelopment/

Pictured: Richard Hebblewhite