The Team



The Team

Prof. Ashok Ranchhod


Dr Ashok Ranchhod is the Programme Leader for Games Design and Art, Design Management and the Advertising and Design Management Masters Degrees at the Winchester School of Art. He was recently appointed as Emeritus Professor at Southampton Solent University where he was a Research Professor in Marketing. In 2011 he completed his role as the Director of the Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad (MICA), the top Communications School in India. Ashok has published extensively on themes of E-marketing. He has undertaken consultancy work for major organisations and has written case studies on companies in several different sectors of industry for the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Prior to his work in academia, he was the Managing Director of Microplants, a biotechnology company based in Derbyshire. He has published several prizewinning papers and (with Calin Gurau) has also published the second edition of Marketing Strategies: A Contemporary Approach published by FT Pearson (and an annotated edition is being written focusing on the role of games). Currently Ashok researches Digital Marketing, Luxury Branding and Serious Gaming. He leads a team of research students in these areas. Ashok also holds Visiting Professorships at the University of Angers (France), Napier University (Scotland) and the University of Canberra. In recognition of his services to business and marketing he was made a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in 2000. He has recently joined the advisory board of the Future Foundation.

      Dr. Gary Wills

      Vice Director

      Dr Gary Wills is a Senior lecturer (Associate Professor) in Computer Science. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Gary is also an Adjunct Professor for Cape Peninsular University of Technology, and Research Professor for Rlabs, both in Cape Town South Africa. Gary is specialised in two main areas that of Knowledge Management and E-Learning. His teams focus on developing systems that meet End-User information needs. Gary published extensively on Knowledge Management and E-Learning and supervises several PhD students working on interdisciplinary themes.


        Research and Development Team:


          Alaa Almarshedi

          PhD Candidate

          Thesis: “Gamification in Health”

              James Baker

              PhD Candidate

              James is a PhD student with a Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Southampton, who recently successfully defended his thesis, and is currently working on his final corrections. His research involves investigating ‘immersion’ in educational serious games: specifically how to design educational games to be as engaging as possible, in terms of the subject matter presentation, gameplay and world-building. He is passionate about games and game development, and works on amateur game projects in his spare time.

              Thesis: “Designing Immersive Serious Games”

                  Chris Buckingham

                  PhD Candidate

                  Chris Buckingham is a crowdfunding specialist. He’s worked on campaigns ranging from the arts through to zoos and has contributed to over £2m worth of crowdfunding activity and is in the process of publishing the first book to cover all five models in the ecosystem, Crowdfunding Intelligence. With a background in management of the creative and cultural industries he was one of the early users of crowdfunding and still finds the sector fascinating as more applications and models emerge. His research interest with University of Southampton is focused on the gamification of specific areas within crowdfunding. he is in the process of developing the worlds first serious game dedicated to this area.

                      Lester Gilbert


                      Technology for eLearning

                          Nooralisa Mohd Tuah

                          PhD Candidate

                          Nooralisa received a PhD scholarship from the Ministry of Education in Malaysia to continue her studies at the University of Southampton with The Games Design Hub. Nooralisa’s research work is on anthropomorphic computing in conveying health information. She is concerned with enriching the human-computer interface design for healthcare settings.

                              Dr Naomi Pemberton-Billing


                              Requirements gathering and creative user interfaces for middleware devices

                                  Dr James Stallwood


                                  James Stallwood is an active developer for The Games Design Hub liaising with developers such as Codemasters, Matmi and other commercial interests. James holds a degree in Maths and Physics as well a Masters degree in Music and has also been awarded a PhD scholarship to continue his studies at the University of Southampton. His PhD thesis is on the integration of Serious Games in commercial software packages. With a background of teaching in schools within Hampshire, James has a keen interest in the promotion of games for health and social causes, games for education particularly in mathematics and the sciences, and games as a media for the arts.

                                    Vanissa Wanick

                                    PhD Candidate

                                    Vanissa Wanick holds a degree in Design from Pontificial Catholic Universty, PUC-Rio and an MBA in Marketing from Universidad Federal Fluminese, in Brazil. Vanissa was granted a PhD scholarship to continue her studies at the University of Southampton. Her thesis is on Advergaming design, consumer behaviour and cross-cultural studies. Vanissa worked as a designer for major companies in Rio de Janeiro like O GLOBO, the newspaper Jornal do Brasil and the E-learning company Escola24horas. She has experience as a lecturer at Infnet, Rio de Janeiro, teaching Design and Marketing. Vanissa is interested in games on social good, sustainability and health and education. Her work is concerned with people’s interaction with games and local environments, creating meaningful experiences and motivation for everyday tasks.

                                        Dr Yuanyuan Yin


                                        Dr Yuanyuan is a Lecturer and Pathway Leader for MA Design Management at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. She joined University of Southampton in 2009 after completing her PhD in Design Management and MA in Design Strategy & Innovation at Brunel University, UK. Her research has been concentrated on promoting business performance through developing design and brand strategies, understanding customers and users, supporting design collaboration, and improving innovation in product design. She is interested in luxury branding strategy, cross-culture consumer behavior, and experience with luxury goods and luxury product design.

                                          Marialena Zinopoulou

                                          PhD Candidate

                                          Lecturer – Imperial College London
                                          University of California Irvine (UCI) Extension Instructor
                                          CEO- The Digital Marketing Association