Azita Iliya Abdul Jabbar

I received my BA in Teaching English as a Second Language and my MA in Human Resource Management from the Hawaii azita-iliyaPacific University, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. I carry many years of experience in the education and instructional design field. Prior to pursuing my PhD at WIT, I was involved in eLearning project management in businesses and in schools in Malaysia. My interest in information and instructional design has led me to research and learn more about new methods of teaching and learning using technology, specifically in computer gaming.

Damien Darcy

Damien Darcy is a PhD student at the London Knowledge Lab, and his work examines the challenges educators face when Damien_Darcydesigning learning activities for use in novel learning spaces. It also goes some of the way towards resolving these challenges by setting out a learning design process that educators in any subject can implement in such spaces. My broader research interests cover Game-Based Learning, virtual worlds, hybrid spaces and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning. I advise academics on course design and technology use at Birkbeck College, University of London, and my earlier background is in teaching ICT and Computing at both primary and secondary school levels.

Alison Mc Namara


Alison Mc Namara is a doctoral candidate studying the impact gesture-based computing has in the mathematics classroom. She has a software engineering degree from NUI Galway as well as a Masters. After her masters she pursued work in the field of instructional design and digital resources for the second-level classroom. This focused her career in the area of other resources that could be used in the mathematics classroom and other classrooms in general.

Gene Dalton

Gene Dalton_BW

Gene has a background in science, completing a BSc in Chemistry with French and a Master of Science by research before qualifying as a primary school teacher. After several years teaching children in the 8-12 age group and running language and technology clubs after school, in 2012 she began a PhD in the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin. Her PhD research focuses on exploring how children can learn the Irish language in 3D Virtual Environments and is due for completion in late 2015. Her project is funded by the Irish Research Council, and so far she has presented preliminary results at a European and international level.

Haven Team

Red Ember Games are a student games development team from Dundalk Institute of Technology currently completing their Haven-RedEmberGames_TeamPhotofinal year of study in Computer Games Development. The team consists of five members with various specialities in the field of games development. The team where presented with the challenge of creating a game under the theme of well-being enhancing technology. With this in mind they have developed Haven over the past year. Haven evolved into the game it is today through an iterative process. Haven first arose from a concept to help children with anxiety and through meetings with experts in the field of psychology, accessibility and cognitive behavioural therapy it slowly evolved into a serious game to help develop children’s emotional and social well-being. The team have received recognition in external competitions with an honourable mention in the Imagine Cup Blueprint Challenge and are currently in the final of the Universal Design Grand Challenge 2015.

Nicola Disley

Nicola is the team lead and co-founder of Red Ember Games. She is the team’s lead AI programmer and level designer. She was a finalist in the Dare to be digital competition with her former team Stone Hammer Games. She brought her experience and knowledge from her last team to help manage and lead Red Ember to where they are today.

Gavin Flood

Gavin co-founded Red Ember Games in 2014. He is the teams lead character modeller and animator for Haven. He is the creator of Milo, the interactive creature in Haven. He was responsible with bringing the main character Milo to life through the use of modelling and animation.

Garreth Byrne

Garreth co-founded Red Ember Games in 2014. He is the team’s player programmer and UI programmer. He developed and implemented the UI designs and functionality of Haven. Garreth is chief facilitator of the usability testing for Haven.

Conor Pendlebury

Conor was the former team lead of the Wolf Pack before joining Red Ember in September 2015. He is the team’s environmental modeller and special effects programmer.

Andreas Lau

Andreas is an international student from the University of Applied Sciences Mittelhessen in Germany. After studying in Ireland as an Erasmus student, he joined Red Ember Games early September 2015 and has been a great addition to the team. He is the team’s hardware, sound & General programmer.

What is the Future for Red Ember Games?

Red Ember Games are currently working to gain exposure and funding to further develop Haven. Their hope is to continue creating games which can have powerful and lasting benefits for players, promoting games as a serious platform for learning and good.

JJ Quinlan

JJ Quinlan is a lecturer and researcher in Creative Media in Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT). As a lecturer he is involved in many interesting subjects that could be broadly grouped into Game Visuals, Graphic Design, Animation andjj-quinlan Authoring for Multimedia Devices.He also supervises level 8 Degree students in BSc ‘Computing in Games Development’ and BA ‘Communications in Creative Media’. As a researcher he is concerned mostly with Game Visuals in their application and design. Before joining DKIT, he worked as a Creative director in ‘bespoke training software’ aimed at sales staff of multinational pharmaceutical companies. He was involved in the developing of animation, interactive exercises, video simulations and 3d environmental products, making these the ‘High End’ of the market. He was also a senior multimedia designer in many successful e-learning projects for large multinational ‘blue chip’ companies.


John Heffernan

John Heffernan is a secondary school teacher in history and ICT who has used COTS before in his teaching. He also workedjohnheffernan for an Irish government agency promoting and supporting the integration of ICT in education in the roles of digital content and national technology infrastructure.

As a Subject Matter Expert, he have contributed to digitization projects with Thomas Jefferson Foundation & GMU Center for History & New Media and more recently with the Roger Freeman collection of the Imperial War Museum Duxford UK. He is a Community Rep for Digital Public Library of America.

Laura Fagan


Laura Fagan is a Graduate from Dublin Business School in Ireland. A bright and driven graduate, Laura has a fervent desire to forge a long and successful career in the realm of gaming research and IT.

Marian McDonnell

Marian has over 30 years’ experience as a teacher, lecturer and researcher in mathematics and computing with an emphasis human computer interaction (HCI) and multimedia systems. Marian is passionate about engaging her students in innovative technology projects and research. Her current research interests are focused on the role of design, technology and Marian McDonnellpsychology in User Experience and Interaction Design. She is particularly interested in the area of assistive technologies for individuals with cognitive impairments. Recent innovative projects that Marian has researched with her students included designing a mobile ambient awareness display application to support caregivers of the elderly with cognitive memory impairments. Present research projects include developing games to help learners with mathematical difficulties and investigating an innovative pictogram based communication web application for people with intellectual disabilities.
With lecturing experience at undergraduate and postgraduate level in Web Programming, Content Management systems and HCI research, Marian also enjoys mentoring teams for national competitions. Two cross disciplinary teams from psychology and computing, mentored by Marian, won national awards at the Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition. Academic leadership experience include course coordination, programme development and membership of various IADT boards. Marian is keenly interested in encouraging young women into science and technology careers.

Michael Gannon

Michael Gannon is an IADT graduate of Multimedia Computing/Web Engineering. He also has a degree in Civil Engineering from D.I.T.

Michael GannonHe has just completed development on his final year project, which is an eLearning solution called Let’s Go, which teaches people with Special Needs how to safely get public transport and allows their carers/trainers to monitor their progress.

Let’s go was developed and designed with the end user in mind and the concept was refined through various iterations which led to a usable and practical application. Carmona Services, Glenagery, Co Dublin collaborated on the project in order to produce the most appropriate design.

Natalie Butler


Natalie Butler is a second-year student on the Cyberpsychology Masters programme at IADT and is particularly interested in educational technology, game-based learning and virtual reality. Natalie holds a BSc in Psychology from the University of Reading in the UK, and an ICEPE certificate in Teaching Gifted & Talented Students. She currently works as a web editor and content writer with Symantec in Dublin, writing on consumer internet security, cybercrime, cyberbullying, privacy, digital identity management and social media. Prior to beginning her Masters, Natalie worked as a journalist with the Irish national press for over 25 years.

Overcome team

Aaron Conroy

Leader and main idea generator for the team. Attending Dundalk Institute of Technology, studying Computing in Games aaronDevelopment. Aged 23 and has a strong passion for health and nutrition, martial arts, gaming, technology and psychology. Thanks to my leadership skills and charisma I was also elected to be the department representative of the computing department in my college and am the first student in the college to do so. Primarily a programmer, I specialise in gameplay and mechanics and often challenge myself to create new and interesting mechanics I would previously have no experience implementing.

Gareth Lawlor

I am a 21 year old student from Navan in Co. Meath. I am currently studying Computing in Games Development at Dundalk Institute of Technology, where I am in my final year of my studies. I am due to graduate in October 2015. I am a 3D Modelling Major trying to get a job in that field for the coming year. I primarily make environmental models such as trees garethand other things, but I am capable of dabbling into all areas of 3D Modelling quite capably. I also have an interest in Sound Design in particular diegetic sound design. I have also completed a portfolio research project on how music can affect the mood of a player. This research topic was undertaken to implement in our game to make the player feel for the character. I also am an avid gamer, this being my key passion as I was growing up and will soon be my industry of trade. I have also recently taken an interest in game based learning, in particular, how can you teach someone affectively and what are the techniques to this most effectively.

Dr Patrick Felicia

Patrick Felicia, PhD, is a lecturer at Waterford Institute of Technology, where he teaches and supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students. He obtained his MSc in Multimedia Technology in 2003 and PhD in Computer Science inpatrick_felicia 2009 from University College Cork, Ireland. Patrick has a keen interest in the design and development of engaging educational multimedia-based application for secondary and third level. He is specialized in Game-Based Learning, Multimedia, Educational Psychology, and Instructional Design. He is Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) and has also served on program committees for international Game-Based Learning and Technology-Enhanced Learning conferences and journals. In addition to his research on GBL, he also focuses on promoting best practices for GBL amongst educationalists (e.g., keynotes and workshops), a task he believes is crucial for a wider understanding and acceptance of GBL.

Paul Keating


Paul Keating is a Lecturer in Community Work and Doctoral Student of Applied Social Sciences at UCC. With a background in Civil Engineering, Rural and Community Development Paul has worked in East Africa, the Balkans the Baltic States and in various parts of rural and urban Ireland. He has worked for a range of national and international organisations as well as directly for local groups and marginalised communities. With a particular interest in critical theories and methods of community mobilisation Paul has been using simulation games, modelling and role play in youth and community workshops to address issues such as racism, anti social behaviour, poverty and community planning for some time. It is only in recent years, with the encouragement of 12 and 10 year old sons, that the potential of online multiplayer gaming as a tool for community work has become apparent and formed the subject for his doctoral research.

Peter Harrington


Entrepreneur, Peter Harrington has a deep interest in education. In 2006, he helped launch the business simulation game ‘SimVenture’. This software allows people to practice authentic business start-up and learn about the entrepreneurial journey by making decisions and dealing with consequences. Over 400 educational institutions in 40+ countries now use SimVenture.

Since 2010, Peter has been leading a team to develop an on-line, multi-platform business simulation that allows academics and teachers to observe, communicate with and assess student work in real time, regardless of location. Peter believes ‘SimVenture Evolution’ will provide a real breakthrough for academics seeking to advance how business and entrepreneurship is taught and simultaneously accelerate learner performance. The new product launches in September 2015.

Ellen Jameson, MSES

Ellen Jameson is a Learning Specialist consultant for Filament Games and AW3DU and a Visiting Research Associate at Indiana University’s Center for Research on Learning and Technology. Her research interests include curriculum and classroom integration requirements for games (and their implications for game design), and the use of games to facilitate ellen-jamesoneducation and discussion around issues in environmental science. She is currently studying the role of games as tools offering a useful balance of complexity, contextualization, visualization, and control, for communities to explore, debate, and refine their own resource management strategies and institutions.

Her past work as a game designer and content specialist for Quest Atlantis has included designing, building, and implementing games for 4th-7th graders which incorporate environmental science and human-landscape interaction topics. These include Taiga (environmental science and socioscientific inquiry), Virtual Mesa Verde and Virtual Hawaii Volcanoes (social studies and human-environment interactions), Making Mkomazi (wildlife conservation), Virtual Machu Picchu (the base 10 number system) and Spacenik (astronomy). She continues to create and study games that can bring the experience of current work within scientific communities into the wider culture.

Dr. Thomas Fennewald

Thomas Fennewald is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Education of Concordia University in Montréal, Québec. Tom specializes in the design and study of games about social dilemmas and climate change and in the critique of thomas-fennewaldmethodological approaches to inquiry in the social sciences. He is interested in the development of methods that can be used to assess of morals and negotiation in educational, business, ecological, and political contexts, and the development of tools for promoting and assessing learning in STEM and other disciplines.

Tom graduated with a Ph.D. from the Inquiry Methodology program in the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology in the School of Education at Indiana University Bloomington, under the supervision of Phil Carspecken, Barbara Dennis, Richard Lesh, and Edward Castronova. He earned a M.Sc. in Learning and Developmental Science from Indiana University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Emily Sheepy

While working towards an MA in Educational Technology at Concordia University, Emily Sheepy is also working on projects in usability evaluation, technical writing and instructional design. Her background is in psychology and cognitive science, which she studied at the University of Waterloo.emily-sheepy

Some of the research questions that interest her most include:

  • How can we ensure that all public educational materials are usable and accessible?
  • How can we use technologies to support mental health services?  (see: HCI and mental health resources)
  • How can we ensure that best practices in information design are applied in public health education?
  • What can gaming teach us about human learning and addiction?
  • How can we use simple technologies to increase productivity?
  • How can technology empower people with special needs?