National Teaching Fellow 2014
Institution at the time of Award: University of Bradford
Dr Ian Palmer began his career as a trainee engineer at Thorn EMI Electronics, during which he studied for a BSc in Electronics at the University of Sussex and an MSc at Brunel University. Ian left Thorn EMI and returned to Sussex to study for his DPhil, which focused on developing computer animation systems that would be easier to use by non-technical animators. Through his work in animation Ian became interested in its application in different media types, especially in entertainment, special effects and computer games. These areas are now the emphasis of his teaching, which focuses on the technical aspects of computer graphics.
Ian’s time studying whilst in employment led him to believe strongly in the value that the professional experience brought to his academic development. Ian has kept to this philosophy and he now aims to give students genuine work-related activities and experiences to give them the best chance to forge their own careers. This has led to proactively seeking collaborations with industry, especially focused on continuing professional development and the design of credit-bearing work-based learning. These include masters programmes in collaboration with the BBC, Creative Skillset, Mute Records and Escape Studios.
The need for industry standard environments for students’ studies led him to introduce professional facilities such as motion capture and outside broadcast into the curriculum, providing students with an opportunity to develop highly desirable skillsets and to help shape the future of the creative industries.
Ian’s is a board member of Bradford’s City of Film, which was successful in obtaining recognition from UNESCO as the world’s first designated ‘City of Film’. He is a member of the BBC Trust’s Audience Council England and as part of this role chairs the Yorkshire Regional Panel.
Ian’s research interests are computer games, animation and virtual environments and he is a member of the Centre for Visual Computing His work includes the use of behavioural approaches to animation to provide a richer and easier to use simulation environments with applications in computer animation and computer games.
At the time of his Award, Ian was Head of the School of Media, Design and Technology at Bradford, but he has since taken up the position of Deputy Vice Principal at Pearson College.