NewRail

Staff Profile

Dr Graham Morgan

Head of School

Background

Graham Morgan has worked, and led, industry focussed research for over 20 years in the areas of distributed systems, cloud computing, real-time simulations (video game technologies), and digital healthcare. He is the director of Networked and Ubiquitous Systems Engineering (NUSE) Group, jointly with Professor Rajiv Ranjan, in the School of Computing. He is well known for establishing and leading the Game Technology Lab which hosts the industry led Game Engineering MSc. This MSc has provided many global games companies (e.g., Activision, TT Games, Creative Assembly, Rockstar North, NVidia, Ubisoft) with over 350 alumni since the courses inception 10 years ago and has allowed participation on many of the top selling video games of all time.

Graham has helped to secure research funding of over £25 million through global scientific collaboration with over £5 million directly attributed to his own research projects within his research group. He has served on over 50 international conference committees, edited and reviewed for top international journals, acted as a project reviewer for a number of governments, presented invited talks across a number of continents, and been invited to attend many events at a number of learned societies (e.g., Royal Society, IEEE, ACM, BCS). Recently he has engineered third strand activity through company creation and, in doing so, has been a finalist and won a number of industry awards.

Area of expertise: Cloud Computing, Video Games, Distributed Systems, Deep Learning

Google Scholar: Click here.


Research

Current Topics

There are fundamental changes occurring in how the scientific community of computing addresses the digital global challenges facing us today. Traditionally, our community has addressed society's challenges through predefined algorithmic solutions, static in their nature of deployment, with human oversight a key backstop to alleviating unforeseen problems. This approach is evolving to a data driven, highly autonomous approach where digital solutions must develop and evolve with minimal human oversight. This has brought Graham's previous research to focus on:

  • Artificial Intelligence for improving system autonomy and resilience
  • Machine learning combined with statistical analysis for evolving system delivery
  • Evolutionary distributed systems through AI governed emergent behaviours
  • Real-time simulation of deformable materials for modelling natural phenomena 

Research Legacy

Distributed Systems (1990s)

In the 90s Graham worked on classic consensus problems for asynchronous and synchronous networks and published in the area of fault-tolerant computing. Graham's most well known work from this era was the development of the NEWTOP group communications service (delivered in C and Java for middleware services). This work was primarily funded by Hewlett Packard and the UK Research Council.

Online Gaming (2000 - 2010)

With a degree of foresight, Graham progressed his work to deliver middleware support for the, then very new, online gaming industry. Of particular note are pioneering works that remove the need for geographic segmentation and duplication of the playing area (known as shards in those days) to allow complete free roaming of expansive online virtual worlds. This work was primarily funded by the UK Research Council and video game industry partners (e..g., Nvidia).

Digital Healthcare & Serious Gaming (2010 - 2020)

By combining video game technologies with cloud computing support Graham worked on a number of high profile research projects delivering improved healthcare outcomes for patients. Of particular success were two Wellcome Trust projects delivering stroke rehabilitation in the home through commodity video game technologies and eye disease diagnosis through gaming on mobile devices. There were many notable successes, both scientifically and commercially, during this period including a collaboration with the famous author Anne Fines (Mrs. Doubtfire, Jamie & Angus) to bring improving health outcomes for children with Cerebral Palsy through interactive digital story telling.

Research Grants

  • UK-Australia Centre in a Secure Internet of Energy: Supporting Electric Vehicle Infrastructure at the "Edge" of the Grid, EPSRC, Start date: 01/07/2021, End Date: 30/06/2024,£1,488,632 ( 5%)
  • Scalable Circular Supply Chains for the Built Environment, EPSRC, £362,849 (5%)
  • Deep Learning Physics Games Engine for Serious Gaming, UKRI (Northern Accelerator), Start date: 08/09/2019, End date: 31/05/2021, £40, 320 (100%)
  • Lost Children of the Frontier: Linking Past and Present at Vindolanda through Digital Gameplay, Arts Council England, Start date: 01/04/2019, End date: 01/04/2020, £36,000 (5%)
  • GCRF Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Start date: 01/02/2019, End date: 0/102/2024, £20,000,000 (3%)
  • ICURe Cohort 9: ASTEROID, the fun 3D eye test, Research England (formerly Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)), Professor JCA Read & Dr G Morgan, £30,940 (80%)
  • ‘Cabin Crew’ Virtual Reality Training Demonstrator, NCFE (Industry Contract), Dr Graham Morgan, Start date: 01/09/2016, End date: 28/02/2017,  £19,265 (100%)
  • Additional vision tests for Asteroid device, Medical Research Council (MRC),  Professor JCA Read & Dr G Morgan, £24,259 (50%)
  • HICF - Accurate and patient friendly measurement of binocular visual function using a 3D mobile device, Wellcome Trust, Professor JCA Read, Dr G Morgan, Mr MP Clark, Start date: 01/12/2014, End date: 28/02/2018, £1,197,609 (25%)
  • Augmented Reality Stories for Upper Limb Rehabilitation of Preschool Children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, Action Medical Research, Professor J Eyre & Dr G Morgan, Start date: 01/04/2013, End date: 31/08/2016,  ££109,372 (50%)
  • Limbs Alive: Monitoring of Stroke Rehabilitation, Wellcome Trust, Professor J Eyre, Dr G Morgan,  Start date: 01/01/2012, End date: 01/10/2015, ££2,022,257 (5%)
  • Concurrency Control for High Performance Memory, EPSRC PhD CASE Award, G Morgan, Start date: 01/10/2011, End date: 30/09/2014, £66,838
  • Economics-Inspired Instant Trust Mechanisms for the Service Provision Industry,  EPSRC, Professor A van Moorsel, Professor F Li, Dr G Morgan, Start date: 01/04/2008, End date: 31/03/2009, £163,248 (25%)
  • Networked Computing in Inter-Organisation Settings, EPSRC, Professor S Shrivastava, Professor A van Moorsel,  Dr P Ezhilchelvan,  Morgan, Dr G, Start date: 01/10/2005, End date: 30/09/2010, £416,919 (25%)
  • Trusted Coordination in Dynamic Virtual Organisations, EPSRC, Professor S Shrivastava, Dr G Morgan, Start date: 01/10/2003, End date: 30/09/2006, £359,617 (50%)
  • Middleware Services for Scalable Networked Virtual Environments, EPSRC, Dr G Morgan, Start date: 1/10/2003, End date: 30/09/2006, £69,753 (100%)

Esteem

After a career spanning over 20 years in an academic setting there have been many instances where Graham's contributions have been recognised by others. Recognition spans commercialisation of scientific research, international project reviewing and playing an active role in conference and journal management and development. He is also an active advocate for social change through the promotion of education for all, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • Invited delegate: Royal Society's Workshop on Human transformation: remembering and learning
  • Editorial Board Member: Service Oriented Computing and Applications
  • Associate Editor: International Journal of Computer Game Technology
  • Editor in Chief of Workshop Quality of Service Application Servers
  • Finalist in The Innovator Award sponsored by AXA Health Tech and You (Emvigr)
  • Keynote speaker at business event “Online Physiotherapy Powered by Video Games” for NHS and Regional Commissioners
  • Best Paper Award in ACM International Conference on Digital Health, Florence, Italy
  • Highlighted Case Study for The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (Emvigr)
  • Representative in Trade Delegation in the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Science Health Network Open Innovation Workshop, Guangzhou, China (Emvigr)
  • Best Paper Award in ACM Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on Applied Computing, Gyeongju, Republic of Korea
  • Best Paper Award in IEEE Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Awarded Centre of Excellence for Teaching by Nvidia Research
  • Best Paper Award in 13th International Conference on Algorithms and Architectures for Parallel Processing, Vietri sul Mare, Italy
  • £50,000 seed funding by The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (Emvigr)
  • Finalist in 14th Annual Big Chip Awards (with Research Assistant)
  • Best Paper Award in The 3rd International Conference on Creative Content Technologies. Rome, Italy
  • Invited Celebratory Paper in 50th Anniversary of Simulation and Gaming Journal (Sage Publishing)2009 - Invited Book Chapter - Advances in Computers: Social Networking and the Web
  • Chair of The Board of Judges for Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair, Fairfax, USA

Reviewing

  • UK research council (EPSRC)
  • EU Framework 7;
  • Expert Reviewer for European Research Council;
  • Irish Research Council (IRC)
  • IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies
  • IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification
  • IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering;
  • IEEE Transactions on Computer Graphics and Applications
  • IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
  • IEEE Transactions on Service Computing
  • IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing
  • ACM Computers in Entertainment
  • MDPI Sensors; Springer’s Service Oriented Computing and Applications Journal
  • Malaysian Journal of Computer Science
  • Elsevier’s Journal of Network and Computer Applications; Wiley’s Software Practice and Experience 


Teaching

Video Games

Graham created, and leads, the teaching of video game engineering at Newcastle. Over 20 years Graham  established an industry inspired Game Engineering MSc and BSc that have sent over 400 graduates directly into the global video games industry. Many students work on video games while still at Newcastle, contributing to video game titles that have sold in excess of $5 billion worldwide. This includes over 500 alumni on such games as, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel Superheroes, Lego, Dr Who, Fast & Furious, NFL, FIFA and many more. This also extends to the movie industry special FX development as games studios are increasingly working in this area. 

Courses

Computer Science (Game Engineering) BSc Honours

A three year degree programme with specialisation in the final year for those wishing to progress to careers in the video games industry. 

Computer Science (Game Engineering) MComp Honours

A four year degree programme with specialisation in the final two years with an emphasis on advanced programming techniques in C for graphics and simulation technologies.

Computer Game Engineering MSc

A one year masters programme with specialisation of advanced programming for game engine technologies.

Industry

Our degree programmes benefit from direct guidance from the video games industry. Over 40 companies sit on our advisory board that meets regularly as well as delivering the well-known Spring Video Game Seminar Series directly to our students throughout semester 2. All major brands and publishers are represented including Ubisoft, Activision, Nvidia, Microsoft, Warner Bros. SEGA, Sumo Digital together with many more.

Graham's Teaching

Graham teaches video games at all levels of the degree programmes as well mentoring and guiding taught projects in that area. Currently Graham teaches on:

CSC8501: Advanced C For Games

CSC3232: Gaming Technologies and Simulations

CSC8599 : Project and Dissertation in Computer Game Engineering

Outreach and Widening Participation

Game Lab (that hosts all teaching and research associated to video games at Newcastle) supports a wide range of activities to engage disadvantaged groups and encourage engagement with the higher education sector. This has included school visits, organising Q&A with the video games industry for school children, provisioning scholarships and bursaries with the aid of industry benefactors (e.g., Ubisoft).

If you would like Game Lab to help in any way then please get in touch.



Publications