Dr Jo Twist OBE speaking at Staffordshire University London

Our industry partners

Meet the experts that drive us into new industries.

At Staffordshire University London, our focus is your employability. To give you a competitive edge in your chosen digital industry after you graduate, it’s our responsibility to give you the latest desirable skills and knowledge to stand out from the crowd. Our Advisory Board is made up of a selection of active professionals who have mastered careers in the digital industries. They represent some of the biggest companies around the globe, and help us make sure our courses are relevant, up-to-date, and successful in filling the skill gaps in industry.

Bhavin Bhagalia - Microsoft

In his role as Enterprise Higher Education Executive at Microsoft, Bhavin contributes to evangelism and adoption of Microsoft services, including productivity tools, smart buildings and gaming and esports. Bhavin works with University leaders across the UK, but focuses much of his time in the Midlands.
Bhavin Bhagalia


Ian Gardner - IBM

Ian has over 25 years’ consulting experience on large-scale, complex projects and has worked for IBM for 20 years. He is a Distinguished Technical Specialist, Certified Technical Specialist, Expert Solutions Specialist and, an IBM Academic Ambassador.  He is a chartered member of the British Computer Society.  On top of this he is a member of the IBM Academy of technology (AOT) which is a community of the best technical minds in IBM who provide innovation, technical advice and critiques as well as supporting cultural change across all business units and across the globe.

For the past five years Ian has led a large, high-profile proof of concept to create the factory of the future using industry 4.0 principles. This was the reference project in the 2017 UK Government’s Made Smarter Report.  In 2018 he was a finalist in the Times Management Consultancy Association (MCA) awards.

He works closely with the UK High Value Catapult Centres such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).  His role as an academic ambassador means that he works closely with Universities.  He is Chair of the Sheffield University Industrial Advisory Board, a member of the Staffordshire University Advisory Board and has lectured at Imperial College.

Ian Gardner


Miles Jacobson OBE

Miles Jacobson OBE is Studio Director of Sports Interactive (SI), the studio behind the best-selling Football Manager series. Miles has been involved with SI for more than 20 years and has been running the studio since 1999. Under Miles’ management, SI has grown from a fledgling start-up to become one of the best-known names in UK game development, with a staff of more than 100 and a network of more than 1,300 scouts across the globe.

SI has ongoing relationships with some of the biggest names in professional football, including the Bundesliga, the EFL, the League Managers Association and many other leagues and associations around the world. SI became a wholly owned subsidiary of SEGA in 2006. Further information on the company and its games is available at www.sigames.com. In addition to his work with SI, Miles is also active in the UK games trade body, UKIE (http://ukie.org.uk/) and is involved in a number of charities including War Child UK (https://www.warchild.org.uk/) and Nordoff Robbins (https://www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk/).

Miles Jacobson OBE


Sam Cooke

As Managing Director and Co-Founder, Sam heads up the Esports Insider team and runs things day to day. This includes partnerships, business development, the planning and delivery of events, ESI Media, and more broadly expanding ESI’s coverage and brand services. The company’s B2B events repertoire include the Forum Series, the ESI Hall of Fame, ESI London and ESI NYC. Esports Insider is recognised as one of the best and most established industry focused news sites worldwide.

Sam also advises the likes of Rewired.GG, the venture fund behind Team Vitality.

Sam Cooke

Andrew Roughan - Plexal/Lorca

Andrew havs spent the predominant part of his career in Technology Service Providers within the telecoms and data centre sectors, driving business transformation for clients. As a result, he brings a fresh approach to the traditional corporate real estate market in London

Andrew first got involved with Here East in 2011 where he was a founding member of the bid team who successfully acquired a 200-year lease from the London Legacy Development Corporation to transform the former Press and Broadcast Centres on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

His role makes him responsible for creating the eco-system and community where large and small companies collide, allowing them to benefit from one another’s scale and creativity, together with ensuring delivery of the Legacy goals that Here East aspires to.

Andrew Roughan

Jamy Nigri - Birdstack

No college degree. Completely self-taught via a library card. Jamy feels that having the world’s information at one’s fingertips via a mobile device doesn’t make one smart — it just means ‘easy.’ After the better part of a decade in F2P and publishing globally, the only thing Jamy knows for sure is that gaming moves so fast — that a seat belt is needed.  

Pre gaming, Jamy worked for a Fortune 100 company [Disney], founded 7 companies on 3 continents, ran an airline and was a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security. None of which is as cool as gaming! 

Jamy Nigri

Tom Sweeney - Kyma Media

Tom Sweeney is Managing Director of Kyma Media. Kyma is one of the biggest and most influential media owners and publishers in the world, with a network of millions of fans across Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and beyond. Kyma’s radical and agile approach spans from its team and culture through to the results in achieves for its clients.

Tom was previously the Director of Social Chain’s gaming portfolio where he grew the companies network to become the most viewed in the world. After starting his own gaming communities throughout his school and college years, Tom was quickly scouted by Jagex where he rose through the ranks, to become their Head of Community Management within a few years. As a gamer himself, his innate ability to relate and engage with like-minded gamers was clear from the onset. Tom oversaw Community Management for Jagex’s entire portfolio and won the Community Management of the Year award at the MCV Awards 2018.

As a pioneer in building social media communities, Tom has a unique understanding how these communities can be leveraged by marketeers to turn their fans into ambassadors.

Tom Sweeny

Perry Smith - Right Formula

Perry is Business Director for Esports at Right Formula, a sports and entertainment marketing consultancy based out of London. Perry’s works across all of Right Formula esports operations to existing and new clients to help them drive business performance within the space.

Perry had previously been Director of Partnerships at GINX TV and has been a passionate member of the esports industry for a number of years.

Perry Smith
Top 250 Young University

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021