Dr David White

Senior Lecturer

Digital, Tech, Innovation & Business

After graduated with a 1st in in Computer Science from Staffordshire University in 2000, I joined the emerging VR industry This involved developing an anti-aircraft cannon simulation for the Royal Navy with the team at Virtual Presence (now Virtalis).

I then moved to the games industry, working at Headfirst Productions on the now cult XBOX / PC title Call of Cthulhu, Dark Corners of the Earth.

From 2006 to 2009 I undertook a PhD in Artificial Life and Simulation at the University of Birmingham. My research measured and evaluated simulation complexity. Simulations were based on the marine biology situated in and around the artificial reef HMS Scylla in the sea off Plymouth.

During this period I founded my company, Secret Attic Software. My first contract being a marine biology simulation game for the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth in collaboration with Professor Bob Stone at the University of Birmingham.

After gaining my PhD, in 2009, I moved on to become team lead for 3D Technologies at Astraware, a games company. I developing several mobile games for iOS and Android including the best-selling Astraware Mahjong.

In 2012 I made the decision to work independently and left Astraware in order to grow my company full time. Over five years Secret Attic Software won several contracts with organisations such as the NHS, the Ministry of Defence, Keele University and Coventry University with a peak annual turnover of £110k.

I joined Staffordshire University in late 2017 where I am PGR Lead / Course Lead for PhDs and Research Lead in the department of Games and Visual Effects. Research interests are in Artificial Life, Artificial Intelligence, VR, and AR.

I arranged and chaired the Joint Conference for Serious Games at Staffordshire University in 2022, after which I was invited to become a committee member. I am also a panel member for the BCS HCI conference at Keele University.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Fellow of the HEA (Higher Education Academy)
  • External Examiner for Keele University
  • Panel and Committee Member for the International Joint Conference for Serious Games
  • Panel member for the BCS Human Computer Interaction conference

Academic qualifications

  • PhD Artificial Life and Simulation, 2009. University of Birmingham.
  • BSc (hons), 1st Class, Computer Science. Staffordshire University.


  • Post-graduate research supervision
  • Project Management
  • Research and development in academia and industry
  • C++
  • 3D Graphics Programming
  • Artificial Life
  • Agent Based Modelling

Research interests

  • Artificial Life
  • Agent Based Modelling
  • Simulation
  • Serious Games

Enterprise and commercial interests

I am actively working with the Staffordshire University SDIP programme to generate income and help local businesses to develop mobile game-based projects.

I have worked on several projects in industry and academia, developing applications for the health, education, and serious games for training. This has involved organisations such as the NHS, the British Army, Royal Navy, Keele University and Coventry University.



  • Further Games and Graphics Concepts
  • Artificial Intelligence (Levels 5 & 6)
  • Low Level Games Programming
  • Advanced Graphics and Real Time Rendering.


  • PhD research in Serious Games and Artificial Intelligence
  • MSc research in Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence


  • The impact of banner advertisement placement for Arabic readers and advertising outcomes, Wael Elzanatay, Nikos Kalogeras, David White (2022), BCS HCI Conference, Keele University
  • Beyond Simulation: Establishing First Principles of Fidelity in the Design of Digitalised Abstract Learning Content, Gareth Davis, David White (2022), BCS HCI Conference, Keele University
  • A Review on Plastic Artificial Neural Networks: Exploring the Intersection between Neural Architecture Search and Continual Learning, Mohamed Shahawy, Elhadj Benkhelifa, David White, (2022)
  • White, D. (2022). Adaptive functions in an agent-based model of an economic system. Adaptive Behavior
  • Bedson J., Cooke K., White D., Wathall S., Dent S., Chen Y., van der Windt D. Validity, acceptability, and clinical usefulness of a smartphone tablet application for monitoring pain in patients with musculoskeletal conditions. (2018)
  • Stone, R., White, D., Guest, R. et al. The Virtual Scylla: an exploration of “serious games”, artificial life and simulation complexity. In: Virtual Reality(2009)
  • White D. Developing Artificial Life Simulations of Marine Biology and Exploring Measures of Complexity. In: Computer Modeling and Simulation, 2008. EMS 2008 (2008)
  • White D. Variance in Water Temperature as a Factor in the Modelling of Starfish and Mussel Population Density and Diversity. In: Advances in Artificial Life. ECAL 2007 (2007)

External profiles

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021