Computing Lecturer honoured at national STEM awards

Date: Thursday 26th October, 2023

A Computing Lecturer has spoken of his delight that gaming is “a recognised subject in STEM student achievement” after being honoured at a national awards ceremony.

Richard Hebblewhite, Programme Leader for Game Development, Game Design & Enterprise and Game Art at Prifysgol Wrecsam/Wrexham University, received a Highly Commended for the STEM Ambassador of the Year prize at the 2023 Wales STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Awards, which took place recently in Cardiff. 

He was hailed for being a role model to others by encouraging participation, diversity and inclusion in STEM, and going above and beyond to further the STEM agenda in Wales.  

Speaking after the awards, Richard, who was instrumental in establishing Games Talent Wales – a national talent development programme, which was founded at the university – said it was “an enormous honour” to have received the Highly Commended prize. 

He said: “I feel extremely proud to have been Highly Commended for the STEM Ambassador of the Year prize, it’s an enormous honour for me and the team here in Wrexham – and I couldn’t do what I do without the team’s incredible support.  

“For me, I feel delighted that gaming as a subject is being recognised in STEM student achievement and part of the STEM discussion. Frustratingly, it can get overlooked and people often only associate it with entertainment but gaming is actually a hard science and requires students to utilise a range of important skills, such as programming, coding, problem solving skills and much more.

“Recognition like this demonstrates the impact that gaming has in terms of real-world application, beyond entertainment purposes.  

“I would also like to take this opportunity to give a massive congratulations to all of the main award winners on the night.” 

The 2023 Wales STEM Awards celebrates those leading the sector in Wales, including those creating an impact on the Welsh economy, those who are addressing the STEM diversity gap and skills shortage, as well as those, who are inspiring and raising aspirations of the next generation.  

Amy Rattenbury, Programme Leader for Forensic Science and Forensic Anthropology & Bioarchaeology at the university, was also shortlisted in the STEM Woman of the Year category, which recognises inspirational women and their work as ambassadors within the STEM industry to shine a light on the sector.