Introducing Professor Paul Egglestone

Head of School for the School of Creative Industries

Professor Paul Egglestone joins the University of Newcastle as the inaugural Head of School to lead UON’s new School of Creative Industries. He brings to his new role an extensive background in television and digital media production and a passion for collaborating across disciplines to connect students and researchers with industry – and each other -  nationally and internationally.

Paul was formerly the Director of Research and Innovation in the College of Culture and the Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) where he holds a chair in Digital and Creative Technologies.

He worked as an editor, camera operator and scriptwriter before establishing his independent production company, 421 Productions, which focussed on creating documentaries for BBC, ITV and Sky among others as well as making TV commercials and corporate films for a wide range of blue chip commercial clients and charities.

In 2012, Paul established the Media Innovation Studio at UCLan as an international research centre and learning lab using a business model to finance the studio through research grants, commercial activity (including training, consultancy and licensing of software and hardware products) and teaching. It’s founding aim was to work across disciplines to explore the potential of creative and digital technology to bring about positive change. Using disruptive design techniques, traditional social science and established practice based methods from the arts the Media Innovation Studio’s remit is to inhabit the liminal spaces between disciplines exploring researching and innovating within the digital eco-system evolving around us.Evidence of the relevance and success of their approach came this week as the Studio team announced funding from Google for their ‘Newsthings’ project.

As a passionate, award winning researcher, Paul has won large grants from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (including the award winning Interactive Newsprint), The Arts and Humanities Research Council (Participants United) and the National Endowment for Science technology and the Arts among others.

In collaboration with UCLan’s Centre for SME development he has recently won £1.4m from the EU to deliver a new programme equipping creative businesses with the skills they need to grow.

In 2013 Paul established the Civic Drone Centre after receiving funding of £350k from the UK’s Higher Education Innovation Fund. The Civic Drone Centre (CDC) works with companies, individuals and organisations that are using, or planning to use, remotely operated vehicles across a wide range of scenarios. These span search and rescue activity, journalism and media and humanitarian aid. It seeks to provide technology and know-how to these organisations, and collaborate with a range of partners – locally, nationally and internationally – to explore and develop new technologies and knowledge in this sector.

One of these technologies was AeroSee, a crowd sourced Unmanned Aerial (Search and Rescue) Vehicle.It was nominated as Design of the Year 2014 in a major international competition hosted by the London Design Museum where it was on display to over 800,000 visitors on London’s South Bank.

In July 2015 Paul represented the Civic Drone Centre at a policy forum supported by the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy. The forum, which included experts form the UN, Red Cross and drone manufacturer DJI, was established by Dr Patrick Meier to draft policy for the safe and coordinated use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in humanitarian settings. The guidelines were launched at the World Humanitarian Summit earlier this year.

Innovation within the curriculum has been fundamental to Paul’s academic practice over the past decade, which has led him to co-design, develop and lead three new Masters courses and over twenty modules delivered in the UK and in China. Most recently he worked with UCLan’s senior executive team liaising with the Ministry of Education in China to establish the HBU-UCLan School of Media, Communications and Creative Industries in Hebei, China.

An example of Paul’s approach to developing and enlivening the curriculum is illustrated by the creation of the online news website for journalism students subsequently called ‘HotPot’. The website won the BBC Partnership Award for Innovation in 2011. HotPot is a website for students bringing together photographers, print and broadcast journalists to publish stories on the site. It has also been well used as the publishing platform for students at partner Universities in China.

His own research is strongly focussed on social issues surrounding the creation and use of information technologies to both empower individual citizens and promote democratic ideals. He has pursued this interest by bringing together freelance journalists, film-makers, producers, photographers, game designers and artists together with development agencies to collaborate on projects aimed at addressing the challenges posed by digital convergence. As part of this work he developed a major cross platform narrative training programme with the BBC called inFUZE.

Paul has a long standing commitment to work that unites communities, technologists and content creators through collaborations with communities fostering citizen-led innovation using digital media technologies to identify and address real world problems. He recently led the award winning ‘Interactive newsprint’ project, and the NESTA funded participatory journalism project ‘Speak-Up-Preston’ which followed work on the EPSRC funded Preston based community journalism and design project ‘Bespoke’.

Another example of Paul’s connection with citizen media is the work he has done with his good friend and Media Innovation Studio colleague Dr George Ogola. Together with The African Woman and Child Features Service (AWC), a Nairobi-based Non-Governmental Organisation working to develop an African media sector committed to diversity, gender equality, social justice and development in Africa, Paul and George take teams of students to Africa where they run community journalism-training workshops whilst developing their own professional media skills in the process.

Paul is a peer reviewer for two UK research councils and several international Journals. He holds a number of leadership positions including as a founding member of both the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) Media Innovation Hub and the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference steering committee and has led the National Endowment in Science & Technology for the Arts (NESTA) strategic partnership for the School of Journalism and Media at UCLan.

He has given Keynote talks at a number of academic conferences, most recently at Mindtrek in Finland. He addressed the 68th World Newspaper Congress in Columbia in June this year and presented to the UK parliament policy briefing group on the sate of UK local media in April. He has previously led panels at the internationally acclaimed US film, interactive media and music festival South by South West, Indian arts festival Unbox and the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Publication highlights

Egglestone, P, Lochrie, M, Mills, J,, Metcalfe, T. (2015) Paper-based web connected objects and the Internet of Things through EKKO British HCI 2015, Papers and Notes

Garbett, A, Egglestone, P. et al: (2014), Finding “Real People”: Trust and Diversity in the Interface Between Professional and Citizen Journalists, CHI 2014, Papers and Notes

Taylor N, Egglestone P, Rogers J, Shorter M, Frohlich DM, Mills J, Marshall J, Blum-Ross A, Olivier P. (2014) 'Utilising insight journalism for community technology design'. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings, pp. 2995-3004

Egglestone, P, Ansell, D and Cook, C. (2013) UAVs in crowd tagged mountain rescue, Proceedings of International Conference on Making Sense of Converging Media, Pages 286, New York, NY, USA ©2013 ISBN: 978-1-4503-1992-8

Egglestone, P. (2013) Finding viable business models for developed world broadcast news. In: The Future of Quality News Journalism: a cross continental analysis. Routledge Research in Journalism . Routledge, New York. ISBN 978-0-415-53286-0:

Egglestone, P, Blum-Ross, A, Mills, J and Frohlich, D. (2012) Community journalism by design: reflections on the Bespoke project. Journal of Media Practice, 14 (3). p. 171. ISSN 1468-2753

Egglestone, P, Light, A, Wakeford, T and Rogers, J. (2011) Participant-Making: bridging the gulf between community knowledge and academic research. Journal of community informatics, 7 (3). ISSN 1712-4441

Egglestone, P. (2007) UK Television News. In: The Future of Journalism in the Advanced Democracies. Ashgate, pp. 139-156. ISBN 978-0-75464405-7