Professor Brendan Walker, who can normally be found advising theme parks or consulting on TV shows on how to create the most ‘thrilling’ experience, has joined Middlesex University.
Known as a ‘Thrill Engineer’ and currently starring in a Channel 4 series titled ‘The House the 50s built’, Brendan Walker has been appointed by the University as Professor of Creative Industries to engineer further opportunities for Middlesex students to engage with creative industry partners and projects.
Walker, who has an impressive client list, will engage students in professional projects through his creative company ‘Aerial’, a design practice specialising in the creation of tailored emotional experiences. Creating a unique niche for himself, his projects blend strategies from the arts, design, engineering and psychology to make intriguing interactive electromechanical installations, sculptures and rides or stage engaging events.
This work has seen him collaborate on projects with major UK theme parks including Alton Towers, and Thorpe Park, as well as high profile attractions such as London Eye, The London Dungeon and Madam Tussauds, all benefitting from his skills at creating an engaging experiences for their visitors.
Brendan said: “More and more companies are looking for talented graduates that can effectively bridge between different subject areas, bringing together the arts, science and new digital technologies as the user experience becomes increasingly important. We will see an increase in demand for those able to do this, and it’s part of a university’s responsibility to ensure that students are capable and are industry ready when they graduate’.
Part of Walker’s remit will be to look at the skills needed in industry and ensure Middlesex’s courses are covering these or offer opportunities through commercial projects to gain them.
He said: “One of the best things about my job is that I take on a range of exciting projects in different sectors which many other jobs aren’t able to offer. I’ve just started working with the car giant Nissan, but have worked with clients from London’s museums, broadcasters like the BBC and Discovery Channel, to Disneyland Resort Paris. My role will allow me to get Middlesex students exposure to this range of projects and the creative industries networks,” added Walker.
Walker can currently be seen in his new four-part series on Channel 4 ‘The House the 50s built’, which celebrates the science behind the inventions and innovations that transformed the way we lived and made 1950s Britain modern. It’s being screened on Thursday and is currently half way through the series.
Middlesex students have already benefited from similar creative partnerships working on exciting projects such as pop star Ellie Goulding’s music video, creating illuminating jackets for Take That and an LED top for an advertisement that featured on national Belgium television. These were organised though the University’s link to top designer Moritz Waldemeyer.
Photo: Prof. Brendan Walker