Dr. Maria Stukoff
Director, Morson Maker Space, Salford University
Dr. Maria Stukoff is in the business of up skilling technology-savvy talent, and is renowned for establishing global partnerships between industry and academia to bring about innovative research and product development through prototyping and incubation enterprises.
She has extensive experience in managing digital transformation programmes working with companies such as Sony PlayStation, BBC, The British Council, BAFTA, and as a certified LEGO Serious Play™ facilitator – a tool used to enhance business performance –worked with clients such as Rolls Royce, Trinity Mirror and Barclays. Maria was also instrumental in establishing the Next Gen Skills Academy for videogames, animation and VFX sectors working with UK’s media elite such as Framestore, Double Negative and Pinewood Studios.
Maria has a wealth of knowledge in commercial game development, curriculum development for digital media practices and technology research.In her previous role at Sony PlayStation, she built a global fleet of PlayStation incubators enabling university graduates to start-up businesses to publish their first game on PlayStation. As Head of Digital at the BBC Academy, she was responsible for the transformation of BBC’s online learning platform, launching the new BBC Academy website. Maria was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Game Education, for transforming the UK’s game development curriculum with key institution such as Abertay University, Norwich University of the Arts and Sheffield Hallam University, and holds a PhD in Art and Design for developing mobile games. Her projects have won numerous prestigious awards and commissions, with nominations for ‘Mentor of the Year’ for Women in Games and named one of the Top 30 Women in Games in the UK by the sector trade magazine MCV.
Maria joined University of Salford in 2017, as Director of the Morson Maker Space – a flagship for industry collaboration in additive manufacturing, 3D fabrication and digital design to attract the next generation of engineers and creative innovators. She works very closely with Morson Group as a key industry partner to champion diverse, equal and inclusive employment routes into engineering, and to encourage more girls into STEM-based subjects through Salford University’s well-established engineering school programmes and supporting the Athena Swan charter.