Michael Gardner, is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Digital Lifestyles Centre at the University of Essex, Colchester, UK. This centre explores future lifestyles based around the technical vision of ambient and pervasive computing. He has over 25 years experience in knowledge media both within the industrial research environment and academia. During that time he has worked extensively in the areas of virtual reality, e-learning, collaborative working, social software and the semantic web. He has worked closely with many industrial partners on innovative research projects, such as BT, Sun Microsystems, and Apple Computer. Michael has pioneered the use of virtual and mixed-reality systems for teaching and learning, having been the principal investigator on the MiRTLE project and the follow-on SIMiLLE project, both of which were based on the Open Wonderland platform. He is now involved in developing virtual reality systems to support government policy making in the EU Framework 7 +Spaces project.
Michael is on the Board of Directors of the Open Wonderland Foundation (http://openwonderland.org). He is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Virtual Learning Labs Inc, a company specialising in the use of 3D immersive environments. He is chair of the European chapter of the Immersive Education Initiative (http://europe.immersiveeducation.org/).