Meet the Team

Brent Knowles - Senior Technical Lead

An experienced game designer and project lead with more than 15 years' experience in the video game industry, Brent manages the centre’s projects and works with the team as they assist local business partners to develop software solutions.

Before joining NAIT, he guided the user interface team at Beamdog on the enhanced edition for Planescape: Torment and was the project director for an unannounced project. Prior to that, as a technical lead within the design department at BioWare (EA Games) for ten years, he helped develop tools and technologies to leverage the creative potential of the teams he worked with. As a creative director, he also led technical and content teams on several award-winning video games including Neverwinter Nights and Dragon Age: Origins.

Brent completed a Bachlor’s Degree in Computer Science (1999) at the University of Alberta and considers himself a lifelong learner who constantly experiments with various technologies. He has also written extensively about the video game industry, including the "Lazy Designer" book series based on his experience with BioWare.

Sirak Ghebremusse - Senior Software Developer

Sirak has more than 13 years’ experience in computer graphics, serious gaming, visual effects for film, as well as augmented and virtual reality. Sirak brings with him extensive knowledge of Unity’s 3D game engine, having used it to develop training simulations, interactive applications, and mobile games.

Prior to joining NAIT Sirak worked at Edmonton’s ScopeAR, where he helped develop two augmented reality applications. Both applications used  Unity 3D’s game engine and the latest SDK’s for augmented reality from Vuforia, Microsoft, Apple, and Google. Sirak also has a few movies and short films under his belt having completed post-production work on films like Elysium, R.I.P.D., X-Men Days of Future Past, and Fast 7.

Sirak possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Alberta (2005) and is a graduate of Vancouver Film School’s 3D Animation and Visual Effects program (2011). He has recently completed his Deep Learning Specialization Course taught by Andrew Ng (Stanford/Coursera) and has completed his Unity Certified Programmer designation.

Om Shridhar - Software Developer

Om specializes in gameplay programming, augmented reality, virtual reality, and tools development.

Before joining NAIT, Om worked with e-learning companies in India. Working primarily with the Unity Engine, he helped deliver multiple games and auxiliary modules. Further, Om has two published titles within the Google Play Store.

Om holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from NIIT University (Rajasthan, India) and completed his post-graduate program in Game Programming from Sheridan College (Oakville, Ontario) in 2017.

Om constantly strives to learn new software development and process techniques that can be integrated into ongoing project work.

Having lived in Edmonton for close to a year, he has endured the majority of one NHL and one CFL season and concluded following World Cup Soccer or World Cup Cricket makes more sense. He enjoys traveling around the great outdoors in Alberta (Banff and Jasper specifically), live music, and is considering developing his skills as a lead guitar player in a live rock band.

Chris Nickerson - Software Developer

Prior to joining NAIT, Chris worked at BioWare as a Quality Analyst and Tester. He was credited with work on multiple 85+ Metacritic games and assisted in the development of 3 major titles. He led small teams through full development cycles and was a principle point of contact for QA on UI, gameplay, and online scrum teams.

Chris graduated from NAIT’s Digital Media and I.T. program with dual specializations in Game Programming and Computer Software Development. Chris recently achieved his Unity Certified Programmer designation.

A self-described technophile, Chris enjoys staying up-to-date with the latest innovations in both computer software and hardware. Being born and raised in Edmonton, Chris is an avid hockey fan. He is especially a fan of the Edmonton Oilers, despite the negative effect it has had on his emotions over the past 13 years. Like many Oilers fans during this time, Chris has gotten incredibly good at playing the online NHL Lottery Simulator. However, his (possibly na├»ve) optimism continues to allow him to think that “this year will be the Oilers year!”