Take a break with Sonny Sardesai

Sonny smiles next to an impressive set up of eight monitors
Publication date:

Join us as we sit down with members of the Ravensbourne community to hear about what they're up to, what they enjoy doing in their free time, and - most importantly - what is their favourite break-time snack?

Hello! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your role at Ravensbourne.

Hi, my name is Sonny Sardesai. My role at Ravensbourne is Senior Lecturer for Digital Technologies and Games, currently leading BSc (Hons) Games Programming.

It’s time for a coffee break! What’s your go-to drink or snack?

Fresh lemonade and a Subway salad box!

How did you get to where you are now?

“I started off as a wannabe petrol head, dreaming big about becoming an automobile engineer. Circumstances forced me to become an Electronics Engineer instead. While working on my electronics projects, I developed a liking for computer games. I earned a postgraduate qualification in Animation and Multimedia to convert my interest in gaming into a productive endeavour.

“Soon after, I joined a game development company and worked as a 3D generalist. I gained many clients during this stint, which encouraged me to start my own venture. I took on numerous software development and 3D Game Art contracts for five years.

“I completed a Master’s degree in Computer Science and Game Design in 2012. I then combined my passion for automobiles and computer games by working for a AAA company that produced ‘Carmageddon: Reincarnation’, the first game to incorporate functional steering, suspension and transmission systems with a comprehensive damage mechanic.

“Fuelled with the elixir of success, I started my own company to develop games with interesting gameplay and simulators for automobile engineering in 2015. During this time, I provided coaching for many students and industry professionals.

“By 2018 I had realised that I possessed a talent for teaching. So, I taught Computer Science, Games Programming and Games Design at Staffordshire University for three years.

“At the start of 2022, I found that Ravensbourne had an opening that provided additional responsibilities and career progression. I found this opportunity unique because I believe that Ravensbourne is on the cusp of entering a golden era and it would allow me to contribute towards an extraordinary goal. And here I am!”

What is your favourite part of the role?

“My favourite part of the role is witnessing an elated student experience and excellent feedback due to our combined teaching efforts. I relish the moments when students place their faith in my teaching prowess implicitly, and I am delighted when the students appreciate the fact that my delivery improves their academic progress.”

What exciting projects are you currently working on?

“I am currently working on a KEF project to offer industry experience to our students from the games and animation departments right from the get-go. My idea is to provide live project slices and briefs to our students.

“These projects would increase in difficulty and scope every year until their graduation, within manageable limits and subject to a risk and feasibility analysis. This would allow Ravensbourne to increase its industrial presence.

"Students will also get actual experience working on live briefs. This will enhance the credibility of their resumes, resulting in an increased visibility and desirability for our graduates within the gaming sector.

“A third, hidden and indirect advantage is that once this initiative is successful, Ravensbourne will be able to offer an extended range of game art, game development, and game programming courses with added experience value.”

What do you do with your time outside of work?

“Outside of work, I volunteer at Chelmsford Hindu Society (CHS) (Registered Charity number: 1172630), work on my simulators, read English and Marathi literature, organise social events in my community, network with local business owners, and watch classic movies and TV shows.”

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

“Stand your ground and stick to your guns!”

Quickfire questions!

I can’t stop listening to… Chill Music Lab

My current favourite piece of clothing/accessory is… double-breasted waistcoats with a vintage pocket watch

My favourite way to exercise is… weightlifting!

My guilty pleasure is… Galaxy Smooth chocolate bars!