Faculty from the Department of Computer Science use their experiences in the industry to bring an attitude of innovation into the classroom. Students taking courses in this department learn foundational concepts in computer science, which enable them to understand concepts from the ground up that lead to a wide range of future specializations and potential careers.
Department Chair - Computer Science
Jon Sanchez graduated as a technical engineer in computer systems from Mondragon Unibertsitatea in 2010. He later earned his BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation in 2015 from DigiPen Europe-Bilbao and a master’s degree in visual analytics and big data from the Universidad Internacional de La Rioja.
After his graduation, he founded Kaia Studios with other DigiPen graduates and released Dynasty Feud on Steam and PlayStation 4. After his endeavor as a developer, he returned to DigiPen in 2017 to teach a variety of computer science classes from entry level to advanced courses. As a computer graphic enthusiast, he enjoys showing students how math and physics are crucial to rendering amazing images on a computer screen.
“As a former DigiPen Institute of Technology Europe-Bilbao student, I know what the students are going through, and it is a satisfaction to see how their efforts always pay off,” Sanchez says.
Senior Associate Professor
Iker Silvano received a BS in Computer Science and Engineering with an emphasis on real-time software programming from the University of Deusto in 2007. His professional experience as a software engineer includes developing real-time 3D software for experimental networked display systems, as well as participating in the development of non-published video games. Before joining DigiPen, Silvano also worked as a computer science instructor.
Silvano’s main area of focus is programming and general software engineering, with an emphasis on advanced programming techniques, optimization, software architecture and game engine internals. He currently teaches Advanced C/C++ Programming, Low-Level Programming and Optimization, and Artificial Intelligence for Games. He also supervises and conducts the junior level video game projects, where he guides students in designing and building a 3D video game from scratch.
“One of the main reasons I enjoy working at DigiPen is because it demands pushing the limits of my skills, knowledge, and understanding of the subjects I’m in charge of, in order to enable the students to create beautiful, complex systems that combine smart engineering with imaginative art,” Silvano says.
Eder graduated with a BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation from DigiPen in 2014 with a minor in mathematics. After graduating, he spent several years working at a gaming company related to visual health as a lead engine developer along with other DigiPen graduates. Soon after, he worked as a freelancer (backend, frontend, DevOps) in the education sector making his own games, often using custom engines.
Although he enjoys developing different forms of technology, he currently focuses his efforts on studying algorithms related to physics engines like collision detection and space partitioning. He also works on graphics engines (OpenGL, Vulkan, etc.), networking and data structures, and competitive programming related algorithms. Even if he finds gameplay programming and game design interesting, he likes to focus more on the less visible code, such as engine code and tools code for programmers, artists, and designers.
His hobbies include music composing, guitar playing, video games, software security, and programming his own pet projects which range from Arduino programming to creating tools that help productivity in daily tasks.
Dean of Academic Affairs
Thomas Komair graduated with a BS in Real-Time Interactive Simulation from DigiPen Institute of Technology’s Redmond, Washington, campus in 2010. Prior to teaching, Komair worked for DigiPen (USA) Corp., developing in-house tools, applications, and internal technologies.
In 2014, Komair co-founded AHeartfulOfGames, where he was in charge of production and marketing for its first game Heart&Slash, as well as on co-productions such as Dynasty Feud, developed by Kaia Studios.
Although his primary interests lie in the technical knowledge required to develop high-quality video games, Komair’s experience in independent game development has had him tackle new kinds of challenges not directly related to development, such as marketing, community management, and public relations. It is these insights and more that Komair strives to bring to the classroom, helping prepare future generations of game developers for an evolving industry.
At DigiPen Institute of Technology Europe-Bilbao, Komair has taught a variety of courses, ranging from computer graphics, animation, and engine architecture. Additionally, he also supervises the sophomore game projects.
“My favorite part about teaching at DigiPen is the end of the semester, after a year of hard work,” Komair says. “I get to see the confidence in the students’ eyes when they say, ‘We made this game from scratch!’”
Department Chair - Interactive Media and Design
Senior Associate Professor
Dani Andia graduated with a BA in Computer Science from the University of Deusto in 2005. During his college years he developed several projects focusing on video games and real-time simulation. After that he joined the Xerox Corporation team (Dublin based), where he worked as a software developer before moving to Barcelona. His eagerness to expand his knowledge led him to pursue a master’s degree in video game design and programming at the Pompeu Fabra University, where he started to create his first professional video games with developers from Sony, Ubisoft, and Nintendo.
His experience includes working on game projects for the PC, PS3, Xbox, Wii U, and 3DS platforms for companies like Mercury Steam Entertainment, Delirium Studios, and Pixel Cream. Some of the games he has been involved in — including the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow trilogy, The Rivers of Alice, and others — have won awards at important game events like E3, IGF, and GameLab.
At DigiPen, Andia teaches game project development courses across different cohorts, guiding students in game design and programming. He also teaches the game design and mobile development classes. He enjoys sharing his expertise and love for games, as well as helping students find their place in the video game industry.
Lead Project Coordinator
Josu Garai graduated with a BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation and a minor in mathematics from DigiPen Institute of Technology’s Redmond, Washington campus. He is also recognized as the winner of the “Student of the Year” award. Currently, he is working towards a Masters in European Project Management at the University of Basque Country.
As an industry professional he has worked multiple roles as a programmer, producer, and project manager across various game projects, virtual reality, real estate, technological, and nuclear industries. He specializes in project management, aiding companies to gather the big picture of their development processes while looking at the improvements of specific processes fostered by best practices.
At DigiPen Europe-Bilbao, Garai teaches foundational computer science courses such as Operating Systems, C/C++ Programming, and Software Engineering. He also guides students as the instructor for first-year game project classes, where he aims to translate processes and practices from the outside world to the classroom. Furthermore, he works as the lead project coordinator overseeing the development of internal, external, and international projects.
Aitor Camacho graduated with a BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation from DigiPen Europe-Bilbao in 2019. He developed his love for computer graphics during his studies and has since been involved in projects along the whole graphics stack.
After graduation, Camacho extended GPU debugging tools as a freelancer before joining Ubisoft Berlin. There he partook in the development of The Settlers: New Allies where he focused on CPU/GPU performance tuning to bring the game up to standards for the Nintendo Switch. He also provided support for Skull and Bones at Ubisoft’s main studio in Singapore. Later, he joined Arm Norway for GPU driver performance analysis and improvement. Currently, he works with LunarG to improve the Vulkan ecosystem and driver quality.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing strategy games, learning new languages, and getting up to date with new graphics-related technologies. He is currently focused on improving his compiler development knowledge for GPUs.
Borja Portugal graduated with a BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation from DigiPen Europe-Bilbao in 2018. After graduating, he worked on a variety of games in roles focused on game engine development. He worked on Cyberpunk 2077 where he created tools for artists as a cinematic programmer. He later worked on an unannounced multiplayer FPS game building complex networked systems. Currently, he works as a graphics programmer for The Forge, developing and optimizing multi-platform rendering software for games on PC, mobile and consoles.
Portugal’s main area of focus is on very technical parts of game engines like graphics, collisions, and optimization. He is people-oriented and is always looking for ways to learn and share his knowledge with others.
“What I like most about teaching at DigiPen is that I can use all my experience to help students become professional game developers. I was a DigiPen Institute of Technology Europe-Bilbao student myself; I know the challenges students face and it feels good to know I can help them on their journey,” Portugal says.
Anabela Turlione, Ph.D.
Anabela Turlione completed her Ph.D. in Physics in 2015 and has since decided to venture into her other passion of drawing. Turlione began to study illustration while working on her dissertation on the cooling of neutron stars. She began animating in 2013.
From 2013 to 2020, she worked freelance in animation and illustration for a variety of clients from different parts of the world. She obtained two grants to produce and make Alunados, her first animated film that was funded by Argentina’s National Endowment for the Arts. She also participated in the I Destini animated documentary project, a film that won awards at the Indie Grits Film Festival, Aspen Film Festival, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. It was also nominated for best short documentary at 59th CINE Golden Eagle Awards.
Turolione returned to the world of science and has earned a master’s degree in data science. She currently teaches physics to engineers and artists at Digipen Institute of Technology Europe-Bilbao, where she attempts to find creative ways to combine her two passions of sciences and the arts.
Jon Lopez de Dicastillo
Jon Lopez de Dicastillo graduated in computer engineering from the University of Deusto in 2003. After graduating, he returned to the university to work on research projects in the field of multimedia and real-time 3D software. Later, he expanded his studies when he obtained a degree in sociology in 2011.
He has developed his professional career in the field of software engineering, working on various information management projects and performing tasks as a software engineer and software architect.
At DigiPen, Lopez instructs courses in computer science and currently teaches Computer Environment and High-Level Programming II: The C++ Programming Language. As a video game lover, he tries to get involved in student projects when possible.
“What I like most about teaching at DigiPen is helping students achieve their goals. Seeing how they go down the road and seeing how they grow personally and professionally.”