Staff Directory

Dean Whitcombe known as Dean

Dean 400x288

Contact Details


BSc (Hons), PhD


Dean Whitcombe is an Immersive Learning and Hydra Technologist for the School of Health, Sport and Professional Practice within the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education.


• Manages the day-to-day running of the Hydra Simulation Centre
• Develops simulated scenarios and immersive learning material for various subject areas and courses throughout USW
• Develops and conducts simulated scenarios for outreach programmes and student recruitment (FE colleges, UHOVI, First Campus)
• Supports academic staff in designing simulated exercises that address specific research questions/ hypotheses
• Has received excellence awards relating to the enhancement of student learning and use of technology
• Provides pedagogic advice, guidance, encouragement and support on the use of technology to staff throughout USW
• Has worked in Higher Education as a technical and academic member of staff for over 15 years and has taught and assessed at levels 4, 5, 6 and 7
• Contributes to grant writing and externally funded projects

Dean is currently working on integrating Office 365 applications, voting software and virtual reality applications/ technologies into simulated activities here at USW.


Whitcombe D, Edwards E, Whistance R and Hawkins C (2020). Video games and police training – can ‘modding’ communities contribute? Police Professional. January.

Jones, C, Kell, C, Whitcombe, D, Spargo, D, Johnson, S, Fisher, S, Menard, H & Parsons, M 2019, ‘Creating spaces to share creativity: nurturing a community of expertise in simulation.’ SRHE Annual Research Conference 2019, Newport, United Kingdom, 11/12/19 – 13/12/19, .

Pontin, D., Thomas, M., Jones, G., O’Kane, J., Wilson, L., Dale, Whitcombe, D., Wallace, C. (2019) ‘Developing a family resilience assessment tool for health visiting/public health nursing practice using virtual commissioning, high-fidelity simulation and focus groups’, Journal of Child Health Care.

Whitcombe, D., Welch, D., Hawkins, C. and Martin, H. The Integration of Hydra Immersive Learning into Postgraduate, Higher and Further Education (oral presentation). ALT Annual Conference 2019, University of Edinburgh, 3-5 September 2019.

Whitcombe, D and Hawkins, C (2019). The Use of Virtual Reality in Immersive Learning and Decision Making- Defining Reality. Police Professional. January.

Thomas, L. J., Parsons, M., and Whitcombe, D. (2018). ‘Assessment in Smart Learning Environments: Psychological Factors Affecting Perceived Learning’. Computers in Human Behavior, In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2018.11.037.

Steggall E, Filipponi T and Whitcombe D. Use of Immersive simulated learning in a Master’s in Public Health Programme (presentation). Welsh Public Health Conference 2018. 08 – 09 November 2018, City Hall, Cardiff.

Clegg, D & Whitcombe, D 2018, “Using Hydra Minerva Facilities to Reinforce Conceptual Learning in Chiropractic Education: Real-Time Decision Making using a Simulated Patient Encounter” (Accepted for oral presentation). 10th Chiropractic Education Conference, London, England October 24-27, 2018

Clegg, D & Whitcombe, D 2018, ‘The ’Hydrapractic’ Initiative: Innovative and Immersive Learning for Chiropractic Students, Using Police and Emergency Services Training Tools ’ European Chiropractors’ Union Convention, 3/05/18 – 3/05/18.

Thomas, L. J., Parsons, M., and Whitcombe, D. (2018). ‘FALSE! Factors Affecting Learning in Smart Environments: A Case Study’. USW Learning and Teaching Conference, 30th June 2018.

Developing and Validating the FRAIT (Family Assessment Instrument and Tool) for Health Visitor Practice in Wales. Wales Public Health Conference 2017.

Developing and Validating the FRAIT (Family Assessment Instrument and Tool) in Wales. Community Health: Action for Change Conference (Sept 2017). ICCHNR.

Testing an All Wales Family Resilience Assessment Instrument (FRAIT) for Health Visiting Using Hydra Minerva Suite Simulation Technology. Chief Nursing Officer for Wales 2016 Showcase Conference (25th May, Cardiff).

Retallick, C, Whitcombe, D, Davies, B, McDonnell, B, Munnery, M, Cockcroft, JR & Williams, S 2015, ‘Increased arterial stiffness is associated with overweight and obesity and low physical fitness in children’ Appetite, vol 87, pp. 381.

Hodson, D, Marley, C, Fall, L, Evans, K, Whitcombe, D, Brugniaux, J, New, K & Bailey, D 2013, Heart rate variability: the impact of hypoxia and gender. in Proceedings of The Physiological Society. vol. Proc 37th IUPS, PCA266, 37th World Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 21/07/13.

Fall L, New KJ, Brugniaux JV, Evans KA, Hodson D, Marley C, Whitcombe DM and Bailey DM. Haemostasis in hypoxia and exercise: an antioxidant intervention. Physiology 2012, Main Meeting Physiological Society.

Evans, K, Brugniaux, J, Marley, C, Hodson, D, Fall, L, Whitcombe, D, New, K & Bailey, D. Disassociation between exhaled NO and venous NO2-; implications for quantification. Physiology 2012, Main meeting Physiological Society.

Retallick, C.J., Whitcombe, D.M., Davies, B., Hullin, D.A., McDonnell, B., Munnery, M., Cockcroft, J.R. and S.R.P. Williams. Elevations in alanine aminotransferase are associated with insulin resistance, overweight and obesity and low aerobic fitness levels in children and adolescents. Diabetes and Obesity. Association for the Study of Obesity Conference, University College London, November 2011 and Appetite (2012).

Cunniffe B, Hore AJ, Whitcombe DM, Jones KP, Davies B, Baker JS. Immuno-endocrine responses over a three-week international rugby union series. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2011 Jun;51(2):329-38.

Cunniffe B, Hore AJ, Whitcombe DM, Jones KP, Baker JS, Davies B. Time course of changes in immune-endocrine markers following an international rugby game. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009.

Retallick CJ, Baker JS, Williams SRP, Whitcombe D and Davies B. Plasma volume response to 30s cycle ergometry: influence on lipid and lipoprotein. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2007) 39 (9): 1579–1586.

DM Whitcombe, CJ Retallick, B Cunniffe, G Dunseath, SD Luzio, H Blundell, S Darlington, W Evans, B Davies and SRP Williams. Effect of aerobic exercise training on visceral adipose tissue, liver fat and glucose tolerance in previously sedentary, overweight, non-diabetic men. 2nd International Congress on Prediabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome, Barcelona, Spain, April 25-28th 2007.

DM Whitcombe, CJ Retallick, B Cunniffe, G Dunseath, SD Luzio, B Davies and SRP Williams. Augmentation index decreases during an oral glucose tolerance test in obese men. Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference 2006 29-31 March 2006 – ICC & NIA, Birmingham.

Whitcombe DM, Taylor J, James P, Frenneaux MP and SRP Williams. Serum adiponectin in relation to multiple measures of total and regional adiposity and liver fat in obese men. 1st International Congress on Prediabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome, Berlin, April 13th-16th 2005.



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