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Revitalising Engineering Education at UCL

Emanuela Tilley photo courtesy of UCL Engineering / Photo by Miranda Laughlin

"AT UCL Engineering, we are known for taking bright, thoughtful, creative people and giving them the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to engineer a better world."

8 July 2016

"AT UCL Engineering, we are known for taking bright, thoughtful, creative people and giving them the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to engineer a better world. We teach them to think, model, design, make, analyse, challenge, decide, reflect and innovate, and then let them practice what they’ve learned by tackling engaging projects and undertaking cutting edge research that address real-world problems. Most importantly, we give our students the chance to develop as individuals and follow their own intellectual interests, while providing the structure they need to develop a coherent body of expertise.”

UCL Engineering has been engaged in a major programme of curriculum review and development. This is being led by two faculty-level leadership positions, which are responsible for the coordination and development of the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula across the 11 departments that make up the UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences. Both of these programmes aim to significantly enhance the student experience of a total of over 4000 taught students within the faculty.

Emanuela Tilley is leading efforts, across the faculty, focused on providing an innovative platform for undergraduate students to apply their engineering knowledge acquired in core technical courses, engage in authentic and interdisciplinary engineering practice, and develop a suite of professional skills that will best serve them in their chosen careers. She has recently taken on the role of Director of the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) at UCL after working as part of the original team of teaching fellows brought together to lead its curriculum design, development and delivery. She is proud to lead a cross faculty team, which is creating a teaching and learning environment within UCL Engineering that encourages and supports students to take a leading role in their own learning.

Educated in mechanical and civil structural engineering, Emanuela returned to academia after working for 7 years as a consulting engineer, leading multi-disciplinary engineering teams in the design and testing of the world’s most unique tall towers and structures. Her unique background fuels her passion for creating student opportunities in authentic practice of engineering design and analysis, which includes tackling ‘real-world’ engineering problems as well as global challenges.

As Director of UCL Engineering’s Postgraduate Taught Transformation Programme, Jenny Griffiths is reviewing and shaping Master’s level Engineering teaching around UCL’s key strengths of interdisciplinarity and research-based teaching. She aims to improve the experience of postgraduate education for both the students and their educators, ensuring all postgraduate students leave with the skills and core knowledge to enable them to become leaders in their chosen careers.

Jenny has a background in physics – sparked by a childhood wish to be an astronaut, and nurtured by a father with an endless supply of Airfix models, Lego and Meccano. She developed an interest in Biomedical Engineering after attending a guest lecture on Maxilo-facial reconstruction during the second year of her physics degree and after graduation moved to UCL to pursue this area further. Since then, she has worked in radiation physics research and taught Physics and Engineering to Medical Physicists, Biomedical Engineers, Clinicians and Biologists.

Jenny discovered her love of teaching and improving the student experience when she began lecturing regularly during her PhD in medical radiation physics. She noticed that her lecture-theatre based class were struggling to grasp practical concepts that are second nature in the laboratory and so introduced laboratory sessions into their curriculum to give them hands-on experience.

Photo: Jenny Griffiths, courtesy of Institute of Physics

Photo: Jenny Griffiths, courtesy of Institute of Physics.

Main photo courtesy of UCL Engineering / Photo by Miranda Laughlin.

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