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Paper given at the 19th Annual INSPIRE – International conference for Process Improvement, Research and Education

30 Apr

I recently presented a paper at the international conference for Process Improvement, Research and Education in Southampton.  This annual event was organised by the British Computing Society in conjunction with the software quality group and the e-learning special interest group.  The paper outlines why there is currently an urgent need for innovation in the way that educational technology is evaluated in terms of evidencing the impact that it has on education, the organisation itself, as well as the staff and student users of the technology.

My slides can be seen here on slideshare.


Next year I will be a Co-Chair for the conference and it will be held here at Loughborough, in CEDE in the Keith Green Building.  I shall be encouraging contributions from as many learning technology staff as possible!

Invitation to the Uniquip Seminar

7 Aug

Uniquip Seminar – “Defining standards for the publication of research facilities and equipment data” – 18th & 19th September

Loughborough University is a partner in this national project and all interested colleagues are welcome to attend – please forward onto staff who may be interested.

You are invited to a national seminar on the subject of research equipment data sharing, supported by EPSRC and hosted by the University of Southampton, with key note speaker Professor Nigel Shadbolt.
The UNIQUIP Project (, launched in July this year, was established with the aim of driving developments in the sharing of research facilities and equipment datasets.  
This two day seminar will facilitate discussions and debate in some of the key areas of data sharing including:

  • Vocabulary development – creating data rich information
  • Technology developments – including interoperability
  • Sustainable practices – managing and integrating data
  • The future – creating national data sets

It is hoped that the outcome of the seminar, will be recommendations from the community, for the description, management and publication of data on UK research equipment and facilities.  The seminar promises to provide some fascinating insights, spaces are limited so register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Participation is invited from Research Managers and Co-ordinators, Data managers, Systems Developers, Laboratory and Facilities Managers, specialists from standards bodies, libraries and catalogues,  academics and researchers.

Keynote from Prof Nigel Shadbolt and presentations from CERIF, EPSRC, ESRC, Kit-Catalogue project and across the community.

18th and 19th September

University of Southampton

Free – (Kindly sponsored by the EPSRC through the UNIQUIP Project).

How to book your space?
Please visit

Announcement of HEA National Teaching Fellows

1 Aug

The Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship Scheme celebrates excellence in learning and teaching, recognising individuals for their positive impact on the student learning experience.  This year’s 55 recipients have been announced and I’m very pleased to say that my colleague Fiona Lamb, from the Centre for Engineering and Design Education at Loughborough University, is one of those.

Fiona, until recently, has been the Centre’s Associate Director and has been at Loughborough since 1996.  Since joining Loughborough, Fiona has been totally committed to establishing, developing and leading the support and promotion of engineering education at the University, across the UK and beyond and I’m exceptionally pleased that she has been recognised in this way.

Fiona will now be a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Engineering and Design Education and the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Loughborough University, and will continue to work with us in key areas.

To find our more, please visit Fiona’s profile on the HEA website.

Benefits of Membership to SEFI

9 Jul

SEFI is the European Society for Engineering Education and Loughborough University is currently a member.  This means that staff at Loughborough can benefit the advantages of being a member of this organisation.  These include:

1. Access to Publications (including)

2. Information:

  • about initial and continuing engineering education
  • about publications in the field of engineering education
  • about European cooperation programmes such as DELTA, SCIENCE, EUREKA, TEMPUS, Lifelong Learning Programme, Framework Programme (Research)

3. Participation:

  • free access to the different SEFI working groups, the backbone of SEFI
  • in seminars, workshops and conferences at reduced prices
  • in projects.

SEFI members currently have reduced prices for many events including the following:


09  Responsible Conduct in Training and Practice for Scientists and Engineers: Twin International Meeting
14  21st Century Workshop: The Role of Industry-University and Accreditation
23  10th Latin American and Caribbean Conference for Engineering and Technology
26  PAEE’2012 – Project Approaches in Engineering Education


07  ABET – IDEAL 2012
20  IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering 2012 (TALE 2012)
27  EADTU Anniversary Conference
29  7th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education


03  Abenge – 60 th Brasilian Congress of Engineering Education – COBENGE 2012
11  24th Annual EAIE Conference
13  AECEF Association Symposium 2012 – 20th anniversary of the foundation of AECEF
14  EUGENE Final Event – Public Closing Conference
17  WFEO Executive Council and World Engineering Forum
18  EE2012 – International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in Engineering Education
23  SEFI Annual Conference 2012
26  SEFI – General Assembly
IGIP – International Conference on Engineering Pedagogy


05  FEANI – General Assembly
12  World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) 2012
18  CESAER General Assembly
International Conference on Engineering & Business Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
29  5th Asia-Pacific Conference of Engineering and Technology Education (APCETE)

Version 1.0 of Kit-Catalogue now released

13 Jun

We’re pleased to announce the first full release of Kit-Catalogue.  You can download Kit-Catalogue v1.0.0 here:

IF INSTALLING – Please setup your web server, unzip the software, and follow the installation wizard by browsing to http://<your-site>/install/

IF UPGRADING – There are no database changes in this version, so those of you updating from v0.9.8 do not need to run the upgrade wizard.  However, this release does include a tidy-up of the code base, and the removal of many files that are no longer needed.  If you’d like a tidy installation, we’d advise deleting all the old application files before unzipping the new version, but please remember to leave your  local  and  writeable  folders in place!

Major improvements in this version include:

  • Improved the styling of the catalogue system, and included more support for custom restyling using your local CSS file.
  • Added an export to CSV option, so you can download all the item information your Kit-Catalogue installation contains.
  • Added custom field and homepage block administration functionality.
  • Added filtered browsing to aid users in finding the equipment they need.
  • Added an enquiry form to each item (enabled by default).
  • Added social network connectivity (disabled by default).

There are new configuration options available for some of these additions, so please check  app/config.php  for any options you wish to add and/or override in your  local/local_config.php file.

You can read more in the  docs/changes.txt  file, or online at:

There are still plenty more improvements and features we plan to add in the coming months, and we’ll soon be releasing our new Kit-Catalogue User Guide, which contains comprehensive information on Kit-Catalogue v1.0, its setup, and how it all works.  As soon as the user guide is available, we’ll announce it on the website and the mailing list.

In the meantime, thanks for supporting us on the road to v1.0.  Your continued engagement, feedback and suggestions have helped us build a better Kit-Catalogue system, and we hope to continue working with you all in the future.

Supporting education and collaboration for engineering designers and industrial designers

4 Oct

CoLab is a wed-based design tool that supports understanding and collaboration between industrial designers and engineering designers during new product development (NPD). CoLab has been created with data produced during a Loughborough Design School PhD that was undertaken by Dr Eujin Pei and joint supervised by Dr Mark Evans (with a background in industrial design) and Dr Ian Campbell (with a background in engineering design). Translation of the PhD into the CoLab website was made possible by HE STEM funding and support from the EngCETL.

CoLab Interface

A key finding of the PhD was that differences in the language used to identify design representations by industrial designers and engineering designers was impeding communication and a taxonomy of sketches, drawings, models and prototypes was generated to help improve this situation. The taxonomy is a significant feature of CoLab and the use of carefully selected images has been devised to facilitate understanding of the activities of new product development with the intention of promoting engineering as a programme of study and career choice.

The PhD also identified differences in the ways in which industrial designers and engineering designer use design representation and, having validated the taxonomy, this was then used to collect data to identify how design representations were used by the two groups during four stages of new product development; and which design representations were used to communicate 10 types of design information and 8 types of technical information. This data was collected following interviews with practitioners in the UK and Singapore and presented in rank order as percentage of use by those interviewed i.e. the most popular appears at the top of the list.

The key features of the CoLab design tool are that it identifies:

– The design representations used by industrial designers and engineering designers during four stages of NPD
– The design representations used by industrial designers and engineering designers to communicate types of design
information and technical information
– A taxonomy of 35 design representations grouped into sketches, drawings, models and prototypes

The new Centre for Engineering and Design Education

9 Sep

It’s been a very busy couple of months for us all in the Centre.  As of the 1st August, we have taken up our new roles in the Centre for Engineering and Design Education here at Loughborough University.  I am pleased to say that I am the Head of this new Centre, which incorporates the Engineering CETL (engCETL) and the Higher Education Academy’s Engineering Subject Centre (engSC).

We will continue to support the 4 engineering Schools and the Loughborough Design School, as well as many transition activities for the HEA and engSC.  Along with the many HE STEM projects we are also involved in and the two JISC projects ‘Kit-Catalogue‘ and ‘Pedestal for Progression‘ we’ll certainly have a busy year to look forward to.