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Dr Robin Clark

Robin Clark

Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching

Senior lecturer


Phone number:
0121 204 3567

email:
r.p.clark@aston.ac.uk

Roon number:
MB180C

I have worked in the UK and the USA as both an engineer and manager during a 14 year career in industry. On joining Aston University in 2003, I took a lead role in developing the School of Engineering and Applied Science MSc in Engineering Management (accredited by the Chartered Management Institute). Using experience gained in the nuclear and rail industries, I haves developed a creative teaching practice that in 2007 resulted in the award of a National Teaching Fellowship. Although engaged in research in the engineering and management fields, most recently as a co-director of Aston’s Centre for Project Management Practice (ESRC supported), I am now focussing on Learning and Teaching and building a strong research capability at Aston focused on Engineering Education. I am on the editorial boards of JEE and EJEE and a member of the UK, European and International working groups focused on Engineering Education Research. I am a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IMechE.

Qualifications & Education

  • PhD, University College London 1990
  • MBA, Western Connecticut State University (USA), 2003
  • BSc(Eng), University College London, 1986
  • PGCert. Aston University, 2005

Employment

  • 2003 – date: Senior Lecturer, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University.
  • 1995 – 2003: Sperry Rail Service, Danbury, Connecticut, USA – Started as Assistant Director of Engineering and became Vice President Engineering and R+D in 2000.
  • 1991 – 1995: British Rail and then Railtest, Derby – Started as Assistant Engineer (NDT Development) and became Technical Support manager in 1994.
  • 1989 – 1991: Rolls Royce and Associates, Derby - NDE Development Engineer.

Teaching activity

I have conducted numerous training courses in the areas of Non Destructive Testing (NDT) and Project Management during my career in industry.

At Aston, my teaching is primarily focused in the area of Engineering Management. In the past I have taught courses in Management of Change, Research Methods, Quality Management, Business and Entrepreneurship. I am currently focused on two courses in Project Management and Strategic Marketing.

As the Engineering Education Research Lead I also contribute to the Aston PGCPP and  for two years led the Learning and Teaching Research module.

I am the external examiner for the BSc and MSc programmes in Engineering Management at the University of Greenwich and New York College in Athens, Greece (to 2013).

Invited to be part of the IMechE When STEM event at Warwick University in January 2010. (Report available online)

I taught as part of a Nordic PhD programme on EER in August 2010 at Aalto University and have been invited to be part of an international panel conducting a review of learning and teaching at Aalto University in April 2011.

Invited to be Guest Editor of Engineering Education journal Volume 5 Issue 2 (2010). (Editorial pp 1-3 available online)

Research interests

My major research interests are in the area of engineering education. I am currently building an Engineering Education Research Group at Aston that will bring together the people across the school engaged in this work.

My particular interests are in the ‘engineering education pipeline’ and how we at one end enthuse young people about engineering at a\n early age, whilst at the other end we are ensuring that graduates are well prepared for employment in industry. Particular areas of interest are active learning (PBL, PrBL and so on), creativity in the classroom, the value of relationships in learning, the engagement of staff in developing successful learning environments and the evaluation of the impact of learning and teaching practice.

I convene a UK Special interest Group ( supported by the HEA Engineering Subject Centre) in the area of Engineering Education research (EER), am a member of the SEFI EER Working Group and on the Governing Board of REEN (Research in Engineering Education Network) an independent global body of researchers.

I also retain interests in the areas of NDT and Project Management.

Recent research funding

  • National HE STEM Programme (2010 and 2011): £20,000 to look at teaching support when implementing CDIO and what constitutes a strong industry / academia relationship.
  • HEFCE / Paul Hamlyn Foundation (2008): £193,000 to explore peer mentoring in higher education (lead for project involving 6 other institutions).
  • ESRC: Centre for Project Management Practice (CPMP) award with colleagues from ABS.
  • Royal Society Equipment Grant: £15,000 for rail sleeper inspection.
  • EPSRC Case Award: Rail Flaw Detection with Sperry Rail Service.
  • KTP Award: Knowledge management with Mtech.

PhD Supervision

PhD projects I currently supervise:

  • Bandar Alhoweish: Project Management in the Saudi Electricity Supply Industry.
  • Daniel Chambers: Design Education.
  • Werachai Lamo: Rail Flaw Detection.
  • Baljit Gill: Mature Student Experience in Higher Education.

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Fellow of Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Chartered Engineer
  • Member of the British Institute of Non destructive Testing
  • Member of the Chartered Management Institute
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Became a National Teaching Fellow in 2007 (member of the Association of National Teaching Fellows)
  • Receive Bayer Teaching Excellence Award at Total Engineering Education Symposium in China in 2009

Selected publications

Papers - a selection (since July 2009)

  • R CLARK, Engineering Education research – Creating and Environment for Action, presented at Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES), Palm Cove, Queensland Australia, 20 - 24 July 2009

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS, Building the Future Now: Attraction, Interaction and Learning – Developing an Engineering Imagination in Younger Children: An Empirical Approach to Curricula Design, presented at ASEE Global Colloquium, Budapest, Hungary, 12 - 15 October 2009

  • R CLARK, The Importance and Challenges of Alignment in Engineering Education, presented at Total Engineering Education 09 Symposium, Shanghai, China, 22 - 25 October 2009

  • R CLARK, A PBL Approach to Teaching Project Management, presented at IRSPBL 09, Melbourne, Australia, 3 - 4 December 2009

  • R CLARK, Using Heritage to Promote Student Learning, presented at Australasian Association for Engineering Education 20th Annual Conference, Adelaide, Australia, 6 - 9 December 2009 (rewritten as a chapter for a forthcoming book – under consideration)

  • J ANDREWS, R CLARK, Peer Mentoring in Higher Education: A Multidimensional Approach to Conceptualising the Role of Peer Mentoring Programmes in Enhancing the First Year Undergraduate Experience, presented at Society for Research in Higher Education Annual Conference, Newport, UK, 8 - 10 December 2009

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS, Proof in the Pedagogic Pudding? The Challenges of Promoting Evidence-Based Teaching Practice in a Research-Focused Institution, presented at Society for Research in Higher Education Annual Conference, Newport, UK, 8 - 10 December 2009

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS, Engaging Future Engineers: Pedagogy, Policy & Practice, presented at Engineering Education 2010, Birmingham, UK, 6 - 8 July 2010

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS, Catching Them Young’: Inspiring Future Engineers, An Exploratory Study, presented at  Engineering Education 2010, Birmingham, UK, 6 - 8 July 2010

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS, Building Bridges for Future Sustainability? Breaching the research-teaching nexus in Engineering Education, presented at Engineering Education 2010, Birmingham, UK, 6 - 8 July 2010

  • R CLARK, Today’s Pupils, Tomorrow’s Engineers! Pedagogy & Policy – A UK Perspective, submitted to Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, submitted March 2010, accepted for publication August 2010, in press

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS Heritage and Innovative Learning Approaches: An alternative approach to engineering education, presented at SEFI Annual Conference, Trnava, Slovakia, September 2010

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS, A Bridge Too Far? Breaching the research / learning and teaching nexus in a previously research-led university, presented at Improving Student Learning Symposium, London, UK, 7 - 9 September 2009, published in proceedings September 2010, Chapter 2, pp 10-21, Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS, Engineering the Future! Inspiring Student Engagement Through Innovative Course and Programme Design: An Empirical Approach, presented at ISSOTL, Liverpool, UK, October 2010

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS, Researching Primary Engineering Education: An Exploratory Study from a UK Perspective, submitted to European Journal of Engineering Education, Vol 35 No 3, pp585-595, October 2010

  • C HOWARD, C SENIOR, P REDDY, M LIM, R CLARK, Learning in Friendship Groups: An Exploratory Qualitative Study of Learning in Groups ‘Outside the Classroom’, submitted to Studies in Higher Education, submitted November 2010

  • J ANDREWS, R CLARK, Organization Change, Scholarship & Teaching Practice: A Typology, presented at SRHE, Cardiff, UK, December 2010

  • M LIM, C SENIOR, R CLARK, The innovative use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology within the higher education sector, submitted to British Journal of Educational Technology, submitted December 2010

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS, A WHEELER, The Challenges of Embedding a Personal Electronic Learning System in a UK Research Based University, submitted to International Journal of Learning Technologies, submitted December 2010
  • R CLARK, Making Project Management Learning Active. presented at ALE2011, Santiago, Chile, January 2011

  • R CLARK, J ANDREWS, P GORMAN. Peer Mentoring: The Route to Success in Higher Education?, submitted to Higher Education Research and Development, submitted January 2011

  • C SENIOR, C HOWARD, P REDDY, R CLARK, M LIM, The Relationship Between Student Centred Lectures, Emotional Intelligence and Study Teams, submitted to Studies in Higher Education, accepted January 2011, to be published Vol 38 No 1, February 2013

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research