Professor Robin Clark

Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching

Phone: 0121 204 3567
Email: r.p.clark@aston.ac.uk  
Room: MB180C

Robin Clark


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.

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