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Keynotes SEFI 2021

Lasting Impact in Turbulent Times

Beverley Gibbs | New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering


Colleagues who have been reflecting and innovating for years will have been astounded by the speed at which higher education has adapted to the changed circumstances brought on by the pandemic. Yet, even as we pursue transformed learning, teaching and assessment, our historical roots remain influential – in traditional approaches that have simply been moved online, and in exerting a pull to ‘go back to normal as soon as possible’. 

In this talk, Beverley will highlight some changes that are likely to prove enduring, and those which are a poor substitute given all we know about how engineers learn and the work they do. She will share the structures and approaches NMITE has developed in the absence of a decades-old cultures and traditions, and draw out principles which can inspire refreshed views in any institution.

Beverley is Chief Academic Officer at NMITE,  the first new greenfield higher education provider in the UK for several decades. Welcoming its first students in September 2021, NMITE’s flagship programme is an accelerated MEng Integrated Engineering. Beverley trained as a Production Engineer through an apprenticeship route, and worked in manufacturing, mining and construction sectors before transitioning to an academic career. In 2020 she initiated and co-edited ‘Emerging Stronger: Lasting impact from crisis innovation’ for the UK Engineering Professors’ Council, a May/June 2020 snapshot of immediate responses to the pandemic including case studies and student voices from across UK HE. A second edition will be published in 2021.

The Engineer of 2035 – What changes in Engineering Education are required?

Rodger Hadgraft | University of Technology Sydney


Over the last 2-3 years, the Australian Council of Engineering Deans has been working to define the kinds of graduate competencies we need to be developing by 2035.

The 2035 project has identified several key shifts that are required in engineering education:

  • a re-balancing of the theory-practice components of professional engineering education,
  • the inclusion of more “real-world” problems with a focus on addressing societal needs;
  • young engineers need more exposure to digital engineering, which is, increasingly, the focus of engineering practice,
  • it is assumed that all engineering programs will also make more use of e-learning and work integrated learning, and
  • it is likely that greater sharing of good practice will also be required.

These recommendations are hardly surprising, as they echo other reviews of the last 25 years, such as the UK Henley report and the US National Academy of Engineering reviews around the Engineer of 2020. The big challenge is how do we change to meet these new requirements before 2035?

This keynote will summarise these international reviews and point the way forward to greater collaboration between our universities and societies, including SEFI, to effect the changes required in engineering education and in our educational institutions.

Prof. Roger Hadgraft is a civil engineer with more than 25 years of experience in improving engineering education, publishing many papers on problem- and project-based learning (PBL), and the use of online technology to support student-centred learning. He is currently Director of Educational Innovation and Research in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Feedback in digital learning environments: Distant or Dialogic?

Naomi Winstone | University of Surrey



Whilst technology can streamline the feedback process, students often report that digitally-mediated feedback can feel impersonal. In this talk, I will explore the benefits and challenges of feedback processes in digital learning environments and consider how we can design opportunities for dialogue in such environments, minimising the sense of distance between educator and student.

Naomi is a cognitive psychologist specialising in the processing and impact of instructional feedback and the influence of dominant discourses of assessment and feedback in policy and practice on the positioning of educators and students in feedback processes. Naomi is a Reader in Higher Education and Director of the Surrey Institute of Education at the University of Surrey, UK. She is also an Honorary Associate Professor in the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) at Deakin University, Australia. Naomi is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a UK National Teaching Fellow.