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Structural Engineering Teaching - Changing Demands

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Karen Mitchell.

Deep social and technological changes are strongly affecting structural engineering practice and also higher education.  These require both the “what” and the “how” of teaching structural engineering to be re-visited.  This talk will present research and experiences that have attempted to respond to the changing landscape.  Broad areas discussed will include: 1) How best to teach the basics of structural mechanics to large, highly diverse classes making full use of blended and other digital resources to bridge linguistic, cultural and pedagogic differences, and 2) Approaches to design teaching that recognise that in future high-value structural engineering will have much greater emphasis on high-level skills such as problem-definition, creativity, and evaluating computer output, with correspondingly less emphasis on ability at low-level calculation.

The talk will aim to be thought-provoking and somewhat provocative, and will ideally lead to good discussion afterwards!

Martin Gillie is Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Warwick, Fellow of Institution of Structural Engineers and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  His research interests are understanding the effects of accidental loads, such as fire, on structures and exploring the implications for design; repair and strengthening of structures; and engineering education. Following a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Edinburgh (1st Class, 1997), he studied the behaviour of the Cardington Structure in fire and obtained his Phd in 2000, also from Edinburgh. He then spent some time working on silo structures as a researcher before moving to Aberdeen to work in offshore design for Andrew Palmer and Associates. In 2003 Martin returned to academia as lecturer at the University of Nottingham before a move back to Edinburgh in 2005. In 2014 he took up the role as Reader at the University of Manchester. In 2017 he moved to the University of Warwick as a professor of Civil Engineering.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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