Learning the lay of the land in London—the best way to spend the cold, wet month of January. I’ve been in my new position as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at University College London’s Center for Engineering Education for one month.
In this time, I’ve also settled into a new apartment, where I’m flat-sitting for some friends. They travel quite a bit, so it all works fine.
I’ve been getting to know Shoreditch and its surrounding areas. Turns out, Shoreditch is one of London’s hippest addresses and my place is surrounded by local markets, many dozen vintage clothing stores, and Boundary Estate, the world’s first social housing community, which is architecturally stunning. I’ve joined Nuffield Gym and have been enjoying its pool and yoga classes. I got a wonderfully positive health screening when I joined and will soon meet with a personal trainer to get anti-aging tips!
Mostly, though, I’ve focused on making headway with my fellowship work. In the four weeks I have been working at UCL, I have:
Completed UCL induction/orientation
- Got my employment contract, work visa, and bank account set up and obtained my British Residency Permit
- Completed including face-to-face and on-line training and earned certificates in (1) Safety, (2) Green Awareness, and (3) Green Champion
- Updated my research profiles, including UCL Engineering, IRIS, and LinkedIn
Contributed to peer reviewed conferences
- Appointed to the Governing Board of REEN, Research in Engineering Education Network
- Submitted a final conference paper for publication in the proceedings of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering’s EERN, Engineering Education Research Network
- Submitted a draft paper on group learning by engineering faculty to the ASEE, the American Society for Engineering Education
- Submitted a draft paper on Middle Eastern women studying engineering abroad to ASEE
Provided leadership in evaluation
- Submitted a peer review to EJEE, the European Journal of Engineering Education
- Served as a guest editor for a special focus issue of IEEE Transactions on Education on socio-cultural diversity in engineering education
- Been appointed to the overall editorial board IEEE Transactions on Education,as an Associate Editor, based on successful contributions
- Agreed in principle to spearhead an additional special focus issue for IEEE Transactions on Education on “harnessing the power of design projects to spur cognitive and epistemological development among students of engineering”
- Updated my CV for the pool of team chairs for the NAAB, National Architectural Accrediting Board in the USA
Made two research trips to Dublin
- Conducted four research interviews, and successfully scheduled five more for February
- Was invited to collaborate on a policy project with 6 civil service professionals in Dublin
- Met with several dozen DIT colleagues about current and future projects
- Transcribed two interviews
- Was invited to present at DIT research event on March 2nd
Completed researcher development workshops at UCL
- Finding Your Voice as an Academic Writer
- An Introduction to Research Student Supervision at UCL
- Creative Approach to Problem Solving and Decision Taking for Researchers
- Arena Guidance Sessions: Initial Guidance
- Leading Collaborative Projects
Attended lectures at the Bartlett School of Architecture
Scoped research funding programs
- Attended an information session on opportunities to collaborate with UK-based researchers, hosted in Dublin by the Irish Research Council
- Identified promising funding program for gender studies and downloaded guidance materials
Reviewed literature pertinent to my research projects
- Three PhD dissertations using phenomenology
- Seminal texts in epistemological development
Studied art and design
- Met twice with Kindall Brantley, NYU grad student in sustainable urbanism
- Attended transportation design class at PAMELA, UCL’s transportation research hub
- Joined the Tate and visited three times
- Studied the special exhibition on Modigliani
- Studied the special exhibition on “Impressionists in London” at Tate Britain
- Studied bridge design topics at Tower Bridge Exhibition
- Studied transportation and product design topics in two visits to London’s Science Museum
- Even learned a bit of history by watching The Post at the RichMix cinema near my home, with a new membership to help support local culture and arts.
Met with colleagues at UCL
- Nick Tyler, my supervisor (grant kick off and one-month probationary meeting)
- John Mitchell, my co-supervisor (grant kick)
- Emanuela Tilley, Director of the Integrated Engineering Programme at UCL
- Inês Direito, Research Associate UCL’s Centre for Engineering Education
- Jennifer Griffiths, Principal Teaching Fellow at the Arena Centre for Research-based Education at UCL
- Tony Fawcett, Communications and Marketing Manager in Nick Tyler’s department at UCL
- Invited to present at lunchtime seminar at UCL Center for Engineering Education on Wednesday, April 18th (1-2pm)
I’ll say that of all this, the interviews I conducted in Dublin were probably the most fun. Two of the participants provided two-hour interviews that were chock full of insight. These are follow-up interviews with students I’ve previously interviewed. They are women studying engineering at DIT and hearing how their stories unfold from year to year is fascinating.
I’m working hard to get participants in Dublin scheduled for follow up interviews in February — before the final-year students get too busy with final exams and graduation.
Stay tuned for more work photos from the places I visited this past month.