Deputy at work: Strategizing editorials and scanning publication rankings

It’s a very strange and dreary day here in Dublin. We almost never get thunder and lightning, and that novel occurrence is providing the main bit of excitement for the day. (The thunderclaps are rolling longer than I’ve heard in my life — more like a standing ovation than mere claps.) Suffering from lack of focus, I have picked items from the non-urgent portion of my extensive “To Do” list, which will mean the urgent ones get more urgent. At least when I procrastinate, I’m still actually working!?

So this morning, in addition to meeting online with my PhD student, I spent some time studying the composition of the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Engineering Education (EJEE) and creating a spreadsheet to help me understand our peer reviewers’ expertise better, as I’ve recently become Deputy Editor of this journal.

EJEE’s Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Kristina Edström, recently published an editorial welcoming me aboard. She kindly listed three publications I have in EJEE:


That top one, “Opportunities and barriers faced by early-career civil engineers enacting global responsibility” is the most downloaded EJEE article of the past 12 months, with 2211 views since it was published last November.

The second one has a title that tends to scare people!

That scary name and the fact that it’s been behind a paywall on the publisher’s website mean that the tally of downloads isn’t as high, but you can find it free (as the embargo period passed) using this link from the TU Dublin ARROW repository, where it has had 870 downloads to complement the 1458 views at the publisher’s site. I really hope people will find and use this paper on “Comparing grounded theory and phenomenology,” especially if they are uncertain about which methodology to use for their research. Grounded theory and phenomenology have some similar characteristics, but the results we report in this paper illustrate that you can use them to find different things. Grounded theory is helpful when studying organizational and policy issues, as the article shows. Phenomenology looks deeply at the core essence of the experience. Using the two different methods in parallel analyses, we were able to learn about teachers’ (phenomenological) experience implementing Problem-Based Leaning, and also the (grounded theory) way they organized themselves to achieve results.

Meanwhile, the third on the list, “The study of grit in engineering education research: a systematic literature review” is EJEE’s fourteenth all-time most downloaded. This paper offers really important advice for anyone wanting to use Angela Duckworth’s theory of “grit” (passion and perseverance) to study student development. We found many researchers to be leaving out crucial information when reporting their “grit” results, and we provide advice on how to report findings in a reliable way.

As you can see in the screenshots above, I also authored the all-time most-downloaded article of the Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, “Above and beyond: ethics and responsibility in civil engineering” with 4,838 views as of today. I put my whole heart and soul into this paper and I am overjoyed to see it succeed. I hope readers will find the content useful.

Anyway, these discoveries prompted me to check my Google Scholar profile with happy results — I have climbed to h-index 10, which means ten of my articles have been cited at least ten times. The next milestone is h-index 11, which requires 11 articles to each have 11 or more citations. Those take a long time to accrue, but hopefully, people who download the articles will cite them in their own upcoming publications.

Now, for a little 2:26 PM lunch and a deep dive into some curriculum design for the afternoon! Thanks for stopping to read this. I truly appreciate your support.

Rubbing elbows with planners at ISEP

Today, my colleagues and I presented at the International Society of Educational Planners 2022 (virtual) conference. We brought findings from the realm of engineering education research to share with the educational planners attending.

Early on, Diana Martin and I presented “Promoting engineering ethics education and assessment practices for wider implementation in educational planning.” I presented the first half but I had a chance to make some screen captures once Diana took over. You can see them here:

The most exciting part of the day, for me, has been the presentation Sandra Cruz-Moreno, my PhD student at TU Dublin. Sandra started her PhD studies in January 2022 and this (already!) is her fourth symposium/conference presentation. Sandra presented “Considerations influencing women’s decisions to study engineering in Ireland.”

I’m Sandra’s Lead Supervisor, and we had good confidence going into the day since yesterday Sandra presented all her progress to my Advisory Supervisor, Professor Brian Bowe. It was great to gain Brian’s insight and hear his resounding endorsement for the work Sandra has completed to date! We have a solid plan, agreed by all, for moving forward.

Sandra delivered the entire ISEP presentation herself and the audience’s reaction was warm and supportive.

The scholar who presented between our two teams, Gary Snyder, raised many interesting points. If you’re interested in the innovation adoption curve, you might enjoy the slide below:

Many of the participants at this ISEP conference, including Gary, are from Virginia Tech. Seeing them makes me realize that I’m missing the amazing autumn colors of Virginia again this year. It’s been too long since I’ve had the chance to feel that crisp Virginia fall weather and red, red maple leaves.

I’ll close on another high note, by showing Diana’s keynote presentation from Wednesday, when she was awarded THE 2022 Outstanding Dissertation Award from ISEP. Amazing work, Diana!

I am so lucky to know these two, and honored to work with them both.

The Assessment of Ethics

This week, I’m attending a virtual conference of the International Society for Educational Planning (ISEP). My colleague, Diana Adela Martin, is speaking later today. She’s presenting her PhD thesis, since she’s being awarded the 2022 ISEP Outstanding Dissertation Award. (Someone I know nominated her, wink, wink!)

ISEP publishes Educational Planning and its most recent issue features an article by Diana and me, along with our TU Dublin colleague Catherine Deegan. You can download the current issue at this link and find our article starting on page 23. Here’s the APA citation:

Chance, S. Martin, D. A., & Deegan, C. (2022). The assessment of ethics: Lessons for planners from engineering education’s global strategy. Educational Planning, 29(3). 23-40.

Hot off the press, copies for my co-authors and me.

Yesterday, I cycled to the post office to pick up a package containing print copies of the journal. ISEP moves fast! The issue was published at the end of last week, and the print copies arrived (all the way from Blacksburg, Virginia) just days later.

Diana and I will be presenting aspects of the published work at the ISEP conference on Friday, and my PhD student, Sandra Cruz-Moreno will be presenting aspects of her doctoral research in the in the same session.

In other good news, classes this semester are rolling along smoothly, and University College London recently extended my term as Visiting Professor for an additional five years.

A photo from our first day of Tech Graphics — Hand Drawing class for autumn semester 2022.

Welcome to Ireland by Chance!

This site began as a way to share cultural experiences while I was a Fulbright Fellow in Ireland 2012-2013. I ended up falling for Ireland and I returned as a Marie Curie research fellow in 2014, and when that ended I got a full-time lecturing post at TU Dublin, although I was allowed a two-year career break to complete a second Marie Curie research fellowship, this time to University College London, in 2018 and 2019. I returned to Ireland and just recently earned Irish citizenship and an Irish passport.

Today, this website shares stories of being a “researcher on the move”, but a huge majority of visitors come to learn about the process of applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) individual fellowship. I’ve posted lots of advice. You can find out more using the following links:
Abstract and Eval
• Excellence Section 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4
Notes on using tables
• Impact Section 2.1, 2.2
Implementation Section 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4
Ethics Section
Final Report (after I subsequently won the fellowship!)

A happy glowing Shannon in September 2022!