Marie Curie Alumni Association–2019 General Assembly

This year, for the first time, I attended the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) General Assembly. It was held at the University of Vienna at the end of February. I represented the newly founded Irish chapter. I’m also a member of the UK chapter, having served as a Marie Curie Research Fellow in both the UK and Ireland.

This was a great opportunity to learn about research other people are doing around the continent and meet researchers from all over the world. I have a new understanding of the slogan “Researchers on the Move” and I see how truly dynamic are the researchers who travel from country to country to help answer questions and solve problems. We learned support for researchers and we got to discuss the challenges and joys of being traveling researchers.

Today, I’m working with a prospective MSCA fellow to craft his application, and I’m using what I learned at the General Assembly. I’m encouraging him to attend if he’s selected as a grant recipient because its a great way to connect with resources and the research of others.

I’ve attached some photos of 2019 events and some of the Tweets I posted during the General Assembly.

 

Marie Curie Fellowship, Interim Report

I’ve produced a report of the work I’ve done in the past year, and thought that readers of this blog might be interested to see it. Not the most thrilling reading, but it might be useful to other MSCA Individual Fellows to see how I’ve structured this, and what I’ve managed to achieve in twelve months as a Research Fellow at University College London.

MSCA Log of Activities conducted in the first year by MSCA IF Prof. Shannon Chance 

(01 January 2018 – 31 December 2018)

This interim report summarizes work and achievements resulting from year one of a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fellowship provided the European Union. This fellowship runs 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2019.

Call identifier         H2020-MSCA-IF-2016

Project number      747069

Project acronym     DesignEng

Project title            Designing Engineers: Harnessing the Power of Design Projects to Spur Cognitive and Epistemological Development of STEM Students

We are delighted to report outcomes of the training and mutual learning of MSCA Research Fellow Professor Shannon Chance alongside her primary MSCA supervisor Professor Nick Tyler, her informal second MSCA supervisor Professor John Mitchell, her colleagues from University College London (UCL) and its Centre for Engineering Education (CEE), and her colleagues from Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin, formerly DIT) and its CREATE research group. The achievements identified in this report reflect the positive learning environment at the host institution (UCL) and ongoing positive relationships with the home institution (TU Dublin).

This mid-project report provides a log of activities conducted in 2018, the first 12 months of this fellowship, by MSCA Research Fellow Professor Shannon Chance. The work plan proposed in the fellowship application has been followed, and the researcher development activities promised in the six Work Packages are on track. Allowing for a small degree of variation from details of original proposal yet thoroughly meeting the intent—at the overall level as well as within each work package—we report that all milestones have been met, and all promised items have been either produced or on track to be produced on time.

WP1, Qualitative studies

Conducted interviews with 15 final-year women studying engineering in Ireland, and worked with teachers at my home institution to implement findings to enhance their teaching practice.

Designed a research study and conducted a literature review on global responsibility in civil engineering. Obtained ethics approval to proceed with the study. Prepared an extensive mid-project report for Engineers without Borders UK.

Designed a study on conceptualizations of architecture and civil engineering students, obtained ethics approval to proceed with the study, and conducted three pilot interviews to test the interview protocol.

Assisted in the design of a study of student experiences and expectations in UCL’s Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) and provided advice throughout the ethics application and data collection process.

Assisted in the development of a manuscript reporting a systematic review of the literature on “grit”.

Published three conference papers disseminating findings of my empirical research under this work package and presented them at ASEE, ICL, and SEFI.

  • CHANCE, S. M. & Williams, W. (2018). Preliminary findings of a phenomenological study of Middle Eastern women’s experiences studying engineering in Ireland. American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • CHANCE, S. M. & Direito, I. (2018). Preliminary findings of a systematic review of doctoral theses in engineering education that have used phenomenological methods. European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • CHANCE, S. M. & Williams, W. (2018). Middle Eastern Women’s Experiences of Collaborative Learning in Engineering in Ireland. International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL) in Kos Island, Greece.

Submitted the final draft for publication (based on a 2017 conference presentation) in the proceedings of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering’s EERN, Engineering Education Research Network

Submitted a draft journal article to SRHE’s consultant for the journal PRHE for advice.

  • CHANCE, S. M., Maguire, R., Direito, I., Gleeson-Mills, A., & Eddy, P. L. (first draft). National STEM educational policies: Their relation to girls’ experiences in physics across Europe and to the engineering pipeline. Policy Reviews in Higher Education.

Made additional presentations of my empirical research under this work package at SRHE and EERN:

  • CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Summary of National STEM Educational Policies in Relation to Girls’ Experiences in Physics in Europe and into the Engineering Pipeline. Society for Research in Higher Education conference 2018 in Newcastle, UK.
  • CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Summary of National STEM Educational Policies in Relation to Girls’ Experiences in Physics in Europe and into the Engineering Pipeline. Society for Research in Higher Education conference 2018 in Newcastle, UK.
  • Leão, C. P., Soares, F., Williams, B., & CHANCE, S. (2018). Challenges, experiences and advantages in being a female engineering student: Voices in the first person. Presentation at the UK & Ireland Engineering Education Research Network (EERN) annual conference 2018 in Portsmouth.
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Presentation at SRHE 2018

WP2, Mixed-methods study

Published one conference paper and delivered one presentation, disseminating findings of my empirical research under this work package.

  • CHANCE, S. M. & Duffy, G. (2018). A model for spurring organizational change based on faculty experiences working together to implement Problem-Based Learning. American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Submitted a complete manuscript that uses multiple methodologies for review by EJEE, received instructions to revise and resubmit, and submitted a revised version for the second round of peer reviews.

  • CHANCE, S. M., Duffy, G., & Bowe, B. (in press). Comparing grounded theory and phenomenology as methods to understand lived experience of engineering educators implementing Problem-Based Learning. European Journal of Engineering Education. 
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Recent journals on engineering and higher education

WP3, Special focus journal

(I proposed delivering one special focus issue over two years and have exceeded this goal.)

Spearheaded a special focus issue on diversity in electrical and electronic engineering that was published November 2018, and served as lead author of the guest editors’ statement.

  • CHANCE, S., Bottomly, L., Panetta, K., & Williams, B. (Eds.). (November, 2018). Special focus issue on gender in engineering in the IEEE Transactions on Education.
  • CHANCE, S., Bottomly, L., Panetta, K., & Williams, B. (Eds.). (November, 2018). Guest Editorial Special Issue on Increasing the Socio-Cultural Diversity of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Related Fields. IEEE Transactions on Education, (61)4, 261-264.

I am spearheading another special focus issue on using design to spur epistemological and identity development among engineering students underway and ahead of schedule: Call for papers issued (m1), Proposals arrive (m4), Proposals selected for continuation (m6), Full drafts received (m14), Reviews returned to authors (m16), Finals submitted for re-review (m19).

  • CHANCE, S., Williams, B., Goldfinch, T., Adams, R. S., & Fleming, L. N. (Eds.). (forthcoming, 2019). Special focus issue on using design projects to spur cognitive development of students in science and engineering n the IEEE Transactions on Education. 

Produced PBL encyclopedia entry.

  • CHANCE, S. M. (forthcoming). Problem-Based Learning: Use in Engineering Disciplines. In Amey, M. J. & David, M. E. (Eds.). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education, 5v. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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Learning from experts like phenomenographer Dr. Mike Miminiris

WP4, Outreach activities

(I proposed delivering 19 outreach events/outputs over two years.)

Outreach to General Public

(In 2018, 5 workshops, 1 booth, 1 book publisher advised, 2 educational websites)

Directly conducted 4 robotics and electrical engineering workshops for kids in Ireland with colleagues from my home institution. Having co-founded RoboSlam robotics outreach team in 2013, I continue to be active in RoboSlam, as one of the four main coordinators of events. In 2018, was part of a team that ran a number of robotics and electrical engineering workshops for kids in Ireland over the month of August with the Wexford library service. I specifically assisted in running two workshops in Bunclody (17th August) and two in Enniscorthy (18th August). The workshops were attended by approximately 120 children in the age range 8-12. The children built an electronics arcade game which they brought home afterwards. The intention of the workshops was to encourage an interest in electronics and programming. Feedback and pictures (courtesy of Shannon Chance) are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/home/DIT%20Bread%20Board%20Games. The technical resources we used (instructions, and code) can be found here: https://ioprog.com/bbg.

Operated an educational booth on electrical engineering in Ireland with colleagues from my home institution, at Dublin Maker 2018. A large team of volunteers (staff and students) from the school participated in Dublin Maker in Merrion Square in mid-July 2018. The common theme of our stand was “paper programming”.

Provided support for the EI sponsored Engineer Your Future Week summer school for TY students in mid-May. Our school’s contribution encompassed Robot Building and Biomedical Engineering.

STEM Activity Books for Kids—provided “expert advice” as the primary content consultant for activity books:

  • Scribble Engineering, STEM activity book published by Usborne Publishing Ltd. (2018)
  • Scribble Architecture, STEM activity book to be published by Usborne Publishing Ltd. (forthcoming)

Hosted and created content for an educational blog on being a mobile researcher that had 3,732 visitors in 2018 and 13,106 views (discrete clicks indicating engagement) with additional interaction via Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.

  • CHANCE, S. (2012-present). Ireland by Chance: Research Adventures in Ireland and the UK. http://www.IrelandByChance.com showcasing research and fellowship activities

Provided content for a blog on robotics that I collaborative manage with colleagues from my host institution that had 3,299 visitors in 2018 and 6,505 views.

  • Burke, T., CHANCE, S., Berry, D., & Duignan, F. (2012-present). RoboSlam: Robot-building for Beginners. Roboslam.com showcasing outreach activities I do with my colleagues in electrical engineering.
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My colleagues in engineering education development and research at UCL.

Outreach to Support Educators

Provided workshops on teaching (learning theories and innovative teaching techniques) for educators.

  • Akinmolayan, F. & CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Facilitating group & Problem-Based Learning in the context of engineering education. Two-day Master Class conducted for the University of Cape Town’s Engineering Education Existing Staff Capacity Enhancement Programme.
  • CHANCE, S. M. (2019). Learning theories in engineering: A US perspective on student development. A class session for UCL’s new MSc in Engineering and Education.
  • CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Supporting diverse students. Lunch seminar for UCL’s Centre for Engineering Education in London.

Outreach to Support Researchers

Provided workshops on research techniques for Early Stage Researchers.

  • Direto, I., Malik, M., & CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Conducting Systematic Literature Reviews in Engineering Education Research. Workshop to the UK & Ireland Engineering Education Research Network (EERN) annual conference 2018 in Portsmouth.
  • Edström, K., Bernhard, J., De Laet, T., & others including CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Doctoral Symposium. One-day pre-conference workshop at the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) 2018 annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • De Laet, T., Williams, B., & others including CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Engineering Education Research. Workshop by EER Working Group at the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) 2018 annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • CHANCE, S. M. (2018). MSCA fellowship experiences. Presentation delivered for Dublin Institute of Technology’s EPA & IUA MSCA Research Information Workshop Programme.

Provided presentations at symposia for experienced researchers

  • CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Gender Equality in STEM Education. Presentation delivered at Marie Curie Alumni Association’s Gender Equality Workshop Programme on 3 December 2018 in Dublin, Ireland.
  • Edström, K., Bernhard, J., van den Bogaard, M., Benson, L., Finelli, C., CHANCE, S. M., & Lyng, R. (2018). Reviewers, reviewers, reviewers! Workshop at the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) 2018 annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

WP5, Training and transfer-of-knowledge

(I proposed attending 56 training sessions over two years and have exceeded this goal)

Researcher Training sessions completed

In chronological order:

  1. UCL online training module and certificate earned in Safety
  2. UCL online training module and certificate earned in Green Awareness
  3. UCL online training module and certificate earned as Green Champion
  4. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Finding Your Voice as an Academic Writer
  5. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, An Introduction to Research Student Supervision at UCL
  6. Researcher information session organized by the Irish Research Council, Opportunities to collaborate with UK-based researchers
  7. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Creative Approach to Problem Solving and Decision Taking for Researchers
  8. UCL Arena Guidance Sessions: Initial Guidance
  9. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Leading Collaborative Projects
  10. UCL’s Centre for Engineering Education’s event, In Conversation With… Angela Saini and Louise Archer
  11. UCL AstreaVoices workshop: Choosing your journey
  12. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Writing Books and Book Chapters
  13. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Managing Your Reputation
  14. UCL Arena Senior Fellow Guidance Session: Developing your application
  15. UCL day-long Education Conference 2018 at the UCL Institute of Education
  16. Nathu Puri Institute Thought Leadership discussion and dinner in April
  17. SRHE day-long workshop, Migration and academic acculturation
  18. SRHE day-long workshop, Developing curriculum, learning and pedagogies in STEM subjects: the case of Engineering
  19. SRHE day-long workshop, Phenomenography: An approach to qualitative research in higher education
  20. UCL LLAKES Seminar by Louise Archer Why can’t we solve the science participation ‘crisis’? Understanding young people’s (non)participation in post-16 science
  21. Attended a UCL “Town Hall” to better understand the administrative structure of this research-intensive university, Finding a new place in society for universities
  22. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop Publish or Perish: Getting Collaborative Social Science Published
  23. One-day Inaugural Spring Colloquium of the UK-Ireland Engineering Education Research Network, held in Newcastle
  24. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, The Superior Performer: How to Work to Your Strengths
  25. SRHE day-long workshop, Publishing Academic Articles: A way through the maze
  26. UCL Researcher Development Workshop, Induction for New UCL Research Staff
  27. Attended a half-day of UCL conference on Impacts of Gender Discourse on Polish Politics, Society & Culture Comparative Perspectives reservation
  28. UCL workshop, Provost’s Welcome to New Staff
  29. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Writing and Publishing Research Papers
  30. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Increasing Impact – Gaining Positive Media Coverage
  31. Attended two-day Inspirefest celebrating women in technology, held in Dublin
  32. Attended four-day conference of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in Salt Lake City
  33. Attended one-day symposium at the Royal Society sponsored by the RAEng and UCL CEE, Inclusive Engineering Education Symposium
  34. Second Nathu Puri Institute Thought Leadership Event at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG
  35. Attended two-day 7th International Symposium of Engineering Education (ISEE 2018), hosted by UCL
  36. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Storytelling Skills for Teachers and Presenters
  37. UCL Arena training for fellowship applicants at principal level, PFHEA Lunch session
  38. Attended five-day conference of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI 2018) in Copenhagen
  39. Attended three-day International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL 2018) plus events of the International Conference on Engineering Pedagogy (IGIP 2018) in Kos Island, Greece
  40. UCL online training module and certificate earned in GDPR
  41. SRHE day-long workshop, IS THERE (STILL) ROOM FOR EDUCATION IN THE CONTEMPORARY UNIVERSITY? Exploring policy, research and practice through the lens of professional education. Seminar 3
  42. Lecture organized by the Irish Fulbright Commission, Creative Minds: In Conversation with a NASA Astronaut
  43. TU Dublin (formerly DIT) online training module and certificate earned in GDPR
  44. TU Dublin 2.5-hour workshop by Dr. Bill Williams, Getting published in engineering education research journals
  45. Attended half-day IEP Research Away (Half) Day
  46. Attended three-day Society for Research in Higher Education conference (SRHE 2018) in Newport, Wales
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Exploring Athens between conferences

Research skills development activities

PhD/Research supervision

  • Second supervisor for one PhD student at LSBU, Thomas Empson, meeting with him and the primary supervisor Professor Sushma Patel bi-monthly. Successfully guided him through (1) REES2 submission and panel interview gaining university permission to proceed, (2) ethics approval process, and (3) submission of abstract to EPDE conference that was accepted for development into a full paper.
  • Co-supervising one PhD student at TU Dublin, Una Beagon.
  • Supervised a group of students in The Civil Service Graduate Development Programme 2017-18 in Ireland in conducting a policy-related research project.

International Leadership Appointments in EER

  • Appointed Associate Editor for the journal IEEE Transactions on Education. In addition to organizing the two special focus issues listed under WP3, I also provided advice to the Editor in Chief at the desk review stage, managed the review of multiple manuscripts, gave input into operational changes, and review manuscripts nominated for Best Paper.
  • Appointed to and served on the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Engineering Education.
  • Appointed to and serve as Governing Board member, global Research on Engineering Education Network (REEN) and providing leadership on the sub-committee for recruitment and selection of upcoming conference hosts.
  • Appointed to the organizing group of the new Irish Chapter of the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA). Joined international MCAA organization and both the Irish and UK chapters.
  • Appointed to the SEFI Working Group on Engineering Education Research.
  • Provided leadership to the Nathu Puri Institute at the London South Bank University as a think-tank member (2018) and by serving on the interview panel for the new director of the Institute.
  • Appointed as Visiting Professor at London South Bank University.
  • Invited to serve as a member of the Program Committee of the 11th Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), which will take place in Porto, from 27-30 April 2020.

Journal Peer Reviews

  • Reviewed manuscripts for the European Journal of Engineering Education (EJEE), including CEEE20160099, CEEE20180019, CEEE20170301, CEEE20180019.R1, CEEE20180086, and CEEE20180173.
  • Reviewed manuscripts for the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE) manuscript JEE-2017-0238 and JEE-2017-0238.R1.

Conference Peer Reviews

  • Provided reviews of three abstracts for the Research in Engineering Education Symposium to be held in 2019
  • Provided peer reviews of four abstracts (contributions 1149, 1217, 1236, and 1384) for SEFI 2018.
  • Served as meta-reviewer, breaking ties on three abstracts (contributions 1123, 1237, and 1242) for SEFI 2018.
  • Reviewed one abstract (contribution 1194) for the 2018 ICL conference.

Educational Assessment

  • Provided assessment of one proposal for Fulbright Ireland’s 2019-2020 Programme.
  • Invited to serve on National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) IPR Review Panel (forthcoming 2019).
  • Invited to serve as Evaluator for EU grant proposals under the ERASMUS Program (forthcoming 2019).
  • Provided a formal assessment of four MSc capstone thesis papers submitted at my home institution.

Curriculum Design and Education Development

  • Provided input into the design of a new MSc in Applied Computing for professionals in Built Environment at her home institution.
  • Provided advice for UCL’s new MSc Engineering and Education, launched in September 2018. This flexible and unique MSc is designed for anyone teaching in a department of engineering or working as an engineer or in engineering policy, who is aiming to: (a) lead change and enhance the performance of engineers in industry or (b) develop innovative strategies to improve the education of engineers, in either educational or work contexts.   More information and apply at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/degrees/engineering-education-msc
  • Provided input into the proposed new curriculum in architecture engineering for Newgiza University to be developed by my host institution.
  • Developed links around accessible transport in London that are of importance to my home institution’s new MSc in Transport and Mobility. I am coordinating a visit of DIT’s MSc staff for spring 2019 to London to visit the world-recognized transportation testing facility headed by Professor Nick Tyler, CBE.
  • Visited former colleagues and students in bridge and robot design modules during research trips to Dublin.

Fellowship applications

  • Submitted a fellowship application to the British Academy that was not funded.
  • Advised Dr. Inês Direito on preparing her won grant application for the Nuffield Foundation.
  • Worked on developing an application for a HEA Teaching Fellowship.

Coaching and mentoring

  • Advised researchers in Portugal (Filomena Soares and Celina Pinot Leao) who are collecting interview data to add to that I’ve collected with Dr. Bill Williams.
  • Mentored multiple young past students and research participants and the person hired to cover me during my MSCA career break.
  • Advised aspiring MSCA applicants.
  • Provided references for past students and colleagues.
  • Provided mentoring on PhD research design to a UCL colleague.
  • Kept up with the achievements of my former architecture students via Facebook and LinkedIn (e.g., buildings designed, books launched, exams passed, professional registrations earned, challenges faced, lives well-lived.)

Miscellaneous

  • Provided data to assist with UNESCO report on engineering.
  • Worked to keep my research profiles up-to-date, including UCL EngineeringIRIS, LinkedIn, ORCId
  • Nominated colleague Dr. Bill Williams for appointment as Visiting Professor at my home institution and assisted in organizing his inaugural lecture and a workshop for my home research group, called CREATE.
  • Coordinated guest lecture at my host institution (UCL) by Dr. Mike Miminiris
  • Provided interview for gender researcher Susana Vázquez Cupeiro
  • Served as moderator of ISEE conference session organized by my host institution.
  • Was featured in a two-page spread in DIT’s Research News, issued in March 2018, on women in STEM.

Received one-to-one training from research experts

  1. Mike Mimirinis, phenomographer
  2. Professor Nick Tyler
  3. Professor John Mitchell
  4. Bill Williams
  5. Professor Jenni Case
  6. Jeff Froyd
  7. Professor Brian Bowe
  8. Professor Anne Gardner
  9. Professor Pam Eddy
  10. Inês Direito
  11. Professor Shushma Patel
  12. Able Nyamapfene
  13. Claire Ellul GeoBIM – Linking Geographic Information Systems and Building Information Modelling
  14. Jenny Griffiths
  15. Professor Rao Bhamidimarri
  16. Kate Roach
  17. Folashade Akinmolayan
  18. Nicky Wolmarans
  19. Jay Derrick
  20. Emanuela Tilley
  21. Lorraine D’Arcy
  22. Avril Behan
  23. Kevin Gaughan
  24. Jean Cahill
  25. Amir Tobacovic
  26. Professor Ron Daniel
  27. Ted Burke
  28. Damon Berry
  29. Frank Duignan
  30. Professor Simon Phibin
  31. Georgia Pitts
  32. Elpedia Makriyannis
  33. Jeffrey Johnson
  34. Professor Euan Lindsay
  35. Andrew Forkes, Maker Labs at LSBU
  36. Alan Hilliard
  37. Rovani Sigamoney of UNESCO
  38. Rob Lawlor
  39. Fiona Truscott
  40. Conor O’Carroll
  41. Tony Fawcett, CEGE Communications and Marketing Manager

Attended CPD lectures to stay up-to-date in my field (architecture and urbanism)

  1. Attended two lectures on accessible transportation at PAMELA, UCL’s transportation research hub, delivered by Professor Nick Tyler
  1. UCL Architecture lecture, Sir Peter Cook of CRAB Studios
  2. UCL Architecture lecture, SueAnne Ware with University of Newcastle, Australia
  3. UCL Architecture lecture, Ken Yeang
  4. UCL Architecture lecture, Fabio Gramazio of ETH Zurich and Gramazio Kohler Research
  5. UCL Architecture lecture, Jeremy Till from UAL
  6. UCL Architecture lecture, Vera Bühlmann from Technical University of Berlin
  7. UCL Engineering event, presentations of BEAMS EPSRC Vacation Bursary Best Project nominations
  8. UCL Architecture lecture, Peg Rawes from The Bartlett
  9. UCL Engineering lecture, Designing a Road Traffic Model for the Cross-sectoral Analysis of Future National Infrastructure
  10. UCL Education Awards
  11. Architecture lecture by Grafton Architects
  12. TU Dublin lecture by Dr. Bill Williams, It’s not just about innovation: 14 ways engineers create value
  13. Attended DIT London Alumni Annual Reception at the London Irish Centre 

Visited museum visits to stay up-to-date in my field (architecture and urbanism)

  1. Science Museum (including the Transportation exhibit)
  2. Bartlett exhibition on Street Life
  3. Tower Bridge with bride design exhibition
  4. Foundling Museum
  5. Tower of London
  6. Paris—San Chappelle, Arab Institute, Medieval Museum, Marie Curie Museum
  7. Saatchi Gallery
  8. V&A Museum
  9. British Museum (e.g., Egyptian exhibition)
  10. Courtard Gallery
  11. Folkestone Museum
  12. Dover Castle
  13. Royal Academy (Charles I)
  14. Whitechapel Gallery
  15. Sir John Soane Museum
  16. V&A Museum of Childhood (including Nordic Design exhibition)
  17. Apartheid Museums in Johannesburg
  18. Constitution Hill museum in Johannesburg
  19. National Gallery (exhibitions on Degas and Murillo)
  20. Wallace Collection
  21. History Museum in London
  22. UCL Art Museum, Octagon exhibition hall, and Library
  23. National Gallery (Monet and Architecture)
  24. Tate Modern (e.g., an exhibition on Modigliani)
  25. Tate Britain (e.g., an exhibition on Impressionists in London, and the Turner Prize)
  26. Somerset House (print exhibit & tour)
  27. Building Centre
  28. Institute of Making
  29. UCL Grant Museum of Archeology
  30. Open House Dublin (Normal House, Villas, Belvedere House, Ash House, 14 Henrietta Street, KS Garda St, Richmond Surgical)
  31. Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum
  32. Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
  33. Smithsonian East Wing
  34. Smithsonian Cochrane Gallery
  35. Smithsonian Museum of American History

Visited and studied cities to stay up-to-date in my field (architecture and urbanism)

  1. London, England
  2. Paris, France
  3. Folkestone, England
  4. Dover, England
  5. Johannesburg, SA
  6. Ramsgate, England
  7. Rye, England
  8. Nice and south of France
  9. Copenhagen, Denmark
  10. Athens, Greece
  11. Kos, Greece
  12. Newport, Wales
  13. Bristol, England
  14. Washington, DC

WP6, Management

  • Attended pre-grant meetings with primary MSCA supervisor Professor Nick Tyler, second supervisor Professor John Mitchell, colleagues from the research center I was joining and the corollary center at my home institution to align plans and activities, including its head, Professor Brian Bowe.
  • Attended a fellowship kick-off meeting with Professor Nick Tyler and second supervisor Professor John Mitchell.
  • Developed an official Career Development Plan based on research and bespoke advice from Professor Nick Tyler.
  • Attended a Month 1 Probationary Assessment with my supervisor, Professor Nick Tyler.
  • Attended a Month 3 Probationary Assessment with my supervisor, Professor Nick Tyler.
  • Attended a Month 6 Probationary Assessment with Professor Nick Tyler and submitted required documents to UCL.
  • Held frequent discussions (bi-monthly) with my second supervisor, Professor John Mitchell.
  • Held quarterly discussions with my former MSCA supervisor, Professor Brian Bowe.
  • Attended a one-year review discussion with supervisor Nick Tyler.
  • Prepared and submitted a log of activities to be included in the mid-project report to the European Commission.

 

Diverse researchers at your service!

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The campus of DIT Grangegoreman (soon to be TU Dublin) which is now under construction

I found myself surrounded today, by dozens of brilliant scholars. I’d been invited to speak at a workshop on Gender Equality held by the Irish Alumni Chapter of Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA). The half-day workshop was held in St. Laurence Church on the Grangegorman Campus of DIT.

Marie Curie fellows, past and present, traveled in from all over Ireland to attend the event. The Irish MSCA Alumni chapter is just two years old and it covers the whole of the island, welcoming researchers from north and south, east and west.

A lovely group of early-career researchers arrived in last night from Cork for the workshop, for instance. They came to Ireland from many different countries across Europe and beyond to work with the excellent researchers here.

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Dr. Chiara Loder, with Ireland’s MSCA office, helps researchers write winning proposals

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Dr. Geraldine Canny, the MSCA National Contact Point and Head of Ireland’s MSCA Office.

Dr. Amir Tabaković, a Strategic Research Proposal Coordinator housed in DIT’s Research Enterprise and Innovation Services office organized the event. Amir was formerly a Marie Curie Fellow to TU Delft in the Netherlands. Several other alumni assisted in organizing, including Dr. Declan Devine, the  Chair of Ireland’s MCA Alumni chapter who was a Marie Curie fellow–following his wife’s own MSCA fellowship. They have spent time doing research in Switzerland, the US, and now back home in Ireland.

The day’s line-up of speakers was both exceptionally accomplished and full of insight. We started with introductions by our hosts, Amir and Declan, and a talk by Dr. Geraldine Canny, who is Head of the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office and National Contact Point – H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Programme. She is responsible for the delivery of the office suite of application supports and also provides input into MSCA policy as a Programme Committee member. The program continued as follows:

Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 5.08.22 PM

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Jean Cahill, one of my mentors and heroes

I’ve included photos of many presentations. During the coffee break and post-workshop lunch, we got to socialize and network. I asked Jean Cahill–a Head of Research at DIT and one of the people who has helped me with writing various grants in the past–how many Marie Curie Fellows we’ve had at DIT. She rattled off five, and I was two of them! I think, for institutional records, I’m counted as an incoming MSAC Fellow (2014-2016) and an outgoing MSCA Fellow (2018-2020). The reason I’d asked Jean about this was that I had just met DIT’s newest incoming MSCA fellow, and she’s female. Interestingly, all the five fellows to DIT who Jean identified are female. The program is open to men and women alike, so the success rate for women applying to DIT is very high! I’ve always found DIT to be a very supportive environment. In fact, Jean and others like former National Contact Point Dr. Jennifer Brennan, helped me draft both of MSCA applications–going well above and beyond their job requirements and providing loads of pertinent advice that was crucial to my success in securing funds. For both of my MSCA applications, Professor Nancy Stenson and Dr. Marek Rebow helped with editing as well.

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Chatting with Professor Brian Bowe in DIT’s Rathdowne House

For today, Amir had asked me to talk about my experiences as a Marie Curie fellow and identify some gender aspects of my research work. I encouraged the audience to push beyond gender and seek inclusivity for all types of diversity. I asked them to promote wider considerations of diversity in European funding calls and evaluations, as well as in their own research. I asked them to consider publishing gender-related aspects of their findings in journals that reach more than one type of specialty audience and I provided examples. Then I described one of the research projects I’ve done as an MSCA fellow and the data analysis I have underway now that I will report via the Society for Research in Higher Education.

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Dr. Shanonn Chance with DIT’s Dr. Barry McCauley, an expert in BIM and Quantity Surveying

At the conclusion of the workshop, I met up with my former Fulbright and MSCA supervisor, Professor Brian Bowe. Then I walked from DIT Grangegoreman to DIT Bolton Street by way of our new path–which connects the two sites and takes just seven minutes to walk. There at Bolton Street, I returned a library book (Marton and Booth, 1997) and had a chat with Dr. Barry McCauley, who was serving as my temporary replacement but has since been appointed to a permanent full-time position of his own at DIT. I couldn’t be more pleased, as Barry is an excellent teacher and researcher and is excelling even while adjusting to his new prosthetics. Barry was injured on a construction site when he was 21 and his legs were crushed, but he has not let this stop him. He went on to get his Ph.D. and he’s a force to be reckoned with! We are lucky to have him at DIT; I really enjoyed learning Navis Works and CostX from him in prior years and he has done some very important research on uptake and implementation of BIM (Building Informational Modelling) globally.

If you are a researcher reading this who is interested in applying for a fellowship to come do research in engineering education at either DIT (soon to be TU Dublin) or at my other institution which is UCL, or in BIM implementation here at DIT, please contact me and I’ll help you write a grant proposal (IrelandByChance at gmail dot com).

Down the Rabbit Hole, from Bath to London

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Beautiful “ferry” trees at Avebury in the UK’s Wiltshire region.

Last week I crossed the threshold into a brave new world. I traveled over to the UK, my soon-to-be home, twice to learn more about the place.

First, to celebrate Ireland’s bank holiday weekend, my partner Aongus and I flew to Bath. We rented a car so we could visit Stonehenge, the flight of locks at Devizes (the Caen Hill flight of the Kennet and Avon canal), Avebury which is similar to Stonehenge but larger, and the picturesque village of Castle Combe. In the city of Bath, we toured the ruins of the old Roman baths, the bell tower of Bath Abbey, Royal Crescent and the townhouse museum at One Royal Crescent, and weir and the Putney Bridge, as well as getting Watsu treatments and a night time soak with spectacular views from the rooftop pool at the Thermal Spa.

Stonehenge was spectacular, but Avebury had an even more mystical feel. The majestic old fairy trees with their thick boughs and knotted roots make it feel as if you’re stepping foot into C.S. Lewis’ Narnia or the Wonderland Lewis Carroll created for Alice. (Both of these were English writers, who could well have stood beneath the same magical trees we found here.) Wikipedia provides a quick reference to the meaning of ferry trees: “Many types of trees found in the Celtic nations are considered to be sacred, whether as symbols, or due to medicinal properties, or because they are seen as the abode of particular nature spirits. Historically and in folklore, the respect given to trees varies in different parts of the Celtic world.”

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Meeting with UCL’s Professor Nick Tyler.

After flying home, I flew back to London on short notice for four meetings on Wednesday–because my new colleagues at University College London had time to meet me and it was “review week” at DIT.

These meetings were in preparation for the start of my new Marie Curie research fellowship in January. The EU is providing funding for me to work at UCL for two years, to further upgrade my skills in educational research. During my short visit, I met with my primary supervisor Professor Nick Tyler who has an amazing record of research in transportation engineering and educational innovation. I also met with my secondary supervisor, Professor John Mitchell, who directs UCL’s Centre for Engineering Education (CEE). I also got to meet with the newest member of CEE’s research team, Dr. Inês Direito, who I’ll get to collaborate with in projects. All this in addition to visiting UCL’s European Office and quick chats with two other colleagues, Emanuela Tilley and Dr. Arnie McKinley, both originally from my own side of the Atlantic.

Overall it was a very productive day, and I even got two grant proposals read in route.

Across the span of the week, I had great experiences at work and at play. I can’t wait to get back to London, Bath, and the Wiltshire region of England for more learning, and more novel adventures.

 

A Portrait of Engineering (and Architecture) in Warsaw

That's when dad and I were building an experimental aircraft. (that's still half done, I'm sorry to say).

Me and WUT’s PW-5.

I just spent a most unexpectedly sublime week in Warsaw. What a beautiful, walkable, and livable city! Just the right density — useful public transport, affordable bike rentals, green space at regular intervals, and architectural monuments galore.

My primary task was to conduct interviews with budding engineers. Over the course of the week, eleven Polish women (who are studying various sorts of physics and engineering) each volunteered an hour and a half to share their experiences with me. It was amazingly insightful to discover similarities and difference with the experiences of the 10 Irish and 11 foreign-born women I’ve interviewed at Dublin Institute of Technology. (I also have 11 interviews recorded with Portuguese women, but these must still be translated.)

Fortunately for me, the students in Poland can opt to take their classes in Polish, or English, or a mixture of both. These Polish women spoke English very well and were bold enough to grant me interviews in my own native tongue.

In the evening hours I had time to explore some sites, depicted in the photos below.

Marie Curie Fellowship

It’s been a week of new adventures.  Last Monday my plane landed in Dublin and I began a new job at the Dublin Institute of Technology as a Marie Curie Research Fellow.  This is a two-year post funded by a generous grant from the European Union that will allow me to extend the research I began as a Fulbright scholar.  I spent several months last summer going the proposal, and met with success.

Many people helped with the proposal, including my mentor Dr. Nancy Stenson.  She has been a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow (IIF) for the past two years… she told me of the IIF program, encouraged me to apply, and helped edit and refine my proposal.  Without her, I’d never have succeeded.  Jean Cahil, Jennifer Brennan, and Marek Rebow were also instrumental in the effort.  Colleen Dube, Pamela Eddy, Mike Murphy, John Donovan, and Brian Bowe provided valubale assistance as well.

Brian will be serving as my research supervisor for the next two years. Receiving this grant helped focus efforts in the college on the topic of research in engineering education. It lead to the formal establishment of CREATE (Centre for Research on Engineering, Architecture, and Technology Education, or something similar).

I’ll tell you about my recent adventures in an upcoming post….