School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

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Mar 01

Distinguished Lecture Seminar - Prof. Debbie Chachra - Rethinking Engineering Education

Open to: Academic, Alumni, Public, Student
Admission: Free

All welcome (especially students), no pre-booking required. Preceded at 2.45pm by tea and followed by a reception - both in the Informatics Hub


The way we teach engineering has deep historical roots, and is shaped by culture, experience and technology (some of which we no longer even immediately recognize as technology), from the founding of the first universities a thousand years ago to the Cold War, to how Tetris and Minecraft embody different kinds of learning behaviour. In this wide-ranging talk, I discuss some new approaches to how we think about learning engineering, rooted in concepts drawn from educational psychology, including motivation and self-efficacy, and from research in engineering education, such as the role of hands-on and project-based learning. We have the opportunity to reconsider how we learned engineering, how we teach it, and how we can make it more broadly inclusive.


Debbie Chachra is a Professor of Engineering at Olin College of Engineering, an undergraduate institution which graduated its first class in 2006.  In the spring of 2017, she is a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL. Her research interests include biological materials, infrastructure, and the engineering student experience, with a focus on self-efficacy, persistence and migration, and gender. Prior to joining Olin College, she was a postdoctoral associate at MIT.  She received her undergraduate engineering degree, her master’s degree, and her doctorate from the University of Toronto.  In 2010, she received an NSF CAREER Award in support of her research on engineering education. As part of Olin College’s mission to change engineering education, she writes, speaks, and consults widely.

Wed 1st March 2017

Start Time: 15:00
End Time: 16:00


BR 4.02
Bancroft Road Teaching Rooms
Peter Landin Building
E1 4NS

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