Current research funding in the Centre for Research in Engineering and Materials Education

Centre for Research in Engineering and Materials Education

Funded Research Projects

The following are current funded research projects taking place within the research centre:

Enabling Collaborative Academic Development, Research & Entrepreneurship (eCADRE) Across UK-China TNE

Principal Investigator: Gabriel CAVALLI
Funding source: British Council
Start: 01-01-2022  /  End: 31-03-2024
Amount: £22,500

Embedding Cultural References to Catalyse the Transition to Active Learning in Transnational Education

Principal Investigator:
Co-investigator(s): Sulafudin VUKUSIC, Agne KOCNEVAITE, Xinru DENG and Gabriel CAVALLI
Funding source: Westfield Fund
Start: 12-10-2022  /  End: 31-12-2023
Amount: £6,000

Many students in our transnational programmes, but also international students in our home programmes, experience difficulties adapting to active learning approaches, resulting in lower engagement and lower academic performance. Cultural differences derived from more traditional education systems play a major role in these difficulties. This project proposes co-creating with students the embedding of cultural references to ease the transition from traditional lecturing to flipped classroom.

BeLOnG in SEMS: Perspective from the SEMS community

Principal Investigator: Folashade AKINMOLAYAN TAIWO
Co-investigator(s): Angela JONES
Funding source: Westfield Fund
Start: 05-12-2022  /  End: 08-12-2023
Amount: £4,350

There is a need to facilitate and encourage students to share their experience, and utilise student partnerships to explore their needs. Through the development and display of a blog, students can identify what success and barriers they have identified in addition to how they experienced it. Blogs can draw together small virtual groupings of individuals interested in constructing knowledge around a common topic within a community of practice, and supporting each other. Through personal or group blogs, data sharing is enabled and experts and novices alike can make their voices heard to the rest of the online world. Therefore, students do not only participate in an activity and acquire skills, but also produce shared outcomes and advance the experiential learning of the readers.

Understanding the barriers to inclusivity and belonging within team based assessments

Principal Investigator: Folashade AKINMOLAYAN TAIWO
Funding source: ALDinHE
Start: 05-12-2022  /  End: 01-12-2023
Amount: £1,000

Teamwork activities can simulate an authentic learning experience that supports peer feedback and self-reflection. Within teamwork, there are a variety of elements that are challenging for students, such as, managing expectations and group dynamics, and these can lead to a breakdown in communication. Teamwork approaches that consider diversity and promote equitable participation by all students, enhance the culture of the learning environment and are more likely to lead to productive group interactions.

Dynamics of swing pumping

Principal Investigator: Rehan SHAH
Co-investigator(s): Henri HUIJBERTS
Funding source: QMUL Faculty of Science and Engineering
Start: 12-06-2023  /  End: 04-08-2023
Amount: £3,800

The project involves modelling a playground swing system as an elaborated pendulum to investigate the mechanism of frequently adopted swing pumping strategies that are used to increase the amplitude of swinging through the input of additional energy into the system. An example of this, is the standing pumping strategy in which the rider’s repeated standing-squatting motion causes a change in the rider’s position relative to the suspending rope, which in turn leads to an energy boost and gain in swing amplitude. The aim of this study is to construct a mathematical model to analyse the effect of the standing pumping strategy on the amplitude of oscillation using a combination of both analytical and computational methodologies, to better understand the dynamics of swing pumping.

Community-based placements in higher education: framework, impact and outlook

Principal Investigator: Rehan SHAH
Funding source: UCL Centre for Engineering Education
Start: 30-01-2023  /  End: 31-07-2023
Amount: £7,500

Community-based placements in engineering education have the potential to generate benefits for students, universities and communities alike and are increasingly being formally included into the curriculum, particularly at universities like UCL and QMUL that have campuses within underrepresented geographical areas in East London. This project aims to generate a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of all aspects of community-based placements at undergraduate and postgraduate taught levels to benefit engineering education: how they are initiated and in what contexts, what their advantages and limitations are and their impact on employability and student experience.

A comparative study looking at underrepresented engineering students in different institutional contexts: Investigating what contributes towards a holistic engineering student experience of international and home students

Principal Investigator: Folashade AKINMOLAYAN TAIWO
Funding source: UCL Centre for Engineering Education
Start: 01-02-2023  /  End: 31-07-2023
Amount: £5,000

In recent years, we have seen a sharp increase in student numbers and an associated diversification of student profiles across the UK at all taught levels. There is an interest to analyse the current student experience as reported by the student themselves. This includes the learning experience and performance but at the same time places great emphasis on aspects of inclusion, wellbeing and the relevant support mechanisms.