School of Engineering

Engineering Learning and Professional Practice

The ELPP group is led by Andrew Norman and serves a dual role: forming a team of all the teaching-focussed staff within the School, and championing excellence in industrially-relevant engineering education.

This group is at the forefront of responding to the changes in the UK higher education landscape. Members of this team have developed a strong reputation for:

  • Improving student experience and performance across our courses
  • Developing, delivering and improving the assessment of engineering design, practical lab/workshop and computing skills
  • Leading innovative research-led modules and programmes in the area of engineering leadership and management e.g. product life cycle planning and optimisation
  • Increasing industrial involvement in student projects and piloting new models of doing so
  • Curriculum re-structure and design with a focus on increasing industrial relevance of engineering programmes
  • Embedding employability and professional development into the curriculum
  • Scholarship that contributes to the delivery of world-class engineering research within the School.

The UK higher education landscape is rapidly changing: marketisation of higher education, the impact of Teaching Excellence Framework, the emergence of a specialist teaching career path for academic staff, and the wider societal landscape present challenges and opportunities which the ELPP group are tackling.

Our current key priorities and themes are:

  • Enhancing our coverage of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in our curricula
  • Measures to understand and address the BAME awarding gap
  • Strengthening coverage of sustainability in our courses
  • Tools to increase professional development literacy for our students and colleagues
  • Research-led engineering management teaching and related scholarship.

Scholarship/research projects

The aims and ethos of our group is slightly different from the Engineering Education research groups found in some Universities. Our primary focus is continuous improvement of engineering degree programmes and engineering management rather than pedagogical scholarship and research per se.

Group members are keen to lead or take part in collaborative projects and consortia on engineering management/leadership and educational development where these have a strong industrial relevance and links. Informal discussions can be initiated with either the Head of Group or any of the ELPP group members directly.

PhD applications

The group welcomes students to study for PhD degrees in industrially-focussed engineering management or educational development. Informal discussion can be made with either the Head of Group or any of the ELPP group members directly. Details of potential research topics can be found in the websites of ELPP group members.


The ELPP group arranges Learning and Teaching focussed seminars as part of the School of Engineering’s regular seminar programme.

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