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What educators say

Karen Vernon-Parry

Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University

How do you introduce your students to engineering when they arrive at University?

Some context, a description of what they'll be studying in the year, a progression event about the engineering courses SHU offers in Nov/Dec.

What does a student have to do to succeed on an engineering course in your view?

Attend lectures and classes & study effectively in own time; manage course load whilst still finding time for own interests; find some part of the course that really interests and inspires them; realise that not all of the course is going to be easy to understand at first glance.

Please describe the average day at University for one of your engineering students.

A mixture of lectures, seminars and labs - probably 3 or 4 hours per day of taught material, and about the same doing tutorial problems, further reading, project work etc

How is the time split between lectures, labs and tutorials?

Usually equally about 40% lectures, 40% tutorials and 20% labs

Please give a brief example of a practical exercise / project which your students might get involved in.

Examining a product, working out what it's made from, how it was made, how it works (including underpinning physics/chemistry) and deciding whether it is "fit for purpose".

What do you think students should do if they are having problems with their studies.

  1. Let course team/student support officer know!
  2. Use full range of study support available as needed - module team, course leader, university support, student support team, student union, friends on course etc.

What is the approximate ratio of males to females on your engineering course(s)?

About 13:1 this year

Why do you want more women to take engineering.

It's a challenging & fun career that can (with a bit of ingenuity and determination) meet the demands of the modern work/life balance. There is a greater opportunity for women to contribute to engineering nowadays than there was in the past, and I feel that this opportunity should not be passed up.

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Added on: 20/12/2011