Faculty of Engineering & Design staff

Sharing experience and best practice across the Faculty of Engineering & Design

Women in Engineering

📥  Staff experiences

To celebrate Women in Engineering Day, Dr Min Pan, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, shares her experiences of studying and working in engineering:

How will you be spending Women in Engineering Day?

I think I will spend the morning in the office doing some research and then go to the lab in the afternoon to carry out experimental work just like any other normal day. To me, women are always 'in engineering'.

What are the most rewarding parts of your role?

I enjoy doing my research work and supervising students’ projects. I get a great sense of satisfaction when I see my ideas work and my students make progress.

What have you learnt from your career so far?

Find something you enjoy and find role models who inspire you. I have found something I really enjoy and it’s such a privilege being able to make a living doing something you love. I also think it is very important to be creative and confident when you are doing research.

Why did you choose to study engineering?

My father is a Civil Engineer and he was a big influence on me. Growing up I was very proud to tell people that he designed bridges and buildings. He taught me basic maths and physics when I was young, which I then excelled at in school. However, when I came to apply for university I insisted that computer science was the right choice for me. I enjoyed using programmes to analyse practical problems, to design smart controllers and find solutions, not just for fun and solving puzzles! I then applied for an MSc programme in Mechanical Engineering followed by a PhD, which was in the same area.

What is the future like for women in engineering?

I believe there is a rosy future for women in engineering. More and more female students are starting to consider engineering courses, and universities generally have very good support groups/systems to help women build confidence and develop skills. Industry also now offers more opportunities to women in different sectors. If you are creative, engineering is something you should consider.

I think the key influencers of young people are their parents and teachers. We need to present engineering as enjoyable; there is still some work to do and improve, but the future is definitely bright!

 

Introducing our Faculty Staff Wiki space

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📥  New initiative

As part of the CMS transition, our Faculty’s internal web pages have migrated to the University’s Wiki (called Confluence).

Our new Faculty of Engineering & Design Staff Wiki space means:

  • Faculty staff information is contained in one place
  • teams can take ownership of their own content and easily update their pages
  • staff can share information and collaborate more effectively

Since starting the project back in January, we have moved across our current content, as well as creating new content. We’ve also undertaken a user testing process to refine usability and design.

Where is the space?

You can find the Staff Wiki space in the same way as the old internal pages: by clicking the padlock link on the Faculty’s external landing page.

You can also log in to Confluence and search for the space or type in the web address go.bath.ac.uk/fedstaffwiki directly into your browser.

Who can access the space?

All staff at the University (who have a University log on) can view the space but certain pages may have viewing or editing restrictions applied to them. This is so that they can only be seen or edited by a select group or individual.

Design

The space has been designed by Rosie Hart (Postgraduate Taught Programmes Officer) using a colour palette of Faculty Orange, Stylus grey and About blue. All pages have consistent headers and footers. To reduce scrolling we have hidden some content under expandable headings.

Each page has been assigned a webmaster or masters who are responsible for creating and keeping content up to date (these names are listed within the page footer). Page design inevitably varies depending on the webmaster, but should retain the same design ethos and colour scheme as the rest of the space.

Navigation

The page tree in the left-hand sidebar lists all top level pages. Page headings with ‘>’ next to them (rather than a bullet point) expand to reveal child pages beneath them with further content.

The search box in the top right toolbar searches the whole of Confluence (all University of Bath Wiki pages). The search box on the Faculty Staff Wiki homepage only searches the space.

You can always return to the homepage by clicking the Orange Minerva head logo at the top of the Wiki space’s left-hand sidebar.

Each page is tagged with its function or team, which formulates an index (or A-Z) linked to in the left-hand page tree and on the homepage.

Take a video tour of the space


Managing the space

The Staff Wiki space will always be a work in progress. All staff are expected to take an active responsibility for keeping the space up to date. We all have editing rights for any page containing an edit button (located at the top right of a page). Teams who do not wish people to edit their pages can restrict this, so if an edit button is present then the webmaster is happy for others to contribute. The Wiki has a history function so if anything goes wrong you can always publish an earlier version of a page.

The homepage has a feedback link for staff to provide comments on usability, content and design. This feedback will be evaluated tri-annually (October, February, June) by the Wiki space editorial group consisting of Becky Garner, Beth Jones, Rosie Hart and Tracey Madden. The group will also review the space to ensure design and content standards are being met, and offer advice to webmasters.

Creating new pages

Should your team have a presence within our Staff Wiki space? In the first instance, it is best to contact Tracey Madden (Learning Enhancement Advisor) through the new content request table. Tracey can advise on your content needs, the design of your page and provide bespoke wiki training for your team. You may find that the Staff Wiki space is not the correct location for your content or that you only need to link to your own pages from it.

Webmasters of top level wiki pages already in existence can create as many child pages as they wish. All new pages must contain a header and footer to match the rest of the Wiki space and comply with our colour styles and brand principles.

Developing your wiki skills and finding help

Tracey Madden has created a bespoke help section with how-to guides and page templates to aid staff in using the Wiki space and creating their own content. You can also take a look at Tracey’s Macro of the Month feature and Rosie’s Top Wiki Tips on the blog to develop your wiki skills. You can practise editing and using macros on your personal wiki page (everyone automatically has one) or book wiki training with Computing Services. Tracey Madden is also available to provide bespoke training to members of our Faculty.

Thanks to...

Thank you to Rosie Hart (supported by Bex Mills) who transitioned our existing internal content and designed the space, and to Tracey Madden who has worked with teams to create new content. Thank you also to our user testers.

 

TEL Event #2 - Focus on assessment and feedback

📥  Staff event, Technology Enhanced Learning

Please come along to the second Technology Enhanced Learning event on 24 June 2016 11:15-12:05, CB 3.5

  • Assessment and feedback using the Moodle rubric - Sabina Gheduzzi (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Using a Moodle database for peer assessment with a large cohort of students - Tim Ibell (Architecture & Civil Engineering)
  • Managing group project assessment using a Moodle database - Philip Shields (Electronic & Electrical Engineering)

This will be a chance for colleagues to share some different approaches to assessment and feedback, and to discuss how they might work for you in your learning and teaching context. There will be a series of three short presentations, with time for questions and discussion on each topic.

This event follows on from the successful Faculty TEL event in March. An attendee at the last event found:

"It was great to see some of the innovative use of technology in the faculty. I found it particularly useful that staff were sharing actual experiences; the pitfalls as well as the opportunities."

To register, please sign up via the following link: http://doodle.com/poll/yemp6ch77fm7ekct

Image Designed by Freepik

Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to keep up to date with news and events. You can enter your email address (look for the subscription box to the right) to receive notifications of the latest posts.


 

Macro of the Month: Labels List

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

Labels List is a very basic macro with one specific use. It is particularly useful where you have a large space with a lot of content, including multiple different items on a page, as it enables you to create a dynamic A-Z or alphabetised index to help visitors find what they want.

Application(s)

Labels List has one function:

  • makes an alphabetised list of the labels used in a space

How to add Labels List

Firstly...

  • add labels to the pages of your wiki (click on the icon at the right hand side of the foot of the page)
  • type in a label and click Add
  • repeat this process until you have added all the label for the page
  • repeat the process for attachments if you wish

Then simply...

  • Place you cursor where you want the Labels List macro to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type label list into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (you can, for instance, exclude some labels from appearing in the list)
  • Click Save

How to use Labels List

Look at how labels could be added to the attachments in your space and/or the pages themselves to enable visitors to find the materials they need. The addition of labels (and the availability of a labels list) is useful where:

  • you have a large number of pages
  • there are multiple items on a single page (which are not all reflected in the page title)
  • some items in your space can be known by multiple names

Example

Index

(Click on image to enlarge)

 

Raj Aggarwal's retirement event

  

📥  Staff event

After over 40 years in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Professor Raj Aggarwal is retiring. Raj, who started at the University in October 1973, is a familiar face around the campus.

Colleagues from across the University are warmly invited to mark the occasion with tea and cakes in Wessex House Restaurant on Tuesday 14 June at 4pm.

Please email Ann Linfield if you would like to attend.

There is a card for signing and an envelope for contributions in the EE Department Office, 2E 2.10.

Raj has requested that any money from a collection be donated to MIND and Sightsavers.

 

Imagining research to engage communities

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📥  Celebrating success, Staff experiences

Ammar Azzouz, PhD student in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, talks about this year's Images of Research competition and the importance of communicating our research to the wider community:

Images of Research takes place every year at the University of Bath and across several universities in the UK. It aims to communicate complex research ideas to the public and reinvent dialogues between different departments across the University.

The 50 images submitted this year illustrate the extraordinarily varied research undertaken at our University and present these using novel techniques ranging from sketching and hand-drawing to collage and photographs. They individually and collectively present some of the critical issues we are facing in our modern society including Alzheimer’s, aging, building materials, 3D-printing, scams, asylum seekers and racism.

My entry Hand Versus Machine? has been awarded the highly commended best image award. I was also one of only three postgraduates to be shortlisted for the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Public Engagement with Research. I am really honoured that my passion for sharing my research with the public has been acknowledged.

Engaging the public

I believe events like this are of vital importance in bridging the gap between researchers and the public. Academics have to be more engaged with the community and follow in the steps of artists. Henry Moore, one of the most influential British artists, for instance, pioneered the use of films and documentaries to share his art with the wider public through television. He created a new way of showing art and presented the uncertainty surrounding the process of creating sculptures in regards to form and material in his films. Researchers have to look for creative and innovative ways to empower people, by transferring their skills and knowledge to our community. By doing so, our research will not only be documented in conference and journal papers, but also be translated into engaging projects.

My 2015 Images of Research entry

Ammar's 2016 images of Research prize winning entry

Hand Versus Machine? - Ammar's 2016 Images of Research prize winning entry

My Hand Versus Machine? collage questions the tools and techniques that architects use to translate their ideas to real life. For most of our history architects have used traditional techniques to communicate their ideas such as, inking, hand-drawing and painting. These techniques are vanishing and being replaced by new emerging tools. Since the 1960s, architects have used computers to generate 2D drawings and 3D models to imagine the future of our built environment. These models are realistic, informative and engaging.

Nowadays digital models are becoming even more complex since they require 4D (time) and 5D (cost) to be attached to every element of the model. Despite these pioneering advances that technology has offered, we have to use it in a more efficient and intelligent way that will lead to a smarter built environment. So shall we use hands or machines to communicate ideas? Perhaps both at different stages of the project, but it is important to emphasise the way we use our hands and the way we use our machines.

Building the unbuildable, virtually - Ammar's 2015 Images of Research entry

Building the unbuildable, virtually - Ammar's 2015 Images of Research entry

 

Our second Faculty PGT Learning & Teaching Conference

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📥  Staff event

Sally Clift, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, gives an overview of our second Faculty PGT Learning & Teaching Conference: 'Defining Excellence in Postgraduate Education' and where we go from here:

The conference
Following on from the work of the ‘Defining Excellence in Postgraduate Education’ working groups, we organised a conference to draw together current practice on master's courses particularly with regard to dissertations, and discuss ways forward given the anticipated increase in numbers of master's students.

The conference attracted both academic and non-academic staff from across our Faculty and the larger University community including the Academic Skills Centre.

Sessions
I opened the morning session with an overview of our new master's courses that will be offered over the next four years. A survey of our current master's courses revealed a range of assessment patterns for dissertations, though all reveal similar aims and learning objectives.

In the first discussion session mixed groups discussed the challenges that increased numbers brought to dissertation supervision. Topics that were highlighted included:

  • staff resourcing and recognition
  • spread of load across departments
  • complexity of marking
  • possibility of linking with research centres

Following this were presentations from Dr Bruce Rayton (Associate Dean for PGT programmes, School of Management), Dr Peter Wilson (Electronic & Electrical Engineering, formerly University of Southampton) and Dr Dirk Schaefer (Mechanical Engineering, formerly Georgia Tech) who offered up their experiences of handling large numbers of master's level students.

In the afternoon, I opened the session by looking at alternative formats to the traditional dissertation. Following this, Dr Ricardo Codinhoto (Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering) gave an in-depth look at the use of industrial projects in the highly successful MSc Modern Building Design programme.

The second discussion session looked at what we should be doing as a Faculty to move forward. Ideas included:

  • better definition of the student-supervisor relationship
  • integrate projects with research groups
  • embed skills development within MSc courses
  • develop company-based alternatives to the traditional research project
  • streamline assessment
  • review resourcing for PGT programmes

Outcomes
The group sessions yielded valuable insights into issues such as maintaining the quality of the student educational experience whilst student numbers increase. We also discussed ways that we might meet these challenges that could bring improvements to the student experience overall and improve our ways of working.

Resources from the conference can be found on the Defining Excellence in Postgraduate Education Wiki.

Feedback
Feedback at the end of day indicated that those who had attended had a good opportunity to:

  • learn more about the topic
  • hear the views of others
  • ask questions and offer options

Attendees appreciated the:

  • mixture of talks and discussion
  • range of backgrounds of attendees

"It was great to have an outside perspective from other faculties/unis. We should definitely learn from others' successes."

"Good questions and engagement"

"Good mix of attendees with different backgrounds & perspectives"

"Open, inclusive format"

Next steps
The insights from this meeting will be used to support the development of a Faculty MSc sharing good practice guide for dissertation supervision, support and assessment.

 

Macro of the Month: Excerpt/Excerpt Include

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

Excerpt Include is a macro which has to be used in combination with the macro Excerpt.

Excerpt is used to define part of a page which you would like to include in additional places. Excerpt Include is used to define where that except will appear

Application(s)

Excerpt Include has one feature:

  • displays the section defined by the Excerpt macro in one or more additional places

How to add Excerpt/Excerpt Include

This is a two-stage process as you have to set up two macros.

A. To add Excerpt

Simply...

  • Place your cursor just above or below the material you want to have appear on another page (as well as this one)
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type excerpt into the search box
  • 'Cut and paste' or 'drag and drop' the material you want to have appear on another page into the Excerpt area.
  • Click Save

B. To add Excerpt Include

Simply...

  • Place your cursor where you want the excerpt to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type excerpt include into the search box
  • Indicate the page location of the except you want to use
  • Click Save

How to use Excerpt/Excerpt Include

Consider using this where it would be useful to:

  • have material that appears on more than one page be up-datable in one place
  • have active material (e.g. tasks lists) that appear in more than one place remain in sync

Example

The buttons at the top of the pages on Faculty of Engineering and Design staff area wiki (https://wiki.bath.ac.uk/display/FEDSA/Faculty+of+Engineering+and+Design+staff+area)

Buttons

(click on image to enlarge)

 

Have we met yet?

📥  New initiative, Staff insight, Technology Enhanced Learning

Have we met yet? We've been introducing ourselves through meetings and events (such as the Faculty TEL event), but if we've not yet had the chance to speak with you, here's a reminder of who we are and what we do.

We are two (job sharing) Learning Technologists, Rachel Applegate and Yvonne Moore - that's us in the mugshots below.

Rachel Applegate - Learning Technologist Yvonne Moore - Learning Technologist

We're aiming to coordinate projects to provide advice, guidance and/or training in the use of learning technologies in the Faculty.  Then we'll communicate lessons learnt from these projects so that the benefits are shared across the Faculty.

Examples of projects could include:

  • planning to develop your Moodle course beyond the basics
  • designing a Moodle course for new units or programmes of study
  • implementing online assessment and feedback (e.g. using Moodle / Turnitin)
  • creating videos to support revision (e.g. using Panopto)
  • providing generic feedback via video / audio (e.g. using Panopto)
  • developing eportfolios for employability or assessment (e.g. using Mahara)
  • using social media to communicate with students and employers and/or experts (e.g. Twitter or Facebook)
  • developing online collaboration activities for students (e.g. using wikis such as Confluence or web based collaboration tools such as lino.it and padlet)

You can find further information via the FED Technology Enhanced Learning wiki pages. Please don't forget that support is still available from the central eLearning Team where you can access how-to guides and help with common tasks in Moodle (Support Hub) and other centrally supported technologies.

We hope this is a helpful reminder of our roles and we look forward to meeting and working with you in the future.

One more thing, during the next six months, we will be seeking your feedback to help us identify priorities for the type of support we offer. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions or questions please get in touch:

Rachel Applegate and Yvonne Moore at fed-tel@bath.ac.uk

Image: screenshot of presentation slide with contact details.

P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to this blog and other useful blogs like the Moodle Service blog. This will ensure you get an email when new content is posted.  You can read about how to keep up-to-date with internal communications from a previous blog post.


 

 

Staying informed with internal comms

  

📥  New initiative, Top tips

Everyone’s different when it comes to how they like to receive information and in what format, so we’ve introduced new ways for you to keep up to date with what's going on in the Faculty.

Sign up to our quarterly staff e-bulletin

Our staff e-bulletin goes out in September, December, March and June containing a roundup of Faculty news stories, blog articles, opportunities and events. The email is an opt-in service so staff need to sign up to receive it.

Staff e-bulletin screen shot

Staff e-bulletin screen shot

You can view our first editions here:

December 2015

March 2016

Staff can submit items for inclusion in the next e-bulletin by emailing fed-internal@bath.ac.uk

Subscribe to our Faculty staff blog

Our blog is for staff to:

  • share their experiences
  • provide insight into working practices
  • highlight new initiatives
  • define best practice
  • promote staff events and opportunities

You can subscribe to receive blog posts straight to your inbox by typing in your email address on the right side panel. After you have submitted your email address you will receive an email to confirm your subscription (you may need to check your junk email for this) - please make sure to click the confirmation link.

Blog confirmation email

Confirm your blog subscription by clicking the email.

The best posts from the blog are included in our quarterly staff e-bulletin and may also be featured on the University’s staff homepage.

Posts are created by individual members of staff. Anyone who wishes to contribute a post to the blog can email fed-internal@bath.ac.uk and read the University’s guidelines on blogging style.

Keep an eye on our foyer TV screens

The TV screens in the 6, 4 and 2 East foyers now display staff notices and event slides. You can see an example below:

OneLan screen staff notices

Notices for staff displayed on our 2,4 and 6 East foyer screens.

Staff can create their own slides for the screens by downloading a template from our Marketing & Web Team Wiki page.

Watch or favourite the Faculty staff wiki area

Our new Faculty of Engineering & Design staff wiki space is currently under construction. This is where team overviews, structure charts and Faculty events are listed. You can favourite wiki pages you find useful so that you can easily find them again.

If you would like to be notified when anything changes anywhere on a wiki space or just on one page in particular, you can use the Watch facility. This notifies you by email with details of what has changed to the wiki page and who made the changes.

How to favourite a Wiki space

How to favourite a Wiki space