Faculty of Engineering & Design staff

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

Macro of the Month - Panel


📥  Tracey's macro of the month

This feature aims to introduce you to the various macros (small pre-set programmes) that are available within Confluence. They are designed to help you with the layout and functionality of your content.

This month’s macro is Panel. Like all macros it can be found under Other Macros in the Insert menu.

Panel is a very basic macro with multiple uses. In fact, it will probably be the macro you use most often in any space.

Panel has four functions which you can use in combination or independently:
• to add a border to part of a page
• to add a background colour to part of a page
• to add a title to part of a page
• to make a wiki space easier to edit (and since a wiki is always a work in progress, it's a good idea to think about how it will develop in future)

How to use a Panel:
• When you add a panel you will be asked for your choices of title, border type, background colour etc.
• When you have made your choices, click Save
• Add any material you like to the panel: text, images, tables etc.
• If you want to move the panel and its contents, simply drag and drop the panel into its new position
• Panels can also be copy and pasted (within a page or across pages) making it easy to make a new panel based on an existing one


Examples of panel(click on image to enlarge)



Faculty social media explained

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📥  Staff insight

Our channels

Our Departments each have public Twitter and Facebook profiles, some of which are more established than others.

Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering
Facebook: Architecture & Civil Engineering at Bath
Twitter: @BathArchAndCivE

Department of Chemical Engineering
Facebook: Chemical Engineering at Bath
Twitter: @BathChemEng

Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
Facebook: Electronic & Electrical Engineering at Bath
Twitter: @BathElecEng

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Facebook: Mechanical Engineering at Bath
Twitter: @BathMechEng

We also have a Faculty Instagram account @BathEngAndDes for student project work, images of research and life at Bath.

The Faculty contributes content (but does not have access) to central University of Bath accounts including Twitter, Facebook and Weibo. Departmental LinkedIn groups are managed by the Department of Alumni Relations and individual members of the Faculty.

How our channels are managed

Department Offices manage social media output in collaboration with the Faculty Marketing Team. The Departments respond to enquiries and contribute departmental specific content through their own accounts. The Marketing Team has centralised access to all channels through the social media management tool Hootsuite. This enables us to schedule and coordinate content. We share reports, best practice guidelines, strategy and a content calendar on our collaborative Wiki page. We have a social media training module for staff who contribute to our official channels.

Our aim

Our social media channels aspire to create a thriving and engaged community of staff, current students, prospective students, alumni, researchers and industry partners. We aim to showcase our research activities, student work, life on campus, and opportunities for work, collaboration and study within the Faculty.

What was popular in 2015?

  • Downloadable print (brochures and newsletters)
  • League table results
  • Student project work
  • News featuring members of staff
  • PGR opportunities

Some highlights of the coming year

  • Undergraduate and MSc course spotlights
  • Research Centre insights
  • Archive photos to celebrate our 50th anniversary
  • Showcasing user-generated content: blog posts, student projects and events

If you have content you’d like to contribute to our social media channels please contact your Department Office.


Celebrating the Recognising Excellence Award Scheme


📥  Celebrating success

Recognising Excellence awards are intended to recognise and reward those who have demonstrated exceptional performance. This exceptional performance may have been on a one-off or short-term basis, or at a consistent level throughout the year. The scheme provides staff, managers and colleagues with the opportunity to nominate an individual or a team for an award.

Across the Faculty nominations were received for a number of individuals and teams, highlighting the fantastic efforts and dedication of many members of the Faculty support team.  I was extremely proud to read such motivational and inspiring words about the team members, confirming to me, how together we complement each other to near perfection.

Rather than name the successful individuals or teams, I thought it would be useful to highlight where the nominations had matched against the criteria to be awarded against and how this links back to your Effective Behaviours Framework.

As you will be aware there are many criteria that a nomination can be set against, 15 in total.  The following 12 were demonstrated this year:

  • Management of a specific area of activity in a department/faculty resulting in significant improvement against appropriate metrics
  • Achievement of income, cost or performance related targets for the department or sub unit
  • Significant improvements in operational or service level agreement standards or operational efficiency
  • Achieving consistently high levels of customer satisfaction
  • Quality of work
  • Controlling costs and improving cost effectiveness
  • Minimising bureaucracy and streamlining procedures in a department/faculty or across the University
  • Improvements in team working in a unit, department/faculty or across the University
  • Demonstrating inspirational management of staff; motivating and leading by example
  • Demonstrating exceptional teamwork and interpersonal skills; creating and maintaining excellent working relationships
  • Contributing ideas and assisting in the implementation of a major change in efficiency, quality, cost reduction or achievement of departmental objectives.
  • Exceptional leadership of – and input into – large scale projects with significant impact upon the University or across the HE sector.

Linking this back to the behaviours framework as a Faculty Team we were able to match the nominations against all 9 behaviours:

  • Managing self and personal skills
  • Delivering excellent service
  • Finding innovative solutions
  • Embracing change
  • Using resources
  • Providing direction
  • Developing self and others
  • Working with people
  • Achieving results

It is important we embrace the behaviours, build them into your daily working life and remember to capture those moments where we as an individual or team are proud of the achievement made no matter how small it may seem.

I would like to thank you all for a fantastic 2015 and hope 2016 has many more pockets of glory and moments to be proud of.


My top wiki tips

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📥  Top tips

Add to existing spaces

Wiki pages are always attached to a space, faculty pages should sit under ‘Faculty of Engineering & Design staff area’.  Each wiki user has their own space, which can be used for pages not relevant to the faculty – you can still share the content with others.

Link related pages

Pages which you create within a space will become the ‘parent’ page and you can have ‘child’ pages which sit below like sub categories of that parent.  Arranging your pages as parent & child will help show users that the content is related.

Make it easy

Bear in mind that others adding to the wiki may not be as tech savvy.

The intention of a wiki is to allow multiple users to update and share content, so if possible keep it easy to edit and consider writing an instructional note – the ‘HTML Comment’ macro allows the comment only to be viewed in editing mode.

HTML Comment marcro in editing mode

HTML Comment marcro in editing mode

Use labels to categorise your page

Create labels for your page using key words which relate to their content to make them easier to find i.e. ‘Faculty’, ‘Engineering’, ’Design’, ‘Research’ or ‘Teaching’.  Users can search using keywords to find all pages with content relevant to that word.  You can add labels at the base of each page:

Add a label

Add a label

Be creative

You want to encourage people to use your wiki, so keep it brief (less is more) and vary the way you display content.  Try to avoid putting everything in a table – I’m not knocking tables as sometimes they are the best option – but be aware that there are a range of macros you can use.  Look out for Tracey Madden’s ‘macro of the month’ for inspiration and tips.


Professional photos - staff profile pages for the new website

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📥  New initiative

Find out how to book a slot with our photographer to ensure you have an up-to-date professional photo for your staff profile page.

As we move into 2016, we are continuing to transition our existing web content across into the new content management system (CMS). We have moved the bulk of the Faculty content (bath.ac.uk/engineering) and are hoping to see these pages go live soon.

We are now shifting our attention to content belonging to the four departments in engineering. We are starting with the somewhat daunting migration of all our staff profiles (there are over 200!). Thankfully, our Department Offices have agreed to help us with this part of the transition. They will lead on moving the content across with support from us in the Faculty web team.

As part of this process, we have decided that all staff profile pages will only display professional photos. We will not migrate any non-professional photos across to the new website.

Why are we only using professional photos?
1)    We want to present the Faculty in a consistent and professional way online. Using high quality images that all follow the same visual guidelines is a way to achieve this. We have agreed this with other Faculties so that there will be a universal consistency in how staff are represented across the University.

2)    We are hosting all our images for the new website on Flickr.com. They will appear on our web pages via an embed link. The image size and ratio specifications for the new website are different to what we use now. This means that some of our current staff photos are no longer appropriate.

How can academic and research staff get a professional photo?
Staff can book a five minute slot with Nic Delves-Broughton (our University Photographer) via doodle poll on the following dates:

Tues 19 January 10-11 AM

Tues 19 January 3-4 PM

Thus 28 January 10-11 AM

Wednesday 3 February 2.30-3.30 PM

There are also drop in sessions that do not require a booking:

Tuesday 19 January - 11-11.30 and 4-4.30pm

Thursday 28 January - 11-11.30

Wed 3 February - 3.30-4pm

Photographs will be taken at Nic’s studio in 8 West 1.41. They will be available to staff through the Department Offices. We will ensure that they are uploaded to Flickr and embedded on to the staff profile pages.

What will the new staff profiles look like?
Photos taken by Nic will be portrait in orientation and have a uniform grey background. We have chosen this background colour as it complements the look and feel of the new website. An example of a leadership profile in the new CMS is shown below.

A leadership profile in the new CMS

A leadership profile in the new CMS

Please note the new website is still in development. For updates on the project’s progress please follow the Digital Marketing & Communications blog.

If you have any questions about the transition, please email fed-web@bath.ac.uk.


Preparing early for the REF

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📥  Top tips

Professor Tim Ibell, Associate Dean for Research, discusses logging evidence into ResearchFish, Open Access and research impact in preparation for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF):

From 1 February until 10 March 2016, the window is open for all academics who have held, or hold, research funding from one or more of the Research Councils to log onto ResearchFish and to provide information on the outcomes of our grants. Given that there will be sanctions imposed on us for non-compliance in providing such evidence of outcomes during this period, it is crucial that every research-active academic in the Faculty logs into ResearchFish, when prompted, and provides information about their funded research projects.

In April, the three-month rule kicks in for REF purposes concerning Open Access. Any paper which has been accepted for publication must be uploaded to Pure within three months of such acceptance if it is to be eligible for return to the next REF. Note that even Gold Open Access papers should be put onto Pure as soon as possible after acceptance, just in case there is a significant gap prior to publication.

All papers published that have been written based on Research-Council funded grants must carry clear explanations for how the data underpinning the paper can be accessed from a data repository. Checks by the Research Councils will be made during 2016 to ensure compliance with this.

If you are developing impact from your research but you don’t feel that the Faculty’s Impact Delivery Group yet knows about such impact, you should contact the Director of your Research Centre, where applicable, or the Director of Research in your Department. This will ensure that we are capturing all potential research impact.

And finally, if you are yet to attend one of the Faculty REF Workshops, please do so during 2016.


Getting started on the Wiki

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📥  New initiative, Staff insight

We are undertaking a Content Management System (CMS) transition project that involves migrating content from our current website to a new system. Our Faculty's internal webpages (at www.bath.ac.uk/engineering/staff.bho/) will not be part of this transition. Instead, we are migrating this content to the Wiki.

What is a Wiki?

A Wiki is a website that allows editing by multiple users for greater collaboration. The University of Bath uses Confluence.

Using a Wiki for our internal pages will ensure they are kept relevant and up-to-date as they will be editable by all staff.

Wikis in plain English video

Our Wiki project

We are in the process of building a FED Staff Wiki space with content from our current internal webpages. Our Wiki space will contain a similar, but more extensive, structure to the staff.bho pages. Once this has been built we will encourage faculty and departmental pages (with an exclusively staff audience) already in use in other areas of the Wiki to be copied and pasted across into the FED Staff Wiki space.

Using the Wiki

Staff will be supported in using the Wiki through training and tips on the Faculty staff blog. We will also develop templates for staff who need to create pages from scratch and guidance through our Help with Confluence Wiki pages.

Tracey Madden, Learning Enhancement Adviser, is available for bespoke Wiki training (please contact her directly to book an appointment). There is also training provided centrally by Computing Services. Keep an eye on the staff blog for upcoming posts from Rosie Hart on her Top Wiki tips and Tracey Madden’s Macro of the Month feature.


Reflections on the Managers’ Workshop: where do we go from here?


📥  Staff experiences

A few weeks ago, I took part in a workshop arranged by Iain Forster-Smith. Amanda Wylie from Staff Development facilitated the day with support from Sue Johnson in HR.

This was the first event bringing us together, and the first question of the day was ‘why are we here as a group?’ Iain explained that within the staff group reporting to him, the ‘faculty management team’ are staff who manage a team of people, or who are responsible for a function. For our first workshop together, Amanda asked us to shape the agenda for the day as we progressed. The first part of the day was about getting to know each other better. We took part in an activity thinking about team working and different communication styles. We spent time sharing ideas about what is working well, and areas for improvement. We reflected that there is excellent practice within many of the teams and functions. But we also think we can improve by working in a more ‘joined up’ way across the faculty.

Some key themes and common issues came out as the day went on. Foremost is the need for a clearly defined faculty strategy to inform planning and to help us set objectives, measure and celebrate success in our work. The faculty strategy is due to be defined (linking to the University Strategy). It will be communicated during the next six months and staff will be able to engage in helping to develop the strategy.

During our workshop we brainstormed ideas about how to support strategy, in six key areas:

  • standards for excellence
  • clarity of functions
  • roles and responsibilities
  • building relationships
  • communication, cross-faculty collaboration
  • ways of working.

Working in groups, the exercise asked us to describe ‘the ideal’ situation (we highlighted these notes in one colour). Then we had to describe ‘what have you done to reach the ideal’ (highlighted in another colour). This was a useful way of thinking about where you are aiming, and how you might get there. We photographed a record of the activity. It was surprising how many themes kept recurring throughout the exercise.

At the end of the day we drew together a list of requests and requirements for moving forward. These included

  • input into developing the faculty strategy and objectives
  • further work to define roles and responsibilities
  • improved information sharing about new starters, leavers and change of roles
  • developing staff induction
  • the creation of a monthly staff newsletter
  • how to improve office and shared space in the Faculty (functionally and visually)
  • further work on communication styles with Staff Development
  • some ‘tool box talks’ on common management queries with HR.

Personally I found the day rewarding because it was the first time we came together as a group to think about how to improve ways of working in the faculty. I found that the activities throughout the day were varied and the facilitation by Amanda was engaging and helpful. As with many workshops of this type, it felt like a day of ‘opening boxes’. There was lots of brainstorming but not enough time to work in detail on specific problems. There is a lot of work ahead to progress actions from the day, but it was positive to be starting discussions and sharing ideas.


Promoting your campus event checklist


📥  Top tips

There are a few key questions to ask yourself when promoting your event to ensure you use the appropriate channels:

  • Who is my target audience?
  • Is University branding appropriate?
  • What’s my budget?
  • How much time do I have?
  • Are my attendees internal or external?

1. Talk to your Department Office
First and foremost talk to your Department Office who will be able to advise you on promoting your event. Please note inaugural lectures must be organised by your Department Coordinator as there is a set protocol for who is to be invited.

2. Use Eventbrite
Eventbrite is the University-advised method for organising your event and has more functionality than you’d think, including a reminder facility and ticketing options. Having an Eventbrite link will make it easier for others to promote and link to your event.

3. Invite your attendees
Add the date of your event and why they should attend to your key guests’ Outlook diaries.

4. Add your event to the What’s On calendar
If you add your event to the What’s On calendar (and it’s approved by the central communications team), it will be displayed on the internal staff homepage. If your event is for Faculty staff then add it to our Faculty Staff Wiki space.

5. Create a slide for our digital signage
Creating a slide for your Department’s digital signage (TV screens in 2, 4, and 6 East foyers) will help raise the profile of your event. You can create a slide in Powerpoint and then save it as an image to ensure it’s the correct specifications for the screen. For further details read the University's guidance on producing this. You can download a Faculty event template from our Marketing & Web team Wiki page.

6. Get active on social media
Use your own channels or ask your Department to promote the event on theirs (all four Departments have Twitter and Facebook profiles). Use twitter handles to get your post noticed and an event hashtag so others can link in to your event. Think about a timeline leading up to your event, when might be good to post and then repost your messages?

7. Produce promotional materials
If you have budget to produce promotional materials such as posters, banners and so on, then our Design, Print & Photography service can help you to do this.

If you don’t have any budget then you may be able to use our Faculty templates available for download from the Faculty Marketing & Web Team’s Wiki page. Consider whether University branding is appropriate for your event before doing this.

8. Submit your event to the Faculty Staff e-bulletin
Email your event title, date, time, location and a short description to fed-internal@bath.ac.uk for inclusion in the quarterly (September, December, March and June) Faculty Staff e-bulletin.

High profile events/launches
If your event is high profile (for example the launch of a new facility with notable external attendees) then you may get support from our central Press Office and Events Team to drum up added publicity on external channels.

Watch this space…
There are currently working groups meeting at the University to discuss how events are managed and the new CMS will provide changes to how events are utilised on the website in future.


Better print with the Aurasma App

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📥  New initiative

The Aurasma App (available on the Google Play Store and the Apple Store) allows us to add online content to our print materials. It does this by scanning trigger images, which then load videos, images and webpages, augmenting our publications in an imaginative and engaging way. It has already been pioneered by a number of Departments around the University and we have recently introduced it to some new Faculty of Engineering & Design print items.

The app is free to download and once following the University of Bath channel anyone can enjoy content across campus (including the Images of Research and the Bath Leap List). It's a great way to integrate our online and offline assets, to promote study at Bath in a more interactive format and to add content without compromising design. As with anything that's free it has its drawbacks, but the app offers considerable potential for Open Days, as well as showcasing student project work and communicating our research impact.

Download the app to try out the images below.

Instructions on downloading the app to your phone:

  1. Download the Aurasma App.
  2. Search uniofbath within the Aurasma App and select 'follow' or alternatively open your web browser and enter the following URL: bit.ly/uniofbath
  3. Select the camera view within the app and hold your phone over the image.

Scan the following image from page 6 of our new Mechanical Engineering brochure:

Mechanical Engineering brochure - Team Bath Racing aura

Mechanical Engineering brochure - Team Bath Racing aura

Scan the following image from the back of our Civil Engineering brochure:

Civil Engineering brochure placement testimonial aura

Civil Engineering brochure placement testimonial aura

Scan the following image from our new postgraduate funding postcard:

Postgraduate research funding postcard aura

Postgraduate research funding postcard aura

Scan the following image to see how we can showcase student projects and make our foyers more interactive:

Drawing of a Basil Spence project

6 East foyer Basil Spence exhibit aura


Exploring further

The app also has 3D capabilities and large photos can have multiple trigger points. Scan the image below to see where we could take our augmented content in future - to do this please follow the University of Bath test channel by typing in http://auras.ma/s/era3w

3D animated gif example aura

3D animated gif example aura

Many thanks to Hugh Tonking and Marie Salter for helping to introduce the app to the Faculty of Engineering & Design.