Visiting scholars

The Sounding-Board Scholars initiative facilitates collaboration between RMIT academics and respected national/international learning and teaching experts.

The initiative features guest lectures and seminars, building capacity and on-going scholarship.


Prof Healey is a renowned HE Consultant who is also Emeritus Professor, University of Gloucestershire, UK. Among many distinguished roles, Prof Healey was the co-director of a HE Academy projects on Linking teaching and research through the disciplines and Academics' Experiences and Conceptions of 'Research' and 'Teaching'. 

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Dr Crossin is Senior Lecturer of STEM Work Integrated Learning and Research Director of the Swinburn Engineering Practice Academy. Enda has been a major architect of the innovative BEng (Engineering Practice Honours). This new program is designed to bridge the gap between graduate skills and industry needs, to streamline the journey from student to professional.

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Professor Cascini is from the presitigous Politecnico di Milano Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Job title and organisation: 
Full Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

His research interests cover design methods and tools with a focus on the concept generation stages both for product and process innovation.

He has coordinated several large European research projects including  SPARK: Spatial Augmented Reality as a Key for co-creativity (Horizon 2020 – ICT).

View Professor Cascini's Profile at Politecnico di Milano

Dr Palmer has recently taken a role in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment at Deakin University as Associate Professor, Integrated Learning.  He maintains a strong interest, and active involvement, in engineering education.

Job title and organisation: 
Associate Professor, Integrated Learning, Faculty of Science Engineering & Built Environment, Deakin University

He maintains a strong interest, and active involvement, in engineering education.

What the census says about Australian engineering graduate occupational outcomes

Seminar date: Fri 2 May 2017, in 14.12.05

Internationally, the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for innovation and competition drives concerns about the adequacy of national STEM workforces. 

Data from the UK, US and Australia suggest that, even immediately post-graduation, a significant proportion of engineering bachelor graduates do not work in engineering roles. 

Using the 2011 Australian census data, this presentation will show the relationship between educational qualifications and occupational status of Australian engineering bachelor graduates, how this status varies with graduate age, the qualifications of those holding professional engineering occupational roles, and the geographic distributions of engineering roles and those holding engineering bachelor qualifications in Australia. 

These findings suggest some questions for those with responsibility for undergraduate engineering curricula in Australia.

The SHEER Centre was pleased to host Dr Palmer as the first 2017 Visiting Scholar.

View Dr Palmer's profile at Deakin University

Associate Professor Ruth Bridgstock is an Australian National Senior Teaching Fellow based at QUT. Ruth's activities centre on the question of how universities can foster capabilities for productive participation in the 21st century knowledge economy and society.

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Dr Frank is involved in engineering curriculum development, program assessment, and developing educational technology, as well as higher education research and development initiatives.

Job title and organisation: 
Queen's University

These initiatives include the Bay View Alliance (the leadership of cultural change for increasing the adoption of evidence-based teaching methods at universities; the Learning Outcomes Assessment Consortium project; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in Large Classes using Model Eliciting Activities; and the Tuning project.

He is currently coordinating the Engineering Graduate Attribute Development Project, working with National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science and the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, to develop national guidelines and resources for outcomes assessment in engineering education. 

His teaching interest is project based courses, and he currently coordinates a core first year course in engineering design for all undergraduates

Dr Frank’s presentation described interim results halfway through a 4-year longitudinal study of how engineering students develop critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills.

The sample included approximately 400 students in a mid-sized research intensive Canadian institution.

The students were assessed using multiple approaches, including standardized tests, in-course activities, surveys, and course artefacts scored by a trained team using program-wide rubrics.

The SHEER Centre was pleased to host Dr Brian Frank as the first 2016 Sounding Board Scholar.

View Dr Brian Frank's profile at Queen's University

Since returning to academia from industry in 1998, Associate Professor Lydia Kavanagh has become a leader in engineering education.

Job title and organisation: 
Director of First Year Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, University of Queensland.

She has used her background as a professional engineer to design both curricula and courses for active learning by combining real-world projects and specialist knowledge.

She has had a significant impact on the delivery of UQ’s undergraduate engineering program which has an annual intake of 1200 students through creative new teaching pedagogies including the Flipped Classroom, innovative authentic approaches to assessment, and the introduction of multi-disciplinary courses.

As Director of First Year Engineering, Lydia is also responsible for a significant program of extra-curricular transition support for first year students and she co-coordinates two compulsory courses that deliver what could arguably be the world's largest flipped classroom in a large flat floor space that seats 600 students at round tables.

Lydia is also heavily involved in disseminating best practice through the Teaching and Learning Development Program (TLDP) that she developed and leads for EAIT Faculty.

The TLDP offers Professional Development for existing and new staff, Graduate Teaching Assistants, and tutors as well as fostering a community of practice through an annual forum and a mentorship program.

Lydia’s work was recognised with an ALTC Excellence in teaching award in 2011 and she has lead and participated in Carrick/ ALTC/ OLT projects on teamwork, online learning, curriculum innovation (2x), preparing students for first year engineering, and Flipped Classrooms.

Lydia, as a Sounding Board Scholar, gave staff insights into her work and flipped classrooms in large classes.

View Associate Professor Lydia Kavanagh's profile at the University of Queensland

Associate Professor Carl Reidsema is a mechanical design engineer with over 12 years' industry experience in heavy engineering, mining and defence transport design and manufacturing.

Job title and organisation: 
Associate Professor, School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, University Queensland

His research interests are centred around understanding how we think about design as a basis for the development of more effective computational tools, educational programs and collaborative organisational models to improve our national innovative capacity.

Associate Professor Reidsema gave a Sounding Board Scholars presentation on teamwork and group learning models.

Professor Marcia Devlin, PhD, is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) and Director of the Centre for Learning Innovation and Professional Practice at Federation University, Ballarat.

Job title and organisation:
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Federation University

Previously, she held the inaugural Chair of Higher Education Research at Deakin University.

Marcia’s research interests and expertise span higher education policy, equity, Indigenous higher education, standards, leadership, interdisciplinarity, teaching and learning, student engagement and learning, digital education and eLearning.

Current and recent national work includes contributing to federal policy development in the area of equity and leading national studies of effective teaching and support of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds and of effective university leadership of learning and teaching.

She currently holds an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant on international student policy.

Marcia is frequently invited to deliver national and international keynote addresses, lectures, workshops and seminars to provide analysis, comment and advice on a range of topics related to higher education policy, practice and quality. 

The author and co-author of more than 360 commissioned reports, studies, and articles in international peer-reviewed journals, Marcia also writes regularly on higher education matters for newspapers. Professor Devlin launched the SHEER Centre and presented the inaugural Sounding Board Scholars address in 2013. 

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.