Research topics for prospective PhD or Masters candidates in the SHEER Centre. If you are interested in writing a research proposal on any of these topics, please contact the supervisor indicated.
Strengthening the profession through Humanitarian Engineering
This project poses questions about the interaction between Humanitarian Engineering Education (HEE) and diversity. The focus is placed on the social side of engineering, how this translates to real world impact and how this may attract more diverse students to engineering, especially, more women to engineering. Humanitarian Engineering is a relatively new and growing area of engineering that transcends discipline boundaries, attracting students from many engineering disciplines who are interested in using their technical skills for the benefit of society. The 'engineering team' tackling complex humanitarian engineering projects must have the motivation, capability and ethics to contribute to this complex field. Other Australian initiatives to attract more women to engineering programs have largely failed to deliver a significant increase in numbers. A growing number of universities have introduced humanitarian engineering units or minors. These attract a higher proportion of female students than traditional units. However, many questions remain such as, do these increase the proportion of female students overall, or just redistribute existing female applicants and students between units, disciplines, and institutions?
Tutoring in STEM courses
This study will examine the role of tutors in Australia STEM undergraduate education in facilitating student learning. The study will benchmark Australian performance against international institutions. STEM disciplines are closely linked to national productivity and growth via their role in design and production of manufactured goods, infrastructure and construction that promotes innovation. In an increasingly complex world, STEM graduates must combine their skills in science and mathematics with critical transferable skills and apply them to a global work environment. This study will examine how different models of tutoring facilitate STEM undergraduate learning. How do different models of tutorial teaching facilitate developing student knowledge as well as the confidence and ability to transfer that knowledge to new contexts?
Preparing engineering graduates for the global labour market
This study will examine the role of universities in Australia in preparing engineering students for the global labour market. The study will benchmark Australian performance against international institutions. Engineering is closely linked to national productivity and growth via its role in design and production of manufactured goods, infrastructure and construction that promotes innovation, such as advancing medical technology, devising solutions to climate change and developing infrastructure to support a growing population. In an increasingly complex world, engineers must combine skills in science and mathematics with critical transferable skills and apply them to a global work environment. This study will examine how employers and universities in a variety of national contexts are responding to the growing demand for "global" engineering graduates through the lens of employability skills. Critical skills for success in the global workplace include communication, inter-cultural and critical thinking skills.
Providing curriculum for accountability
Accountability underpins effective contemporary professional practice across a broad range of professions — law, medicine, allied health, nursing and engineering. It is therefore critically important that higher education institutions ensure that students are able to demonstrate accountability prior to transitioning to the workplace.
The aim of the project is to provide empirical evidence to inform a range of curriculum practices such as setting outcomes and developing teaching approaches and assessments around students’ internalisation of accountability.
Contact: Professor Ieva Stupans, School of Health and Biomedical Sciences