The Engineering for People Design Challenge – Grand Finals 2017

19 June at The Crystal, 1 Siemens Brothers Way, E16 1GB 

Organised by Engineers Without Borders UK, the Grand Finals will bring together the top 36 teams from universities across the UK and Ireland to come and showcase their design solutions.


You will have the opportunity to view the exhibition showcasing each team selected for the finals as well as presentations from the top 6 teams selected by a panel of expert judges. There will also be a series of speakers from across the engineering community.

To attend the event, please register here.

EPC Strategic Plan 2017

The EPC has published Making Waves, a coordinated plan of changes and activities to maximise our effectiveness in representing engineering academics in national policy, to engage more members at all stages in their career, and to support our members in new and direct ways.

Among other initiatives will be the creation of the new Engineering Academics Network, about which further details will be released over coming months.

The Strategic Plan ‘Making Waves’ is subject to the approval of the AGM on 22nd May 2017.

Research Excellence Framework 2021: applications invited for Main Panel Chairs

HEFCE is inviting applications from people with successful senior-level experience in the leadership, commissioning or application of research, to serve as Main Panel Chairs (Designate) in the second Research Excellence Framework (REF). 

The closing date is noon on Thursday 27 April 2017.

Read the full article and further particulars here

RAEng Visiting Professors – 2017 Award

The RAEng new round for Visiting Professors has now opened and will close on Tuesday 11 April at 4pm.

This scheme supports the appointment of senior industrial engineers as Visiting Professors at UK universities. This industry-into-academia initiative aims to utilise the experience of the Visiting Professor to enhance student learning as well as the employability and skills of UK engineering graduates.

Under the objectives of this scheme, senior industry practitioners participate in course development, face-to-face teaching and mentoring of engineering undergraduates at the host university for at least 12 days a year for three years.

The Award provides the university with the support necessary for the attendance of a Visiting Professor to a maximum value of £10,000 per year over three years up to a maximum of £30,000 in total.

For more information go to the Visiting Professors web page

How to Apply? Click here.

RAEng response to the Government Green Paper on Industrial Strategy – have your say

The Royal Academy of Engineering is gathering as much opinion and evidence from the engineering community to respond to the Industrial Strategy. There are several ways in which engineers can contribute to this response. 

By completing an online survey. You are welcome to complete any or all of the section(s) or questions in which you are interested, in the following survey (the survey closes on March 10th).

By participating in workshops. The RAEng is organising workshops in the regions and also on specific elements of the Strategy – the one on Pillar 2 “Developing skills” will take place on the morning of 16th March, at the Academy, co-chaired by Prof John Perkins and Carol Burke of Unipart. If you would like to nominate anyone for this workshop (it’s invitation only) please email and RAEng will send them invitation.

By contacting RAEng. Anyone can contact RAEng with their views via the email address. If someone would prefer a phone call, the RAEng can arrange that through the email address as well.

Royal Academy of Engineering – Research projects in engineering education

This is an open call to organisations that work in engineering education research. The Academy plans to fund a small number of research projects in engineering education in 2017-18, around any of the following areas:

  • Addressing issues around underrepresentation in engineering
  • Innovation and structural change in education, training, recruitment and retention of engineers and technicians
  • Transforming the effectiveness of engagement activities that bring an understanding of and aspiration for engineering to young people
  • Embedding engineering in schools and colleges and bringing real world engineering into all stages of the formation of engineers
  • Promoting the importance of environmental, economic and social sustainability in engineering practice and education

The deadline for submissions is Friday 3rd March by 3pm. Please see further information here.

If you have any questions, contact Charlotte Freeman

Call for papers: New approaches to Engineering Higher Education


Conference: New approaches to Engineering Higher Education, 22 May 2017

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Engineering Professors’ Council will be on May 22, at 4PM, following a free one-day conference at the IET in London. This will be a high-profile event featuring a Government minister (name to be confirmed), the President of the IET and other higher profile speakers. The debate will be chaired by Professor John Perkins, former BIS Chief Scientific Adviser and author of the 2013 BIS Review of Engineering Skills. There will also be an opportunity for members of the IET to present and to be featured in the published proceedings afterwards.

Please see the call for papers (deadline 9 January 23 January 2017)

EPC Degree Apprenticeships Toolkit

degree apprenticehsips

The EPC is pleased to announce the launch of its new Degree Apprenticeships Toolkit for Engineering Departments which can be found on our website at the following link: Degree Apprenticeships Toolkit

The EPC Degree Apprenticeships Toolkit is a result of the work conducted to address the recommendations of the Perkins Review of Engineering Skills on the importance of investing in apprenticeships to create high qualified engineers, by the Engineering Education, Employability and Skills (EEES) sub committee – Working Group 2: Higher Education in the Workplace (led by Professor Simon Hodgson).

The toolkit aims to support university departments, academic staff and prospective course leaders tasked with developing higher and degree apprenticeships. It covers:

  • What is a higher or Degree Apprenticeship?
  • Why should we get involved?
  • Designing a degree Apprenticeship Programme
  • Are there specific requirements an HEI needs to be aware of when planning the delivery of Degree Apprenticeships?
  • Getting started – advice for university departments
  • Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Frequently Asked Questions

The University of Sheffield has been an early entrant to this new form of higher learning. Read their inspiring case study here.

To find out more about this important new development in Higher Education and our new toolkit, and help us to develop it further to meet your needs, we invite you to attend the EPC Congress 2016 (Hull, 4-6 September) where Professor Simon Hodgson, chair of the EPC Working Group “Higher Education in the Workplace”, and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) at Teesside University, will lead a workshop session on this. Book your place here.


Lord Stern’s Review of the Research Excellence Framework

Building on Success and Learning from ExperiencePresident of the British Academy Lord Nicholas Stern was commissioned by the government to carry out the review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The independent report “Building on Success and Learning from Experience” was published last week (28th July).

You can read the full report here, but the recommendations are, in summary:

Outputs – Recommendations 1-4

Recommendation 1: All research active staff should be returned in the REF.

Recommendation 2: Outputs should be submitted at Unit of Assessment level with a set average number per FTE but with flexibility for some faculty members to submit more and others less than the average.

Recommendation 3: Outputs should not be portable.

Recommendation 4: Panels should continue to assess on the basis of peer review. However, metrics should be provided to support panel members in their assessment, and panels should be transparent about their use.

Impact – Recommendations 5-7

Recommendation 5: Institutions should be given more flexibility to showcase their interdisciplinary and collaborative impacts by submitting ‘institutional’ level impact case studies, part of a new institutional level assessment.

Recommendation 6: Impact should be based on research of demonstrable quality. However, case studies could be linked to a research activity and a body of work as well as to a broad range of research outputs.

Recommendation 7: Guidance on the REF should make it clear that impact case studies should not be narrowly interpreted, need not solely focus on socioeconomic impacts but should also include impact on government policy, on public engagement and understanding, on cultural life, on academic impacts outside the field, and impacts on teaching.

Environment – Recommendations 8-9

Recommendation 8: A new, institutional level Environment assessment should include an account of the institution’s future research environment strategy, a statement of how it supports high quality research and research-related activities, including its support for interdisciplinary and cross-institutional initiatives and impact. It should form part of the institutional assessment and should be assessed by a specialist, cross-disciplinary panel.

Recommendation 9: That individual Unit of Assessment environment statements are condensed, made complementary to the institutional level environment statement and include those key metrics on research intensity specific to the Unit of Assessment.

Wider Context – Recommendations 10-12

Recommendation 10: Where possible, REF data and metrics should be open, standardised and combinable with other research funders’ data collection processes in order to streamline data collection requirements and reduce the cost of compiling and submitting information.

Recommendation 11: That Government, and UKRI, could make more strategic and imaginative use of REF, to better understand the health of the UK research base, our research resources and areas of high potential for future development, and to build the case for strong investment in research in the UK.

Recommendation 12: Government should ensure that there is no increased administrative burden to Higher Education Institutions from interactions between the TEF and REF, and that they together strengthen the vital relationship between teaching and research in HEIs.

It was also published a summary of responses to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) review call for evidence and follow-up interviews. You can find the document here.

EPC Contextual Learning Toolkits

Contextual Learning ToolkitsThe EPC Contextual Learning Tools is a result of the research conducted to address the recommendations of the Perkins Review of Engineering Skills and the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Universe of Engineering Report about engineering student’s placements in companies, by the Engineering Education, Employability and Skills (EEES) sub committee – Working Group 1: Placements and Accreditation (led by Professor Mike Sutcliffe).

Contextual Learning Toolkits

The Perkins recommendation was based on the recognition that student placements in companies increase graduate employability, improve students’ degree performance, and act as excellent recruitment tools for employers. In particular:

  • All universities should supervise and give academic credit for placement activity so that students can see it contributes towards their degree achievement.
  • All of the professional engineering institutions should work with universities and industry to offer accreditation for degrees of this type. (With many students studying four year MEng degrees, there is little appetite to extend this to five with a placement year. The Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Institution of Chemical Engineers already accredit ‘Integrated MEng’ degrees which include a year in industry).

The Universe of Engineering Report’s recommendation was that “the professional engineering institutions should work with the higher education (and further education) sectors to ensure that industrially experienced engineers are used to provide contextualised learning.  In HE this improvement should be driven through the course accreditation process”.

More recently, the Wakeham Review of STEM Degree Provision and Graduate Employability had highlighted that employers and HE providers should work more closely together in order to improve graduate employment outcomes. In particular, they should consider addressing the following areas:

  • Improving the opportunities for students to take up work experience and to maintain its quality
  • Embedding the development of soft skills into degree courses and improving work readiness
  • Better matching degree courses to employer demand for skills
  • Improving STEM careers advice and awareness of job opportunities for graduates and students, as well as even earlier in the education pipeline

Two toolkits were developed to address specific issues of students, universities and employers. The final result is part of the close work that the EPC has being doing with the NCUB on its “engineering workwith” hub of information for employers, and follows the outcomes of a survey conducted by the EPC during September/October 2015 on Contextual Learning in UK HE Engineering.