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What are the hallmarks of a state-of-the-art engineering education?

Dr Ruth Graham presents results from her studies on the future of engineering education

Published Apr 03, 2024

Which universities offer post-pandemic state-of-the-art engineering education? What positive effects did the pandemic have on teaching, and what challenges need to be dealt with by a university with ambitions to become a future leader? Dr. Ruth Graham shares insights from thousands of interviews conducted with employees at higher education institutions worldwide.

Photo: Dr. Graham is wearing a headset, talking and making hand gestures.

About Dr Ruth Graham

With a background in Mechanical Engineering, Dr Ruth Graham honed her expertise in aeronautical fatigue during her time at BAE SYSTEMS. Moving to Imperial College London in 2002, she took on the role of Director for the transformative EnVision project. This initiative aimed at transform undergraduate education and foster a culture of support for teaching excellence across various engineering departments.

Since 2008, Dr. Graham has worked as an independent higher education consultant, championing global change in university teaching. She has undertaken key projects, including a benchmarking study on engineering education's future for MIT, and an initiative to improve teaching recognition at over 50 universities. Her efforts earned her an honorary doctorate from Chalmers University of Technology in 2018, and the Leonardo da Vinci Medal from the European Society for Engineering Education in 2020 for her outstanding contributions to engineering education.

Website of Dr Graham (.org)

" education is entering a period of rapid and fundamental change."

 Dr Ruth Graham

Table of contents for the video

Watch the video or download the transcript in KTH Play ​​​​​​​.

00:13 The first study "The global state of the art in engineering education"commissioned by MIT

03:15 The 10 leading engineering institutions before the pandemic (current leaders) and the 10 with expected best practice (future leaders)

05:22 What is the difference between these institutions

14:12 The hallmarks of the future leaders

15:51 The second study "Crisis and catalyst – the impact of COVID-19 on global practice in engineering education"

18:11 Two positive impacts of the pandemic on engineering education

25:28 Example of a curriculum with a systematic blended approach

28:28 New methods and priorities after the pandemic

37:50 the model of Aalborg University

40:30 Six key themes in best practices

41:55 Four challenges and risks for engineering education

44:22 Need for a promotion system that rewards and recognises teaching

46:38 The global initiative Advancing Teaching 

Dr Graham and KTH

KTH is one of several universities in a consortium that will be part of a study Dr Graham will conduct on best practices in teacher career development. She visited KTH in August 2023 on the initiative of the Future Education programme management. In addition to the above-mentioned seminar on the future of engineering education, she held a seminar on ways to reward and recognise university teaching. Dr Graham also guested on Fika Chat on the Future of Education podcast ​​​​​​​.

Photo: face of Ruth Graham, short-haired caucasian woman.

Podcast #09

Fika Chat with Dr Graham on educational development

Where is engineering education going, and should KTH worry about falling behind? Johan and Joakim talk to Dr. Ruth Graham, who has 20 years of experience in academic research and development in higher education. KTH is one of several universities that will be part of Dr Graham's forthcoming benchmark study on academic career development.

Spotify #09 / KTH Play #09 (subtitled)

Website of Dr Graham (.org)

More podcast episodes on the development of education and programmes 

There are other podcast episodes about educational development at and beyond. The Fika Chat podcast is broadcast live on Wednesdays at 15:00 but is also available on Spotify  and YouTube . The links below take you to the subtitled episodes on KTH Play ​​​​​​​.