EF Visiting Teaching Fellowship Events (Engineering)

Join Associate Professor Irina Lazar, UNSW Education Focussed (EF) Visiting Teaching Fellow from University College London in the UK for a series of exciting events during her visit from 25 Mar to 05 April 2024. A/Prof Lazar is hosted by EF academic, Dr Irene Renaud-Assemat from the UNSW School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. 

About the Visiting Teaching Fellow

A/Prof Irina Lazar, UCL

Dr Irina Lazar is an Associate Professor in Engineering and Public Policy at UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy. She teaches at the interface between science, engineering, and policy, bridging topics such as sustainability, social responsibility in an engineering context, and social change through a transdisciplinary lens. An active figure in engineering education, A. Prof Lazar brings a wealth of knowledge from her experience in engineering, policy and community-engaged learning. Her leadership in this field is exemplified by the BSc Science and Engineering for Social Change Program she leads at UCL. This unique program is a fusion of science, engineering, and policy training designed to grow the next generation of social change leaders, with community partners playing a central role in the delivery of the program.

The EF Visiting Teaching Fellowships are funded by the Education Focussed program and are designed to build the profile and connections of the UNSW education community with highly regarded educators across the tertiary sector in Australia and internationally. Initiated by a UNSW EF academic staff member, Fellowships provide opportunities to develop educational collaborations and facilitate interaction and engagement with UNSW staff and students.  
We welcome all academics in the Sydney region to the following events: 

Building Sustainable Futures: Integrating Engineering, Policy, & Community

Inaugural seminar - Building Sustainable Futures: Integrating Engineering, Policy, and Community Engagement in Higher Education

Wednesday 27 March at 10:30am-12pm | Teaching Commons | In-Person only |  Register

In this inaugural seminar, Associate Professor Irina Lazar, UNSW EF visiting fellow from the University College London, will take us through her career journey and most prominent projects. From Civil and Mechanical Engineering to Public Policy, this is a journey of exploration that emphasises Irina’s passion for engineering and especially engineering education.

Irina will speak about the fulfilling projects she had the privilege to carry out, the narrative that brings them all together, and the vital importance of partnerships and collaborations in creating impact.

Below is a selection of the projects that will be covered, which we hope will enthuse you to sign up:

  • Community-based placements in engineering
  • Transdisciplinary engineering education and the development of professional identities in this new space
  • Research-informed outreach and widening participation strategies
  • Curriculum co-creation in partnership with students and industrial partners
  • Embedding sustainability in the engineering curriculum
  • Inclusive engineering education and the impact of exclusionary experiences on access and attainment

This interactive seminar creates an excellent space to get inspired and explore exciting research opportunities. At the end of the seminar, there will be an opportunity for discussions and Q&A. Participants who want to follow up on any of the topics or discuss new ideas are warmly invited to schedule meetings with Irina, throughout her stay at UNSW until 05 April 2024.

Developing Effective Community-based Placements: A Practical Workshop

Developing Effective Community-based Placements: A Practical Workshop
Thursday 28 March at 12-2pm | Teaching Commons | In-Person only | Register

Forging strong regional partnerships and engaging with local communities and businesses is becoming an institutional priority in Higher Education worldwide. This stems from a drive to boost civic engagement and create positive impact, with an emphasis on underrepresented groups. Students are increasingly looking for degrees offering value-adding opportunities to improve their prospects on a fast-paced, competitive job market. Community-based placements and associated work-based learning opportunities can be an ideal vehicle to drive positive social change, while boosting graduate skills and employability.

Associate Professor Irina Lazar has done ground-breaking work at University College London with a team of researchers that she leads towards the design and programme-level integration of community-based placements in collaboration with East London partners. She also leads a new transdisciplinary undergraduate programme, the BSc Science and Engineering for Social Change, where students undertake a mandatory community-based placement in their final year of study.

This work aligns with UNSW initiatives on improving student outcomes via connections with industry, providing internships and employment opportunities and enabling hands-on experiential learning through using modern curriculum tools. It also links with the UNSW Faculty of Engineering strategy on responding to the increase demand for engineering curriculum that is interdisciplinary, flexible and humanistic. To address this, sustainable and evidence informed innovation of teaching practice and curriculum development are needed, and this workshop is a great catalyst for action in this area.

The workshop kicks off with an exploration of the latest advancements in community-based placements, featuring case studies and relevant literature. Participants will then actively engage in a series of interactive activities led by the speaker. Through reflection and discussion, attendees will uncover ways to seamlessly integrate community-based learning and placements into their courses and programs.

Session structure:
12:00-12:05 Arrival and welcome
12.05-12:30 Introduction and setting the scene
12:30-13:30 Interactive session
13:30-13:45 Group reflections on opportunities and limitations
13:45-14:00 Discussion and conclusions
                      Opportunity for networking and further discussions

Bring your lunch and join us for an engaging and informative session!

Sydney Basin Symposium on Transdisciplinary Student Projects

Sydney Basin Symposium on Transdisciplinary Student Projects
Wednesday 03 April 2024 at 10am-4pm | Teaching Commons | In-Person only | Register

Join us at UNSW for an event that will bring together experts, stakeholders, and interested parties from various disciplines to delve into the world of transdisciplinary student projects. 

While participants are encouraged to attend the full day, partial attendance is also an option. Lunch will be provided for all attendees, offering further networking opportunities during the break.

Symposium Program:

10:00-10:15 -  Welcome 
10:15-11:15 -  Keynote: Irina Lazar, “Designing and Delivering Transdisciplinary Student Projects in Undergraduate Education: a UCL practical case study from academic year 23/24” 
11:15-11:45 -  Morning Tea / Networking
11:45-12:15 -  Lauren Kark, “Unlocking potential: Transdisciplinary Education for Enhancing Life Opportunities for People with Disabilities” 
12:15-12:45 -  Rita Henderson, “Achieving social impact in transdisciplinary projects using Theory of Change/Program Logic”  
12:45-1:30 - Lunch / Networking
01:30-01:45 -  Melinda Wimborne, “Networked Makerspace: How to make a makerspace a place for everyone” 
01:45-02:00 -  Priscilla Tan, “Entrepreneurial Education and Support for Lasting Societal Impact” 
02:00-03:00 -  Workshop, “Breaking boundaries: Initiating Transdisciplinary projects and assessing impact” 
03:00-04:00 -  Makerspace Tour + Walk and Talk Opportunity 
04:00-04:15 -  Close

The symposium is an exceptional opportunity to hear from A/Prof Irina Lazar, Associate Professor in Engineering and Public Policy at University College London (UCL). A. Prof Lazar is the Director of Undergraduate Education at UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP), and leads the Science and Engineering for Social Change Degree Program which combines technical training and skills with policy and wider social-scientific knowledge. You'll get to see first-hand how UCL students are breaking down traditional academic silos and creating solutions that are not just technically sound, but also socially relevant and environmentally sustainable.

This symposium will also offer networking opportunities with Sydney academics, students, and industry professionals with a keen interest in transdisciplinary learning. Hear about UNSW Engineering’s initiatives from Prof Rita Henderson, Deputy Dean Societal Impact and Translation. Learn about current projects at UNSW from Associate Professor Lauren Kark. You'll also have the chance to visit UNSW networked Makerspace (Melinda Wimborne), discuss potential social entrepreneurship projects with UNSW Founders (Priscilla Tan), and perhaps even find the next big idea for your own work.