Dr Patricia Xavier
Associate Professor - Programme Development and Enhancement
Engineering
Telephone: (01792) 295273

Patricia is a water engineer with a background in both the private and public water sector. She has expertise in the design of flood alleviation schemes and wastewater networks.

Her teaching and research interests are many and probably too varied:

She leads on Academic Programme Enhancement and Development for the College of Engineering and is the Academic Student Engagement Lead for the College. She is a strong advocate of student voice and partnership with students and is interested in exploring conflicts between student voice and institutional and staff resilience.

With her background in industry, she is keenly aware that the sector-wide academisation and de-contextualisation of engineering education is leading to an engineering sector that struggles to relate theory to practice.

Her main area of research is into the social impact of engineers and engineering – critiquing how the methodologies adopted by engineers can sometimes run counter to the needs of communities they serve and reinforce structures of power that maintain inequality. Civil Engineering in particular is inextricably linked up with societal change, and responsible engineering is about understanding wider environmental and social impacts of design and construction. Patricia teaches creative design modules that give students tools and techniques to find their own brand of creativity, while prompting students to consider how their individual privilege and biases impact on their design decisions.

Patricia is also exploring the use of VR in teaching and for research to improve spatial competencies and rapid evaluation and decision making strategies of students.

She is also interested in the use of slime mould (Physarum polycephalum) in optimising transport networks, how Japanese Knotweed impacts river flow dynamics, and the use of string-jammed gravel (sometimes called reversible concrete) as a replacement material for concrete.

Teaching

  • EG-122 Conceptual Design

    What is your personal philosophy of design? Complex and creative designing is a uniquely human process and anyone can learn the principles that underpin a creative approach to engineering and life. This module introduces factors that affect the way you approach design, including your positionality (class, culture, gender etc.) and how cognitive biases influence design decisions. We will look at individual and collaborative design methodologies and tools that can help you break out of your comfort zone and explore your creative potential. We will also cover the basic concepts of sustainable civil engineering design and the latest design standards, the Structural Eurocodes, as applied to the preliminary design of steel and reinforced concrete. The use of Revit, a computational modelling tool, will be introduced.

  • EG-D10 Team Project & Individual Dissertation

    The module is where this program ultimately culminates with the final development stages and realisation of a team based project (as defined at the recruitment stage) with individual aspects considered and assessed as a final dissertation submission. The nature of the dissertation will be dependent on the nature of the specialisation of the participant. During the period of this module, a preparatory period will be followed by participants spending (or utilising remote engineering techniques) a period of circa. 3 weeks in-country delivering the project, with support from academic team leads and other supporting staff, stakeholders or collaborators. This will be concluded with a debrief and final dissertation writing period.

  • EG-D11 Team Project & Individual Dissertation (Engineers)

    The module is where this program culminates with the final development stages and realisation of a team based project with individual aspects considered and assessed as a final dissertation submission. The nature of the dissertation will be dependent on the nature of the specialisation of the participant. During this module, a preparatory period will be followed by participants spending (or utilising remote engineering techniques) a period of circa. 3 weeks in-country delivering the project, with support from academic team leads and other supporting staff, stakeholders or collaborators. This will be concluded with a debrief and final dissertation writing period, a group presentation and an individual viva voce.

  • EGSM17 Concept Development and Application Pt1

    The module is the first of two that involve the development, synthesis and application of scientific, engineering, personal, professional and project management skills to deliver an approach to a solution of the specific group and individual projects. It will require and develop self-organisation skills and the critical evaluation of options and results, as well as developing technical and specialist knowledge around sustainable engineering solutions in the project area. Ethics, stakeholder engagement and basic project planning skills will also be developed. This module is focused on literature review, relationship development and data gathering with project stakeholders based in the UK and remotely using various communication systems, and will enable students to develop their understanding of sustainable engineering solutions and options to address challenges in the local international environment.

  • EGSM20 Concept Development and Application Pt2

    The module is the second part of two that involve the application of personal, professional, project management and both ¿library¿ and field based research skills to develop an approach to the solution of the specific group and individual projects, The participant will gain experience in working independently and in a group on the team and individually assigned element of the project, utilising basic accepted planning procedures. This second part is ¿in-country¿ (field) based and will be approximately one week in duration. During this period, participants will gather field data through community engagement to ensure key stakeholder and end user requirements are met. Consideration will also be given to impact evaluation and monitoring and a revised project plan will be developed. It will require and develop self-organisation and the critical evaluation of options and results, as well as developing technical knowledge in the chosen topic, all in a ¿real¿ field environment.

Supervision

  • Transforming engineering education for a transition to sustainable futures: working toward inclusivity in engineering and why it matters. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof David Worsley
    Other supervisor: Dr Catherine Groves
    Other supervisor: Dr James Holness
  • Development Education and Engineering: Exploring the Feasibility of Subliminal Priming on Engineering Designs.«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» – Human Centred Design in Engineering. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr James Holness