Colin is Professor of Engineering Education and a former Head of School for the School of Engineering at Ulster University. He has been teaching mathematics, software and engineering in higher education since 1993. Colin is passionate about supporting students and colleagues to transform student outcomes – through the development of learning support systems, empowering students by working in partnership, mobilising his extensive industry network, influencing public policy and through his personal, charismatic teaching.
Colin has designed and built several systems for learning support to transform the student learning experience, either directly student-facing, helping students with their outcomes, or providing academic and professional services staff with interventions that free capacity, attention and focus for important student-centred matters. His OPUS system – which provided online support for placement learning – was used in several HEIs and changed practice across the UK and beyond. Colin was the architect of other systems for the Higher Education Achievement Report and an online curriculum development and management system to enable an effective student focused environment. Channelling his own conviction about the application of engineering and empowering students in partnership, Colin helped found the Ulster Society for Student Engineers (USSE). This student-led society has transformed the environment within his School of Engineering, winning Ulster and National Union of Student awards in its inaugural year. USSE has provided a model that has inspired the creation of other societies to emulate its success.
Colin brings together a passion for the application of his academic disciplines, rigorous skills in software development, advanced industry relationships and a commitment to knowledge sharing to make a continued impact on assured graduates in diverse career paths. As an active member of the advisory group for the STEM All Party Group within Northern Ireland's Legislative Assembly, Colin works to ensure the full potential of engineering and related sectors in Northern Ireland (NI) and is a regular and valued academic advisor to Invest NI, supporting NI's inward investment potential and impact on the world stage. As President for the Engineering Professors’ Council, Colin continues to work with colleagues to enhance the diversity and impact of Engineering Education in the UK and beyond.