UCL Centre for Engineering Education


Celebration of 10 Years of the UCL Integrated Engineering Programme

24 April 2024

The Faculty of Engineering Sciences celebrates 10 years of the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) at UCL.

IEP10 event

This year is the 10th year of the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) at UCL. During that time, thousands of students have graduated from undergraduate engineering programmes offered at UCL Engineering and thus influenced by the innovative approach to teaching that is central to the student learning experience of the IEP.
On 16 April the Faculty of Engineering Sciences celebrated the work so many staff across the Faculty put into supporting the IEP and engineering education and acknowledge the work UCL staff have done over the last 10 years to lead innovation in engineering education.
At the event at Senate House, around 100 staff were welcomed by Vice Provost (Education & Student Experience) Professor Kathy Armour, along with the Dean of Engineering Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, and Vice Dean Professor Clare Elwell. The event was a chance for colleagues across the Faculty to meet in person, many of whom had worked together delivering the programme during the Covid-19 pandemic, and, with so many Departments involved in the IEP, a cherished opportunity to see colleagues face to face.
The Integrated Engineering Programme introduced to the majority of undergraduate programmes a thread of project-based design through putting people and the planet at the centre of complex engineering problems, integrated ‘employability’ skills, interdisciplinary ‘IEP Minors’ and an applied mathematics programme focusing on modelling and analysis of engineering systems. Centred on a thread of authentic activities, the programme has always aimed to enhance the students’ understanding of key theoretical concepts and heighten the development of key professional skills. 
Back in 2014, this was a ground-breaking and radical move – to put projects and skills development in the early years of a student’s engineering education at university. This wasn’t just revolutionary for undergraduate engineering programmes in the UK, but also globally, as traditionally engineering education still saw students only tackle real-world projects in their final years.
This challenge, of how to design a new cross-Faculty curriculum, how to persuade colleagues across Departments, how to logistically make it work with such large student numbers was touched on throughout the evening with hosts from the UCL Centre for Engineering Education, Professors John Mitchell and Emanuela Tilley (IEP Director) and Professors Eva Sorensen (Chemical Engineering) and Alistair Greig (Mechanical Engineering). The night also acknowledged the impact the IEP has had nationally and internationally on engineering education, influencing how others integrate professional skills through the curriculum, with a video with contributions from institutions such as MIT.
The event was also a marker to look forwards to the next ten years of the IEP, and what engineering education will look like in the future. The keynote was given by Juliet Upton, Head of Education and Skills Policy at the Royal Academy of Engineering. Juliet spoke about Engineer 2030, a project which identifies how engineering knowledge, skills and behaviours are changing in the 21st century and what is needed to attract, educate, recruit and support the engineers and technicians of the future.
IEP@10: The UCL Centre for Engineering Education will next host The International Symposium on Integration in Engineering Education at the IET at Savoy Place in June. Senior leaders from renowned universities across the globe will meet and discuss the topic of modernising engineering education through a new paradigm of integration.