UCL Global


Strengthening UCL Engineering engagement internationally

8 June 2022

Professor Eli Keshavarz-Moore has served as Vice-Dean International for UCL Engineering for six years. As she steps down from the role, she and Pro-Vice-Provost (International) Professor Deenan Pillay reflect on her achievements facilitating global engagement.

Professor Eli Keshavarz-Moore, former Vice-Dean International for UCL Engineering

“As I am stepping down as Vice-Dean International for the Faculty of Engineering Sciences (FES), I wanted to look back on some of the outcomes of the two terms that I have served. Back in 2016, this role was a new position embedded within the daily academic life, with the intention of providing advice and support to the Dean and the Faculty on global matters and to ensure that our objectives were in tune with UCL strategy, whilst our voice was heard in global engagement decision making process.

Our vision included increasing visibility, sensible branding, directional interactions, and selective partnerships. The aim was to access a wide pool of talents and abilities, but also to contribute through interaction with institutions - not just as a signatory of a Memorandum of Understanding - but by creating real interactions that would deliver tangible and equally valuable results for the Faculty and the partner institutions.

In Europe, we have successfully implemented our strategic plan with three premier European Universities: Politecnico di Milano, CentraleSupélec Paris and Technische Universität Berlin, to enable mobility of competitively selected students within our four engineering institutions, as well as winning collaborative funding for INSYSTED (INtegrated SYStem for European Digital Learning).

The workshops we organised together (at UCL in 2018, Politecnico di Milano in 2019 and Technische Universität Berlin online in 2020) helped to strengthen our ties even further.

UCL Professors Eli Keshavarz-Moore (right) and Nigel Titchener-Hooker and attendees at an Alliance4Tech workshop on how to commercialise research.

In 2017, UCL Engineering officially joined the A*STAR collaborative programme (Agency for Science, Technology and Research of Singapore) that enables academics to co-fund PhD students to spend time in Singapore at premier institutions supported by A*STAR. I’m really pleased that several students have completed the scheme with success. The programme has now extended to fully financed Singaporean students to study in novel research areas in selected institutions in the UK including UCL FES.

Our engagement in capacity building with Newgiza University (NGU), in Egypt - one of the Middle East and North Africa’s newest and most innovative universities – was the result of numerous meetings over many months leading to FES supporting NGU in creating and implementing courses to meet the relevant rigorous regulatory and local requirements and the needs of the local population. Our aim is to work with NGU to train future engineers in Egypt, who can lead the region into next generation engineering solutions.

Overall, I found the VDI role to be challenging but rewarding, providing me many opportunities to interact within new environments and new people. It helped me to broaden my horizon well beyond my research and teaching.”

“UCL’s network of Vice-Deans International play a key role in driving and facilitating global impact in each Faculty, working closely with the Global Engagement team by discipline and department. Eli has achieved a huge amount in her time as VDI to strengthen the direction and impact of UCL’s pioneering engineering activity and we are immensely grateful for the work she has done. We wish her all the best for her ongoing UCL work.”

Professor Deenan Pillay
UCL Pro-Vice-Provost International