Dr Michael Murray

Senior Teaching Fellow

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Personal statement

I joined the university in January 1998 (research assistant) and secured a lectureship post in 2000. I gained a PhD in 2003 and this brought to a close a 23 year educational journey of part-time and full-time studies. On leaving secondary school (1980) before turning 16 (with no formal qualifications) I embarked on a 4 year apprenticeship as a plumbing and heating engineer and subsequently worked for a further two years applying my craft in domestic and industrial settings.

I lectured (plumbing and building studies) in three further education colleges (1986-1992) before embarking on a full time degree qualification at Napier University in Edinburgh (1992-1995) and post-graduate study (MSc) at Heriot Watt University (1995-1996). Between 1996 and starting at Strathclyde in 1998 I lectured at Robert Gordon University and Fife College.

Since 1998 I have undertaken guest tutoring at Heriot Watt University (1998-2000) and on-line distance learning tutoring for the College of Estate Management and the University of Bath. Between 2005-2012 I undertook consultancy work as a monitor and presenter for the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS).

From January 2013 I have undertaken my scholarly work as a teaching fellow and through my former consultancy work with the CCS I have been able to develop strong links with industry that has helped inform my own Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and shaped the student experience at Strathclyde.


Has expertise in:


    I am a mentor for MRC Pathways Foundation and support a ‘looked after’ secondary school pupil in Glasgow through a weekly meeting during school term time. My role as a mentor involves listening to, nurturing, supporting and encouraging a young person to enable them to strive and be the best they can be both academically and personally. MCR stands for Motivation- Resilience- Commitment and the initiative is actively supported by the University of Strathclyde, June 2015 onward

    External Examiner:

    University College of Estate Management: External Examiner, MSc Construction Management programme, October 2020- October 2024.

    Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland: External Examiner, BSc (Hons) Construction Project Management, Faculty of Engineering & Science, 2012-2016

    University of Central England, Birmingham: External Examiner MSc Construction Project Management, School of Property, Construction and Planning, 2006-2009

    Member of external Course Validation Panel: MSc Construction Project Management, School of the Built Environment, Napier University, Edinburgh, June 2004


    Committee member (Representing HE Scotland): Construction Skills Strategic Partnership Panel (Skills Provision Committee) London, chaired by ICE   President Professor Barry Clarke, 2009-2013

    Representative for Considerate Constructors Scheme: Cross Party Group (Construction) Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, 2010-2012


    Bespoke workshop & seminar presenter for the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) (Barr Construction, Farrans, Lend Lease, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine) June 2008-2012

    Development of leadership case studies for PCR Limited/Project Leadership Forum 2005 Profitability through Project Leadership, 2004-2006 & Chairing session ( The Model Client and the Perfect Construction Team: Welsh national Assembly and Holyrood Projects at Project Leadership Forum, 01/11/06, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Prizes and awards

University of Strathclyde Teaching Awards-Nominated (Long Listed) Most Enthusiastic university Teacher
University of Strathclyde Teaching Awards-Winner-Most Innovative University Teacher & Shortlisted Best Teacher in Faculty of Engineering.
University of Strathclyde Teaching Awards-Shortlisted Best Teacher in Faculty of Engineering
University of Strathclyde Teaching Awards-Shortlisted (5 academics) Best Overall University Teacher
University of Strathclyde teaching Awards-Winner-Best Teacher in Faculty Engineering
University of Strathclyde Teaching Awards-Nominated In Recognition of Teaching Excellence

More prizes and awards


Role requirements in academic recruitment for construction and engineering
Pilcher Nick, Galbrun Laurent, Craig Nigel, Murray Mike, Forster Alan M, Tennant Stuart
European Journal of Engineering Education Vol 46, pp. 247-265 (2021)
Civil engineering 4 real (CE4R) : co-curricular learning for undergraduates
Murray Mike, Hendry Gillian, McQuade Robert
European Journal of Engineering Education Vol 45, pp. 128-150 (2020)
Workplace experience : Civil Engineering 4 Real (CE4R): co-curricular learning for undergraduates 2012-2019
Murray Michael, McQuade Robert, Hendry Gillian
New Approaches to Engineering Higher Eucation in Practice (2019) (2019)
Formation of an engineering identity : industrial role models & problem based learning
Murray Michael, McQuade Robert Michael, Hendry Gillian
7th International Symposium of Engineering Education (ISEE 2018) (2018)
Industrial work placement in higher education : a study of civil engineering student engagement
Tennant Stuart, Murray Mike, Gilmour Bob, Brown Linda
Industry and Higher Education Vol 32, pp. 108-118 (2018)
Problematizing the 'Career Academic' in UK construction and engineering education : does the system want what the system gets?
Pilcher Nick, Forster Alan, Tennant Stuart, Murray Michael, Craig Nigel
European Journal of Engineering Education Vol 42, pp. 1477-1495 (2017)

More publications


Teaching Philosophy



I am a passionate, caring and inspirational Teaching Fellow. My epistemic believes reflect a dominant constructivist and dialogical perspective and the pedagogies that I adopt support student agency through a series of innovative (flipped learning / jigsaw / rich pictures / storytelling /problem based learning / internationalisation) assessment for learning (Afl) activities across the curriculum. Evidence gathered from students suggests that these activities can help students to stay and succeed at university. In addition, I have developed several co-curricular activities (international society / book reading club / debating society) to enable students to socialise with peers from across the programme and to foster opportunities for informal learning.


I seek to deliver a student learning experience that promotes intellectual curiosity and problem finding attributes so as to ensure students’ retain a strong desire to learn (habits of mind). I believe that the learning journey should be an enjoyable and emotional (sometimes fun) experience with an appropriate balance between a liberal education and a curriculum with an emphasis on employability skills and industry networking opportunities. My CPD has allowed me to reflect “in” and “on” my academic role through extending, transforming and applying knowledge from pedagogical development to my teaching & learning practice. As such, I am a scholarly and collegiate teacher and an advocate for emergent leadership in higher education through pedagogy.




11/05/2018: Most Innovative University Teacher  & Shortlisted Best Teacher in Faculty of Engineering- “ The amount of different ways this man has found to engage students with the wider Civil Engineering community is too long to list and I hope he finally gets the recognition he deserves”.


17/05/2017: Shortlisted Best Teacher in Faculty of Engineering “He goes above and beyond his role as a lecturer. Mike encourages students to take part in further reading and broaden their education with site visits and workshops. His passion for the course and genuine interest in the industry really encourages students to have ambition whilst pursuing their career”.


14/05/2015: Shortlisted Best Overall University Teacher “I feel I owe an incredible amount to him. He has built relationships with companies, organises site visits and forwards job advertisement to us”…“He makes such an effort for his students, and I think he should be recognised for this”.


07/05/2014: Best Teacher in Faculty-Engineering “He has such enthusiasm and ensures his students know what working life is like”.


15/05/2013: In Recognition of Teaching Excellence “Not a week goes by when he doesn’t go beyond the call of duty as a lecturer to try to introduce something extra or new, not just to us students but to the department as a whole. He inspires us to set our goals high and engages with students as equals”.


24/03/2010: Award in Recognition of Outstanding Teaching “Mike Murray is one of the best lecturers I have met so far, and has helped immensely in my learning in the department”.


29/11/2015-Commended by the Quinqennial Review Panel, November 2015

  • The Panel commended the Department on the support provided to students, particularly the ‘Big Buddies - Little Buddies’ programme.
  • The Panel commended the Department on the active involvement of industry in student mentoring through the Industrial Mentoring Scheme.
  • The Panel commended the Department for the innovative CE4R initiative.

I believe our students should receive an interesting, exciting and inspirational educational experience and I consider my students to represent the most explicit beneficiaries of knowledge creation and transfer between faculty and student; between peer students; industry and student. Through various interventions with industry, I ensure that my teaching and guidance offers students an opportunity to link theory to practice. I also believe in the joy of learning and seek to promote a liberal approach to university studies whereby I seek to encourage my students to achieve their aspirations and establish habits of mind consistent with lifelong learners.

As a result of my own educational journey, I have a personal interest in encouraging our students to become active independent learners who recognise and take resposibility for their own learning. I seek to promote learning as a deep, meaningful and rich experience and believe that scholarly fortune favours the prepared mind. I am an advocate for the study of humanities in civil engineering studies. In 2010 I developed a “reading for your degree” initiative and I have been responsible for establishing a department book club and I have published research papers on associated reading of industry magazines and the use of the National Geographic Magazine with students. Further reading requires our first year students to use the inaugural addresses (from 1820 onwards) of former ICE presidents (standing on the shoulders of giants to see further) in preparation of their own ICE student president address

I have been personally responsible for the development and management of the following curricular and Co-curricular teaching and learning activities. These activities facilitate a blended approach to both explicit and tacit knowledge creation and are intended to encourage our students to conceptualise their own learning as a transformational process.

Sharing Practice in Effective learning & Teaching (SPELT)- *Commended by the Quinqennial Review Panel, November 2015

Contribution to Engineering Insights (Faculty Magazine)


Research interests

My PhD studies and early publications have focused on construction management topics. However, since 2010, I have found a comfortable home within what I would consider to be ‘active’ pedagogical studies, grounded through my immersion in teaching and learning activities. My personal ontological (reality is subjective) and epistemological (knowledge creation is socially constructed) assumptions and believes shape my approach to learning, teaching and research activities. Forthcoming publications:



Professional activities

External Examiner, MSc Construction Management programme,University College of Estate Management
8th International Symposium of Engineering Education (ISEE)2020
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Engineering Professors’ Council (EPC) joint conference on New Approaches to Engineering Higher Education,
Civil Engineering 4 Real (CE4R): Co-curricular Learning for Undergraduates
Advance HE’s Annual Teaching and Learning Conference 2019,Teaching in the spotlight: Innovation for teaching excellence.
Vacation Jobs for Undergraduate engineers: More cocktail making, pouring nothing but Pepsi and Tangos is incredibly tedious

More professional activities


Student Transitions through and/or beyond Strathclyde (to progress the QAA Student Transitions Enhancement Theme within Strathclyde). Transition to employment-Alumni stories about dyslexia from the Civil Engineering and Law disciplines.
Murray, Michael (Principal Investigator) Murray, Frances (Principal Investigator) Paton, Steven (Principal Investigator)
The proposed pilot project seeks to establish a benchmark for examining student transition to graduate (Alumni) employment with a particular focus on graduates with disabilities. For the pilot project we will focus exclusively on recent Alumni (up to 7 years post-graduation) in the civil engineering and law disciplines, who have dyslexia. Five graduates from each discipline will be targeted for interview and the primary data will be captured using a critical incident storytelling methodology. These life stories will chart the landscape through the student transition from university to (and through) employment and will seek to uncover rich personal testimonies that document the opportunities and barriers faced by Alumni with dyslexia. The output will inform academia and employers about the relationship between graduate attributes and equality and diversity issues.
03-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2017
Student Transitions through and/or beyond Strathclyde (to progress the QAA Student Transitions Enhancement Theme within Strathclyde). Communities of Practice: A Case of civil engineering students in post-summer placement transition through university.
Murray, Michael (Principal Investigator)
To progress the QAA Student Transitions Enhancement Theme within Strathclyde. Applying the concept of legitimate peripheral participation (Lave and Wenger 1991) to the study of student summer placement learning and transition (return to university) within industrial and academic community of practices.
30-Jan-2016 - 30-Jan-2017
ENTICE - ENhancing Transitions In Civil Engineering (HEA Student Transitions)
Ferguson, Neil (Principal Investigator) Bertram, Doug (Co-investigator) Kenny, Michael (Co-investigator) Murray, Michael (Co-investigator) Switzer, Christine (Co-investigator)
11-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2015
Scottish Enterprise & Applecross Developments
Murray, Michael (Principal Investigator) Langford, David (Research Co-investigator)
A Lean Design and Construction Methodology for Applecross Developments
10-Jan-2005 - 19-Jan-2007
Tempus Project: CD_JEP-30047-2002 (SY) Developing an MSc Curriculum in Construction Management for the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Aleppo, Syria
Murray, Michael (Principal Investigator) Langford, David (Principal Investigator)
15-Jan-2004 - 15-Jan-2006
ESRC Transdiciplinary Seminars Award: People & Culture
Murray, Michael (Principal Investigator)
Establishing a network of academics and construction industry practitioners with an interest in work-life balance issues. Seven workshops held under the headings of Work & Quality of Life; Flexible Working Practices; Child Care Issues; Discrimination & Promoting Inclusive Employment Practices; Risk, Safety & the Working Environment and The Impact of Information Technology.
19-Jan-2004 - 15-Jan-2005

More projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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