Dr Esther Ventura-Medina

Senior Lecturer

Chemical and Process Engineering

Personal statement

I currently work as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering after working at Monash University, Australia (2013-2015) and The University of Manchester  (2005-2013) in Engineering Education roles. 

My background is in Chemical Engineering (BSc, MSc and PhD) with expertise in Froth Flotation in Minerals Processing gained during my PhD and postdoctoral work with Prof Jan Cilliers. From 2005, when I was awarded a Post-graduate Certificate in Education PGCE -(Secondary Maths) at Manchester, I started my academic career in engineering education where I have been involved in a variety of topics and projects with particular focus on professional skill development.


Has expertise in:

    • Enquiry-, Problem- and Project- Based Learning. I have expertise in different methodologies based on principles of enquiry.   I lead the introduction of EBL in the whole first year in Chemical Engineering at Manchester (2006) and later established collaborations at Manchester and Birmingham University on the use of Puzzle-Based Learning in STEM. I was a Fellow of the Centre for the Excellence in Enquiry-Based Learning (CEEBL) at Manchester and carried out various project with their financial support. Similarly I have used over the years Problem- and Project- based learning in my own teaching in particular in the area of Chemical Process Design.
    • Professional skill development. Lately my worked has concentrated on Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Teamwork, and the use of Web 2.0 technologies (e.g. Google+, Facebook) as well as specialist software (e.g. SigmaPipe, Aspen) in engineering education.
    • eLearning. I have also wide experience in the use of platforms and technologies in teaching and learning. In 2011 I won the prestigious 'Teacher of the year award' at Manchester for my contributions to the development of the eLearning portfolio in Chemical Engineering.
    • Curriculum development. After having worked on an overhaul of the Curriculum at Manchester and later on the new course structures, to be launched in 2016, at Monash I have gained ample experience on Curriculum Development with particular focus on alignment between intended learning outcomes, teaching activities and assessment that fit within accreditation requirements.
    • Managing Engineering programmes. After working as the Director of Teaching at Monash University (2013-2015) and before that as the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Manchester (2010-2013) I have gained wide experience on education management, quality assurance and policies. Currently as the Assessment Officer at CPE Strathclyde I have the academic responsibility for the Assessment including processes and quality assurance.
    • School-University transition. In the early years of my career, I worked on aspects of school-university transition and developed PIPE (Pre-Induction Pack for Engineers) that was later adapted by the Engineering Faculty at The University of Manchester for the Engineering Student Orientation Support (SOS) page. Currently, I am the academic lead in the implementation of the Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) scheme at CPE Strathclyde to support students' transition from the first year into the second year of their degree.


Students' strategies for managing social loafers in PBL : interactional means of dealing with unequal participation in group work
McQuade Robert Michael, Ventura-Medina Esther, Wiggins Sally, Hendry Gillian, Anderson Anthony
Interactional Research into Problem-Based Learning (2020) (2020)
'I'm lost' - a qualitative analysis of student teams' strategies during their first experience in problem-based learning
Mabley Seren, Ventura-Medina Esther, Anderson Anthony
European Journal of Engineering Education Vol 45, pp. 329-348 (2020)
Examining self-managed problem-based learning interactions in engineering education
McQuade Robert, Ventura-Medina Esther, Wiggins Sally, Anderson Tony
European Journal of Engineering Education Vol 45, pp. 232-248 (2020)
Development of learner autonomy in student-centred learning environments in engineering
Reyes Viviescas D, Ventura-Medina E, Anderson T, Mio C
SEFI 47th Annual Conference Proceedings 47th SEFI Annual Conference, pp. 899-908 (2019)
Scenario-based eLearning to promote active learning in large cohorts -Students' perspective
Mio Cristina, Ventura-Medina Esther, Joao Elsa
Computer Applications in Engineering Education Vol 27, pp. 894-909 (2019)
Knowledge disagreement formulations in problem-based learning tutorials : balancing pedagogical demands with 'saving face'
McQuade Robert, Wiggins Sally, Ventura-Medina Esther, Anderson Tony
Classroom Discourse Vol 9, pp. 227-243 (2018)

More publications


I have experience in designing courses and delivering teaching to small groups and large classess (250+) at different levels in Chemical Engineering Programmes.

I have taught:

  • Chemical Engineering Design: including Material and Energy balances, Process Design and Synthesis, Equipment Design
  • Capstone Design Project
  • Solid-Fluid Systems
  • Engineer in Society: environmental impact, safety, economics and ethics
  • Laboratory Projects

My current teaching concentrates in Chemical Process Design.


Research interests

My main research interests are in the areas of Engineering Education and Human factors in Safety. 

Society faces many challenges that demand skilled engineers with the professional skills to face needs of ever-changing workplaces and my research is contributing to inform training practices to make this possible.

The work of my research group (SkIL) centres on investigating aspects of Skills' development (Problem Solving, Teamwork and Decision Making) and look at social interactions in different environments to inform trainig and performance.

In learning contexts, we look at 'how' students develop professional skills by studying 'what' actually takes place in student-centred learning environments (e.g. Problem-based learning).  In industrial environments we study the relationship between human factors and decicion making in the process industries.
We use a range of research methods: quantitative and qualitative (e.g. content analysis, conversation analysis, surveys, interviews) to build evidence to support theoretical developments and inform practice.

At the moment we are studying:
-what processes take place during collaborative problem solving,
-how students manage their social identities and conflicts in a team,
-the role of perception and safety culture in industrial scenarios,
-how students develop self-regulation in teams.


We are also interested in online learning and the opportunities and challenges that it entails.


For information on funding opportunities please check PGR Funding @Strathclyde.



Professional activities

International Symposium of Engineering Education (ISEE) 2022
8th International Symposium of Engineering Education (ISEE)2020
Dept. Chemical Engineering, Universidad de los Andes (External organisation)
Using discursive psychology to investigate knowledge and task complexity formulations in student-led problem-based learning tutorials. Oral presentation at ICCA 2018: 5th International Conference of Conversation Analysis, Loughborough University, UK.
Workshop on Agricultural Biomass Waste -Utilisation Routes
Doing disagreement without being disagreeable: How students deal with conversational norms in group work. Oral presentation at EuroPLAT 2017 Conference, University of Salzburg, Austria.

More professional activities


Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | McQuade, Robert
Ventura-Medina, Esther (Principal Investigator) Anderson, Tony (Co-investigator) McQuade, Robert (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 24-Jan-2021
Building Capacity in STEM for enhancing socio-economic development in regional Chile
Ventura-Medina, Esther (Principal Investigator) Ferreiro-Rangel, Carlos Augusto (Co-investigator) Grassia, Paul (Co-investigator) Magueijo, Vitor (Co-investigator)
21-Jan-2016 - 20-Jan-2016
Crossing Boundaries – Multidisciplinary Education using Scenario-Based Learning in Engineering
Ventura-Medina, Esther (Principal Investigator) João, Elsa (Research Co-investigator) Mio, Cristina (Research Co-investigator)
£4520 received from the Faculty of Engineering Educational Development Fund
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2016

More projects


Chemical and Process Engineering
James Weir Building

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