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Dr Esther Ventura-Medina

Senior Lecturer

Chemical and Process Engineering

Personal statement

I joined the University in May 2015 as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering.  Before I came to Strathclyde I worked as a Senior Lecturer (Education) at Monash University, Australia (2013-2015) and a Teaching Fellow and a Senior Lecturer (Teaching) at the University of Manchester (2005-2013).

I graduated with a BSc and then an MSc in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas (Venezuela) before going to the Department of Chemical Engineering at UMIST, Manchester (UK) to do my PhD in the area of Froth Flotation under the supervision of Prof Jan Cilliers. After finishing my PhD in 2000 I continued to work in the 'Froth and Foam Research Group' at Manchester as a Research Associate. In 2005 I was awarded a Post-graduate Certificate in Education PGCE -(Secondary Maths) at the University of Manchester in 2005 which marked the beginning of my career in the area of Education.

My main research interests are in the area of Engineering Education and in particular Skills Development and eLearning.


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.


Elucidating dysfunctional occurrences in student-led group work : 'doing disagreement well'
McQuade Robert Michael, Ventura-Medina Esther, Wiggins Sarah, Anderson Anthony
Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section Biennial Conference 2017, (2017)
SigmaPipe as an education tool for engineers
Dry Rod, Rabadia Hashil, Felipe Diana, Ingram Gordon, Maynard Nicoleta, Ventura-Medina Esther
Education for Chemical Engineers Vol 14, pp. 1-15, (2016)
Supporting professional skills development in chemical engineering students
Ventura-Medina Esther, De La Cruz David
Proceedings of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering (APCChE) Congress Incorporating Chemeca 2015, (2015)
Embedding engineering practice in the chemical engineering curricula through industrial expert lecturers.
Ventura-Medina Esther, Hapgood Karen
Conference Proceedings of the 2013 Australasian Chemical Engineering Conference (CHEMECA)., pp. 1-5, (2013)
Puzzle-based learning of mathematics in engineering
Thomas Colin, Badger Matthew, Ventura-Medina Esther, Sangwin Chris
Engineering Education Vol 8, pp. 122-134, (2013)
Scenario based e-learning to improve problem solving skills
Rashid Usman, Ventura-Medina Esther
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, pp. 238-246, (2012)

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 area of Engineering Education.  The real challenge that society faces is the supply of ‘job-ready’ engineering graduates with the professional skills to face the ever-changing demands of future workplaces and my research is contributing to understand how that can happen.

The work of my research group focuses on investigating the development of professional skills in engineering and the implications for instructional design in both face-to-face and on-line learning environments.  More specifically the research considers problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork as key skills and addresses questions about their development through the use of student-centred and authentic pedagogies based on problems, projects, scenarios or general processes of enquiry.  The group works in collaboration with other engineering departments, sciences and psychology.

Some of the current research project topics are:

  • Problem solving in relation to:

- the use of technology on the development of metacognition

- the connection between previous and current situations

  • Critical Thinking and the role of reflection and authentic contexts
  • Teamwork and the interactions that promote successful teamwork
  • Life beyond graduation - the challenges of professional development and the transition from university to the workplace.
  • Social Media in Engineering Education - from communication to collaboration to learning; investigating the impact of social media in learning.

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



Professional activities

Collaboration vs. cooperation in student-centred learning, Chemeca 2017, Australia
Engineering Department, Lancaster University (External organisation)
International Symposium 'Best Practices in STEM Education'
Invited speaker
International Symposium 'Best Practices in STEM Education'
Keynote/plenary speaker
Asia Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering Congress
Member of programme committee
Asia Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering Congress

more professional activities


Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | McQuade, Robert Michael
Ventura-Medina, Esther (Principal Investigator) Anderson, Anthony (Co-investigator) McQuade, Robert Michael (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Apr-2020
Crossing Boundaries – Multidisciplinary Education using Scenario-Based Learning in Engineering
Ventura-Medina, Esther (Principal Investigator) Joao, Elsa (Research Co-investigator) Mio, Cristina (Research Co-investigator)
£4520 received from the Faculty of Engineering Educational Development Fund
Period 01-Aug-2015 - 31-Jul-2016
Binary and temporary adsorption isotherms from gas density measurements | MCDONALD, Alexis
Ventura-Medina, Esther (Principal Investigator) Jorge, Miguel (Co-investigator) MCDONALD, Alexis (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Feb-2005 - 01-Aug-2008

more projects


Chemical and Process Engineering
James Weir Building

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