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 (2019) (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)
The student as facilitator - A qualitative exploration of monitoring strategies used by 'dominant' team members in PBL groups
Mabley S, Ventura-Medina E, Anderson T
46th SEFI Annual Conference 2018 , pp. 278-285 (2018)
The role of institutional power in tutorless problem-based learning : students’ interactional strategies for self-managing conflict in teamwork
McQuade RM, Ventura-Medina E, Wiggins S, Anderson T
46th SEFI Annual Conference (2018)
Using discursive psychology to investigate knowledge and task complexity formulations in student-led problem-based learning tutorials
McQuade R, Mabley S, Wiggins S, Ventura-Medina E, Anderson A
International Conference of Conversation Analysis (2018)
A multi-objective approach to demonstrating sustainability in the capstone design project
Hoadley Andrew, Brennan David, Ventura-Medina Esther
World Congress of Chemical Engineering (2017)

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

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.
Collaboration vs. cooperation in student-centred learning, Chemeca 2017, Australia
Conversation/Interaction Analysis - Workshop at University College of Southeast Norway
Engineering Department, Lancaster University (External organisation)

more professional activities


Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | McQuade, Robert Michael
Ventura-Medina, Esther (Principal Investigator) Anderson, Tony (Co-investigator) McQuade, Robert Michael (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 01-Jan-2020
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
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)
01-Jan-2005 - 21-Jan-2018

more projects


Chemical and Process Engineering
James Weir Building

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