Gibbs joins at a time of significant forward momentum for the proposed higher education institute particularly around the transformation of its future learning space where Professor Gibbs’ input is vital to ensure that it reflects NMITE’s model of learning by doing.
Professor Gibbs has an engineering degree from Loughborough University, an Executive MBA from Cranfield University, a PhD from the University of Nottingham and is a qualified social scientist which very much links to NMITE’s liberal engineering mission. She is a Chartered Engineer, a Professional Member of the Institute of Materials, Metals and Mining, and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. NMITE describes Professor Gibbs as “not a traditional academic”, having spent 20 years in industry, something that NMITE’s President and Chief Executive Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, says “is hugely important given our aim to deliver a new age of engineering education through challenging the conventional”.
Commenting on her appointment, Rodriguez-Falcon said “Professor Gibbs is exactly the type of academic we envisaged hiring for this role.She is a passionate educator with real clarity of purpose, has proven herself in previous roles, has led a big curriculum change project and is someone I would describe as having “engineering running right through her.”Explaining her motivation for joining, Professor Gibbs explained ”I see learners as individuals, and believe that higher education should offer each one a space to grow as a person, master a subject and begin to grapple with the lifelong challenge of how they will engage with the world.The disruptive nature of NMITE and the opportunity to help shape its pedagogical model was simply too exciting an opportunity to miss.”
An example of Professor Gibbs’ link to the current engineering education landscape can be seen in the recently published report by the Engineering Professors’ Council (EPC) Emerging Stronger: Lasting Impact from Crisis Innovation which she co-edited with Dr Gary Wood from the University of Sheffield.Through a series of webinars, it brought together over 250 educators and practitioners to assess how the COVID-19 pandemic had accelerated the transformation of engineering education – removing barriers to innovation as well as introducing new challenges. The report includes examples of emerging good
practice in case studies from across the sector, students’ perspectives on the changes to their learning experience, and aims to be a living resource as the sector moves forward.
Prior to joining NMITE, Professor Gibbs was Director of Learning and Teaching (Strategy) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, leading curriculum, pedagogy, accreditation and employability outcomes for 900 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Immediately prior to that she was a Founding Faculty member in UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy.
Professor Gibbs appointment follows on from the appointment of James Newby as Chief Operating Officer in April this year whose role is to help build effective and professional infrastructure support for NMITE’s academic mission.