Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Casual - Teaching Support



+44 (0)20 7594 5981a.ahearn Website




Miss Aoife McCarthy +44 (0)20 7594 8787




Educational Development UnitSkempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





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Alison Ahearn is Principal Teaching Fellow at Imperial, based in the Educational Development Unit, with a special interest in engineering education and the development of postgraduates as teachers. Teaching includes service teaching for the Department of Civil and Env Engineering by running Constructionarium, and running industry-academic teaching teams for postgraduate modules in law/management.

External charitable work for education: Alison is Chairman of the postgraduate student housing provider, Zebra Housing Association  serving PhD students from overseas and does Outreach as a trustee of the Space Science and Engineering Foundation which manages the UK's Space Station design competition for schoolstudents (see

EDUCATION INNOVATION: industry-academic teaching teams; large-scale hands-on learning; extending the ambition-threshold in university education.

EDUCATION AWARDS have focused on the Constructionarium which was invented at Imperial by an industry-academic team of Alison, Expedition Engineering and John Doyle Construction (and continued by AJ Morrisroe construction). The event has been adopted in more than 20 universities and has been attended by students from universities in Italy and China and may extend to Australia (Queensland). Extension of it to postgraduates, to nuclear engineering and to serve researchers have been extra innovations in which Alison has had a key role. Read more about the Constructionarium

The BBC's Radio 4 "PM" programme featured constructionarium in 2012 and this can provide an external view of the activity: You can read a past blog on constructionarium experience.


Educational development in science, technology and medicine, including science communication, industry-academic educational innovation and with emphasis on Imperial's STAR Framework for recognition of staff as university teachers.

Development of the Constructionarium into multi-disciplinary hands-on learning

Fostering Student-led extracurricular learning: current emphasis on Women in STEM and the student-led El Salvador Construction Project which is alumni of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Consultancy included 15 years as managing editor of the Keatings Chambers Construction Law Case Index (an information tool for barristers specialising in Construction Law).

Interest Group: Albertopolis Writing Circle:   Monthly meetings at the Hoop and Toy Pub, Thurloe Place, South Kensington.  New members welcome: email



Ahearn AL, 1999, Words fail us: the pragmatic need for rhetoric in engineering communication, 2nd Asia-Pacific Forum on Engineering and Technology Education, UICEE, FACULTY ENGINEERING, Pages:153-156

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