Research Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


In recent years ‘resilience’ has increasingly been framed as a positive attribute that can play a role in the success of university students. The need for students to develop and demonstrate resilience seems particularly pertinent within engineering education. Firstly, engineering degrees are often associated with heavy workloads. This, alongside high rates of attrition and increases in mental health issues, suggests a need for students to demonstrate resilience. Secondly, engineering degrees prepare students for a profession, and it is likely that courses place emphasis on graduate attributes such as resilience. Finally, the rate of technological advancement and societal change places additional demands on graduates to adapt to career changes. Despite the emphasis on the benefits of demonstrating resilience, there is a lack of research focusing on how it is understood and taught within engineering education. In this work we take a qualitative approach to understanding how engineering educators conceptualise resilience; whether they feel a responsibility to help students develop resilience; their approach to doing this; and their general perception about the resilience levels of students. In so doing, we make use of data collected from semistructured interviews with thirteen individuals involved in the education of engineers. Interview transcripts were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis (RTA). We find that the conceptualisation of resilience in engineering education varies, thus impacting the design of effective interventions.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.