Professor Lydia Kavanagh

Deputy Associate Dean Academic

Faculty of Science

Academic Lead and Project Manager

Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation


School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 54264
0421 503 191


Since returning to academia from industry in 1998, Associate Professor Lydia Kavanagh has become a leader in engineering education and has used her background as a professional engineer to design both curricula and courses for active learning by combining real-world projects and specialist knowledge. She has had a significant impact on the delivery of UQ’s undergraduate engineering program which has an annual intake of 1200 students through creative new teaching pedagogies including the Flipped Classroom, innovative authentic approaches to assessment, and the introduction of multi-disciplinary courses. As Director of First Year Engineering, Lydia is also responsible for a significant program of extra-curricular transition support for first year students and she co-coordinates two compulsory courses that deliver what could arguably be the world's largest flipped classroom in a large flat floor space that seats 600 students at round tables.

Lydia is also heavily involved in disseminating best practice through the Teaching and Learning Development Program (TLDP) that she developed and leads for EAIT Faculty. The TLDP offers Professional Development for existing and new staff, Graduate Teaching Assistants, and tutors as well as fostering a community of practice through an annual forum and a mentorship program.

Lydia’s work was recognised with an ALTC Excellence in teaching award in 2011 and she has lead and participated in Carrick/ ALTC/ OLT projects on teamwork, online learning, curriculum innovation (2x), preparing students for first year engineering, and Flipped Classrooms.

Research Interests

  • Engineering education
    o Flipping the classroom: ownership of learning, learning analytics, learning pathways o Supporting international students: teamwork strategies, language barriers o Developing strategies to manage students with learning disabilities or other issues that prevent them from success with respect to teamwork, project management, time management etc. o Investigating student team work and mentoring o Fostering interdisciplinarity
  • Professional Development
    o Dissemination of best practice teaching and learning o Mentoring o Training the next generation of educators

Research Impacts

Lydia has delivered Flipped Classroom workshops across discipline and to both national and international institutions. The workshops have helped take the mystery out of flipping the classroom and have given academics a framework for developing their own flipped classroom.

Much of her work in developing online tools (e.g Teamwork in Action - a module providing team training and resources, GetSet - a prepatory quiz for first year engineering, WebPAf - an adapted peer assessment tool originating from The University of Loughborough, BrainCloud - a real time crowd response 'wordle') has also been freely disseminated across institution and across discipline.


  • Graduate Certificate in Education, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering), The University of Queensland
  • Master of Engineering Science, University of New South Wales
  • PhD (Chemical Engineering), The University of Queensland


View all Publications


View all Supervision


Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Kavanagh, Lydia, Reidsema, Carl, McCredden, Julie and Smith, Neville (2017). Design considerations. The flipped classroom: practice and practices in higher education. (pp. 15-35) edited by Carl Reidsema, Lydia Kavanagh, Roger Hadgraft and Neville Smith.Singapore: Springer Singapore. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-3413-8_2

  • McGrath, Dominic, Groessler, Anthea, Fink, Esther, Reidsema, Carl and Kavanagh, Lydia (2017). Technology in the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom. (pp. 37-56) edited by Carl Reidsema, Lydia Kavanagh, Roger Hadgraft and Neville Smith.Singapore: Springer Singapore. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-3413-8_3

  • Jolly, Lesley, Tibbits, Gregory, Kavanagh, Lydia and O'Moore, Lisa (2014). Educational technologies and the training curriculum. Workforce development: strategies and practices. (pp. 115-133) edited by Tom Short and Roger Harris.Singapore, Republic of Singapore: Springer Singapore. doi:10.1007/978-981-287-068-1_8

  • Kavanagh, Lydia, Jolly, Lesley, O'Moore, Liza and Tibbits, Gregory (2014). Simulating work: can simulators help develop a workforce?. Workforce Development: Perspectives and Issues. (pp. 283-299) edited by Roger Harris and Tom Short.New York, United States: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-4560-58-0_16

  • O'Moore, Liza, Jolly, Lesley and Kavanagh, Lydia (2014). The development role of competence assurance. Workforce Development: Perspectives and Issues. (pp. 173-192) edited by Roger Harris and Tom Short.New York, United States: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-4560-58-0_10

  • Hyde, R., Moore, R., Kavanagh, L., Watt, M. and Schianetz, K. (2007). Indicators, Audits and Measuring Success. Steering Sustainability in an Urbanizing World. (pp. 99-109) edited by A. Nelson.United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

Completed Supervision