Some Psychological Theories of Engineering Education


  • E. Alpay Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine


A brief overview of some psychological theories relevant to student learning is presented.  Discussions are given on the relationship of memory with learning, and on behavioral, cognitive, and social influences on learning.  Student motivation and learning orientations are also addressed, and their importance in the learning approach is described.  Having indicated the relevance of psychology to learning, some relevant and effective teaching methodologies in engineering education are summarized.  These are classified under the general headings of cognitive, social, and motivational matters.  Recommendations are also given on training initiatives that may be of further benefit to student learning.

Author Biography

E. Alpay, Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Esat Alpay is Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, University of London. He received his BSc from the University of Surrey and his PhD from the University of Cambridge. His research interests include gas separation through adsorption processes, combined (in-situ) separation and reaction processes, and structured reactor engineering. As an Education Development Coordinator, he has ongoing and wide interests in undergraduate and postgraduate training.