Professor Lydia Kavanagh

Deputy Associate Dean Academic

Faculty of Science

Deputy President, Acad Board

Office of the President of the Academic Board
+61 7 344 32651
+61 7 336 54264
0421 503 191


Since returning to academia from industry in 1998, 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 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 for almost a decade, Lydia was responsible for a significant program of extra-curricular transition support for first year students and she co-coordinated two compulsory courses that delivered what could arguably be the world's largest flipped classroom for 600 students. Recently, she has set up a Leadership and Mentoring Program for all EAIT faculty students (undergraduate and postgraduates), and continued this into a Leaders@EAIT, an ongoing academy for these students to continue to develop leadership competencies.

Lydia is now the Deputy Associate Dean Academic (Curriculum Review and Teaching Innovation) for the Faculty of Science where she has overseen a faculty-wide overview of curriculum resulting in streamlined undergraduate and postgraduate offerings. She holds a concurrent fractional position with the Institute of Teaching and Learning Innovations, where she has developed frameworks and systems for UQ shorter form credentials.

Lydia is also heavily involved institutionally with training and mentoring academics and professional staff with teaching responsibilities through the development and implementation of the Graduate Teaching Assistant program (for PhD scholars and postdocs), Teaching@UQ (for staff new to teaching), and TeachingPlus@UQ (for emerging leaders in Teaching and Learning).

Lydia’s work was recognised with a Principal Fellowship of the HEA, 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

  • Higher education
    o STEM practices in higher education o Curriculum development including learning pathways o eLearning: delivery, assessment, engagement, innovation o Flipping the classroom including ownership of learning o Supporting international students o Developing leadership competencies in students 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 o Fostering leadership in teaching and learning
  • Unbundling degree programs
    o Shorter form credentials o MOOCs o Badges

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. Her book, 'The Flipped Classroom: Practice and Practices' has been downloaded more than 55,000 times.

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.


  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Masters (Coursework) of Engineering, University of New South Wales
  • Bachelor of Engineering, The University of Queensland


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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: practice and practices in higher education. (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

Completed Supervision