Colin Turner


  • Shore Road, Jordanstown Campus

    BT37 0QB Newtownabbey

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


Professor Colin Turner is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean for the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

With an initial background in Pure Mathematics, Colin joined Ulster University in 1998 to take up a post as Lecturer in Mathematics, Computing and Statistics and undertaking cardiovascular research with the Royal Victoria Hospital and Nanotechnology and Integrated Bio-engineering Centre (NIBEC). He was appointed Professor of Engineering Education in 2013, during his term of service as Head of School for the School of Engineering from 2010-2018. From April 2020 to July 2021 Colin served as Interim Dean for Learning Enhancement, working as the institutional strategic lead and Senior Officer for Learning and Teaching and playing a lead role in the University’s Learning and Teaching pandemic response. Following that Colin was Director for the Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice (CHERP).

Colin’s areas of teaching expertise are in Mathematics and Software Development and how these relate to Engineering. He also has interests in the developments of technology to assist Learning and Teaching, for which he has twice been awarded the University’s Distinguished Learning Support Fellowship. He has designed and built software systems to handle online placement management, workload allocation and assessment approval processes, as well as being involved in the design of software systems for curriculum management and approval, KIS (the Key Information Set) and HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report). Colin’s keen interest in enabling students to lead their own societies and other initiatives led to a UUSU Partnership award in 2018.

Colin’s discipline research began in the field of topology in pure mathematics, but has more recently been focused on the mathematics, engineering and software applied to cardiovascular medicine. This has included applications in ECG analysis such as inverse potential models, defibrillators, and detection of myocardial infarction and other arrythmias.

With a keen interest in the use and development of Free and Open Source Software, Colin has championed initiatives and conferences to encourage the adoption of open source software and methodologies, including providing “masterclass” training to the Northern Ireland Civil Service. Most of his own free and open source software is available on GitHub, include a number of software systems for teaching and administration in higher education.
Colin has BSc and PhD degrees in mathematics from Queen’s University Belfast. He is a National Teaching Fellow (NTF), a Fellow of the Institution of Mathematics and its Applications (FIMA), a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET), a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), and a chartered engineer (CEng) and a chartered mathematician (CMath).

Externally Colin is a Board member and Director of the Engineering Professors’ Council, having served as President from 2019-2021, an Advocate providing advice to the Board of ASET, the UK body for placement professionals, where he previously served as a Trustee. He is also the Chair of the IET Engineering Policy Group for Northern Ireland and a member of the advisory group for the All Party Group for Science and Technology at the Northern Ireland Assembly. He was a member of the advisory group to the QAA for the Subject Benchmark Statement review for Engineering review in 2023.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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