Patricia Xavier

Patricia Xavier
Associate Professor

Patricia has a varied career as both a practicing engineer and engineering academic. She has worked in design consultancies on highway design, flood management and green infrastructure projects. She has spent the last ten years in higher education, conducting increasingly interdisciplinary teaching and research, collaborating with biologists, social scientists and psychologists. 

Her interest in interdisciplinarity and its complexities led to her current area of research on the tensions that exist at the interfaces between engineering and other disciplines. She is fascinated by engineering identities and habits, and what is means to become an engineer. Her research includes characterising the intersection between personal and professional value systems in engineering, how the process of training engineers appears to prioritise certain habits (e.g. an adherence to tradition and authority), and de-prioritises others (e.g. the role and value of considering emotion and ethics in engineering design).

Patricia brings this experience to the faculty and classroom, to help NMITE students become technically competent graduates who also have skills drawn from the humanities, making them more effective at recognising how power relationships impact communities and other-than-human stakeholders. The planet can't be fixed by reproducing a business-as-usual attitude, so Patricia is invested in creating engineers who think differently, have the bravery to work within complex, ambiguous and ethically-laden situations, and are able to recognise and capitalise on the strengths of other disciplines to form and lead effective interdisciplinary teams.


MEng Civil Engineering, Cardiff University

PhD Civil Engineering, Cardiff University

PGCertHE Teaching in Higher Education, Swansea University