Plenary Lectures

Keynote Lectures

Susan Ambrose

Dr. Susan Ambrose, Professor of Education and History, is Senior Vice Chancellor for Educational Innovation at Northeastern University. She is an internationally recognized expert in college-level teaching and learning, and has worked with university faculty and administrators throughout the United States and around the world. Her work focuses on translating research to practice in the design of curricula, courses and educational experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to Northeastern University, she served for 25 years at Carnegie Mellon University, as Associate Provost for Education, Director of the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, and a Teaching Professor in the Department of History.
Dr. Ambrose is co-author of five books. The most recent is titled Higher Education’s Road to Relevance: Navigating Complexity (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2020). Her last book, How Learning Works: Seven Research-based Principles for Smart Teaching (Jossey-Bass, 2010), has been widely praised for integrating fundamental research in the learning sciences and practical application. The book has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Italian and Arabic. She has also published numerous articles in such journals as The Journal of Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Quality Approaches in Higher Education, and the Journal of Engineering Education.

Professor Ambrose will talk about seven basic principles of learning, because learning results from what students do, and only what students do; our impact as educators is in creating the conditions to engage students in the process that leads to learning. The seven principles will be translated into practice in the design and teaching of courses, labs, studios, and other educational experiences.

Rodrigo Salgado

Rodrigo Salgado is the Charles Pankow Professor in Civil Engineering at Purdue University. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and an engineering degree from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil. Prof. Salgado is the author of 120 journal publications, 81 conference publications, 30 technical reports and the text The Engineering of Foundations. He has supervised 27 Ph.D. students to completion and has been the recipient of prestigious awards, including the ICE Geotechnical Research Medal (2015), the Outstanding Reviewer Award from Computers and Geotechnics (2015), the IACMAG Excellent Contributions Award (2008), the Prakash Research Award (2005), the ASCE Huber Research Prize (2004), and the ASCE Arthur Casagrande Award (1999). He has also been an invited participant of the U.S. and U.S.-China editions of the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. He is a Fellow of ASCE and has been inducted into the GeoAcademy. He is Editor in Chief of the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering and serves on the editorial boards of several top journals. Prof. Salgado's interests lie in geomechanics, foundation engineering, computational mechanics, constitutive modeling and offshore and energy engineering.

Professor Salgado will talk about issues that come up when authoring a new textbook on Geotechnical Engineering, such as decisions on (i) where to follow an alternative approach, compared with existing textbooks, and (ii) updating material to keep up with progress in geotechnical engineering research and practice.

Invited Lectures

Vasilia Christidou

Dr. Vasilia Christidou is Associate Professor at the School of Early Childhood Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She has graduated from the Physics Department at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and received her PhD in Education from the University of Patras, Greece. Her field of specialization is science education. She has served as Quality Monitor for the implementation of the OECD PISA program in Greece. She has also served as an expert evaluator for the European Commission (FP6 and FP7 'Science in Society'). Her current research interests include teaching and learning in science, the promotion of Public Understanding of Science, the process of recontextualization of scientific texts addressed to non-experts, science communication, and gender issues in science education.

Professor Christidou will talk about the role of visual literacy throughout the education levels and in engineering.

Ton de Jong

Ton de Jong holds a chair in Instructional Technology at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. He specializes in inquiry learning and collaborative learning (mainly in science domains) supported by technology. He was coordinator of several EU projects and several national projects including the ZAP (Zeer Actieve Psychologie; Very Active Psychology) project in which interactive games/simulations for psychology were developed. ZAPs commercial licences now go over 80.000 in number. He was coordinator of the 7th framework Go-Lab project on learning with online laboratories in science and currently is coordinator of its H2020 follow-up project Next-Lab (see He published over 200 journal articles and book chapters, was associate editor for the Journal of Engineering Education and for Instructional Science and currently is on the editorial board of eight journals. He has published papers in Science on inquiry learning with computer simulations (2006), design environments (2013), and virtual laboratories (2013). He is AERA and ISLS fellow and was elected member of the Academia Europaea in 2014. For more info see:

Professor de Jong will talk about virtual laboratories and virtual-physical laboratory combinations.

Minna Karstunen

Minna Karstunen is Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, UK. She got her PhD at University of Wales Swansea in 1998, followed by a successful academic career in the UK. She joined Chalmers in 2012, where she has built an internationally leading research group focussing on modelling soil and rocks across the scales.
Minna’s industrial experience relates to the design of roads, tunnels and bridge foundations on very soft soils in Finland and she is involved as an independent expert in the West Link project in Sweden. Minna is internationally known for her research on constitutive model development, aimed at representing the complex rate-dependent stress-strain behaviour of sensitive soft clays. She has coordinated a number of European projects related to soft soil modelling and soft clay engineering and has published over 100 scientific publications.
Minna has taught Geotechnical Engineering at undergraduate and post-graduate level at six universities in four countries, with three languages. In addition, she has organised/contributed to numerous PhD courses and training events, as well as given courses for industry related to numerical modelling of soils.

Professor Karstunen will talk about combining in a geotechnics course problem-based learning with Class B and Class C predictions of clay settlements.