Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Dr Heather Rea

Dr Heather Rea. Public Engagement Coordinator.

Dr Heather Rea

Public Engagement Coordinator

Contact details

Role at IAD

I support the implementation of the University of Edinburgh's forthcoming strategy for public engagement with research.

This includes:

  • providing expert advice and support for academic managers and researchers about public engagement with research;
  • leading university-wide public engagement related projects such as the university‚Äôs involvement in Explorathon and the NUCLEUS Responsible Research and Innovation Project;
  • developing and supporting communities of practice around public engagement including the Edinburgh Public Engagement Forum, the Beltane Public Engagement Fellows and the Beltane Public Engagement Network;
  • working with external organisations to provide opportunities for public engagement activities; and
  • ensuring evaluation of public engagement activities is coordinated across the university and undertaken on a systematic basis.

Professional interests

I am interested in engagement, dialogue, motivation, gaming, collaboration and the potential of community building to enhance professional practices.

I have a degree and PhD in Mechanical Engineering and have done several years research on Engineering Knowledge Management. Previously I ran two EPSRC and on RAEng Public Engagement Projects taking engineering activities to local schools and the Edinburgh International Science Festival. I then worked as the Deputy Director of one of the six UK Beacons for Public Engagement and was subsequently supported by a bursary from the Wellcome Trust to complete a course on Social Entrepreneurship at the London School for Social Entrepreneurs.