Paul Chan

Lecturer in Project Management

Management of Projects

Paul Chan

The unique combination of mechanical, aerospace, and civil engineering disciplines in our School exposes academics and students to a variety of engineering approaches to problem-solving.

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I study human relations and social interactions in engineering project organisations. I am particularly fascinated by how people think about their practices at work, and the connections and contradictions between what people think they do and what they actually do at the workplace.

A lot of my research is not only based on talking to practitioners, but also observing their practices in real-life situations. I have studied how people use their skills and knowledge at work, and how they make decisions about various organisational issues, including the topical issue of sustainability.

I regularly organise research seminars in my field; these allow me to travel to different places, meet very interesting people (many of whom remain close acquaintances), and share good food and conversations. The aspects of research I most enjoy are meeting new people and seeing new practices that challenge my thinking, along with the relative freedom to read and write about these developments.


The unique combination of mechanicalaerospace, and civil engineering disciplines in our School exposes academics and students to a variety of engineering approaches to problem-solving.

I keep my teaching up-to-date and relevant for students by listening to their main social concerns, and try as much as possible to get them to think differently about life. I certainly feel a sense of gratification when my students eventually 'get it'. When they graduate, I hope they remember me by the stories that I tell them during my lectures, but they are more likely to remember me for answering their questions with yet more questions!

I think a measure of success for students who complete their course is when they take what they have learnt here at Manchester and do something useful for society, beyond just making money.

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