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Mrs Petra Gratton

Mrs Petra Gratton

Howell Building 115


Academic Responsibilities

  • Admissions Tutor for all undergraduate courses in the Mechanical Engineering Subject Area
  • Course Director for the MSc in Building Services Engineering Management

Academic Career

  • 1985 – BSc in Building (Engineering and Management) from Brunel University London
  • 1993 – MBA from University of Surrey
  • 1998 to present - Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Industrial Career

Industrial placement with North West Thames Regional Health Authority in their M&E design office.

Assistant Clerk of Works (industrial placement) with PSA/Site Control at Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London monitoring installation of engineering services in the NAAFI.

Trainee Mechanical Building Services Engineer (another placement!) with consulting engineers Cundall, Johnston and Partners, working on a variety of housing projects in London.

Trainee Engineer with consulting engineers Donald Smith, Seymour and Rooley in their Ealing office, working on design of the Al Rashid University, Baghdad.

Gaining loads of experience in Industrial Training Placements was great. After graduating Cundall, Johnston and Partners offered me a job as a Project Engineer. I worked on hotels and some exotic housing projects (including a city penthouse and a remote country castle) and several corporate headquarter offices. Because I had \"done computing\" at Brunel University London as part of my degree, I developed the role of full-time Computer Systems Manager in the London office as we built up the IT resources to millions of pounds-worth of system used in the design and management of building services engineering facilities. In 1992 recession hit the building industry and I decided I needed an intellectual challenge that would broaden my knowledge! So, I signed up for a one-year full-time MBA course.

After graduating with the MBA I found jobs scarce, but LOADS of work about. So I started my own consultancy business specialising in training and management of computer applications for the design and operation of building engineering services.

I joined the Building Research Establishment at Watford to manage projects to promote the management issues of using energy efficiency in buildings as part of the government’s Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme.

In 1997 I took up the opportunity to be Business Support Manager, with responsibilities for quality management, with a firm of consulting engineers in Farnborough.

July 1998: Spiraled back to Brunel University London to develop a new MSc course - based on all the knowledge and experience gained from my adventures in industry!



  • Affiliate of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
  • Affiliate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
  • Member of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) (President: 1998 - 1999)

Professional Committees

  • Trustee of the Engineering Development Trust (EDT)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of ‘The Woman Engineer’, journal of the WES

Professionally Related

  • Ambassador for STEMNET

Newest selected publications

Gratton, P. and Gratton, G. (2020) 'Achieving Success with the Engineering Dissertation'. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland. ISSN 10: 3030331911 ISSN 13: 9783030331917 Open Access Link


Gratton, P. and Gratton, G. (2019) 'Benchmarking Engineering Dissertations'.Excellence in Engineering Education for the 21st Century: The Role of Engineering Education Research. University of Warwick. 20 - 17 December. The Proceedings of the 7th Annual Conference of the UK & Ireland Engineering Education Research Network. pp. 442 - 446.Open Access Link

Conference paper
More publications(2)