Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk: Are Career Academics Gatekeepers to Students’ Tacit Knowledge?


  • Mike David Murray University of Strathclyde
  • Stuart Tennant University of the West of Scotland
  • Alan Forster Heriot-Watt University
  • Nigel Craig Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Alex Copping University of Bath
  • Nick Pilcher Edinburgh Napier University



placement, transition, identity, learning, academics


An opinion piece that argues for  a more balanced portfolio of academic staff within faculty, whereby pracademics are ‘pivotal’ academic staff who can ‘talk the talk and walk the walk’ with students who have industrial placement experience.

Author Biographies

Mike David Murray, University of Strathclyde

Mike Murray is a teaching fellow in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. Mike is interested in the heritage and history of civil engineering and pedagogy. Email:

Stuart Tennant, University of the West of Scotland

Stuart Tennant is a lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland. Research interests address a range of management topics including teams, supply chain management and economic exchange. Professionally, he is SFHEA and MCIOB and a member of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management scientific committee. Email:

Alan Forster, Heriot-Watt University

Alan M. Forster is a research active Associate Professor in building conservation, low carbon design and construction technology at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He is programme leader for MSc in Building Conservation. Professionally, he is a FHEA, FCIOB, FCABE, and an elected member of the RICS (Scotland) Building surveying Professional group. Email:

Nigel Craig, Glasgow Caledonian University

Nigel Craig is a senior lecturer and programme leader at Glasgow Caledonian University in the area of Construction Management. His research interests information technology, quality, non-conformance and customer satisfaction. He has contributed to work in journals such as Structural Survey, Engineering Construction and Architectural Management and the Journal of Records Management. Email:

Alex Copping, University of Bath

Alex Copping is an Associate Professor in construction project management at the University of Bath. His research interests revolve around the relationship between project complexity, project management methodologies and the management of resources. He is a SFHEA and a FCIOB. He is a member of the scientific committee for ARCOM, COBRA and SEEDS. Email:

Nick Pilcher, Edinburgh Napier University

Nick Pilcher is an FHEA, lecturer and programme leader at Edinburgh Napier University, and helps students write in academic subjects. His research interests are language, education, and qualitative research. He has contributed to work in journals such as Qualitative Research, Teaching in Higher Education, and the Journal of Education and Work. Email:


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Opinion Piece