Katharine Jewitt

Supervised by

Prof Vic Lally

PhD Focus: The role of 3D technologies in the development of virtual learning and training in SMEs

Katharine was awarded The University of Glasgow College of Social Sciences PGR Scholarship in 2012. She works as a Management Consultant and is an Associate Lecturer for The Open University in The Department of Engineering, Technology and Design and The Centre for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships. Katharine is also Editor-in-Chief for a number of leading craft publications including Make and Craft magazine.


Highly qualified for doctoral research, Katharine has seven degrees: BA Hons History and Politics, MA Politics, MBA, MSc Human Resource Management, MA Online and Distance Education, MEd in Education with lifelong learning and an MSc in Research Methods in Educational Technology.

Katharine has much experience in real world research in a range of contexts and having the opportunity to study for a PhD allows her to unite interests in lifelong learning, business, education and technology. Katharine is working with a number of SMEs as part of her research to examine how virtual worlds motivate people to learn and to work in communities of practice, in order, to transfer motivation and social knowledge building into work place practices for lifelong learning.

Highlights to date has been the opportunity to study in one of the world’s great, research- intensive universities. Being supervised by Professor Victor Lally provides an intellectually stimulating learning environment. PhD study has provided the opportunity to extend knowledge exchange, travel and network widely, attending conferences and work with businesses and organisations in developing mobile and three-dimensional virtual learning in the working environment.


The research aims to contribute to bridging the gap in current research by exploring with a group of employees how they incorporate informal practices and utilise a three dimensional platform for designed training contexts and how the continuation of learning across formal and informal settings can be supported.


Katharine’s work involves setting direction, planning, structuring, leading and executing large-scale, high risk and complex projects; which involves analysing and problem-solving, creating change, influencing the environment. She sets and clarifies strategy and new directions, which call for significant change in the scope and pace of business activities and balances both new and existing business activities to ensure effective strategy implementation. Projects involve new directions and ideas to reshape the business over the long term based upon holistic, analytical thinking and a ‘helicopter view’ and taking decisions, which demonstrate a comprehensive overview of future business direction; supported with technology and software implementations.

With 16 years of experience, Katharine has held a number of roles encompassing programme management, strategic management and business development; project management; customer service management; warehouse management system designs and implementations, supply chain and procurement;  operational management and continuous improvement. This clearly gives many benefits to clients and colleagues through experience and knowledge whilst remaining with a very pragmatic approach. Management experience includes specific specialist experience for many large organisations ~ SunMicrosystems, IBM, McDonalds, M&S, Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Fujitsu Siemens, Boots, Action 4 Employment, The Open University, Staffordshire University ~ in the areas of: Programme Management, Management Consultancy; Human Resource Management; Organisational Change; Procurement and Supply Chain Logistics; Project Management; ICT; Training and Coaching.

Research Interests

  • Developing communities for learning with advanced technologies
  • Developing virtual environments to support and enhance learning in the workplace
  • Social Media and interactive platforms for the support and development of Communities of Practice
  • Technology Enhanced Learning
  • E-Learning
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Augmented Reality

Further Work and Additional Information

Katharine has carried out research, working with local councils to explore the experiences of young people aged 14 – 16 excluded from school and using technology to learn at a distance. The research explored what they identified as the positives and negatives involved in the use of digital technology for learning.

Katharine was awarded a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2008.