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Joanne Smith

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor in the School of Education


Jo’s career started in engineering, where she had run multi-million-pound projects; travelled the world making semiconductor devices for mobile technologies and trained adults in scientific understanding, whilst gaining her MBA. Her interest in education was started here, as a science education ambassador, her work encouraging girls to take up science and engineering careers and as governor to a local college.

Jo initially trained as a secondary school science teacher, specialising in physics (1999 Durham University) and became a secondary science teacher in the North East of England. She taught a diverse range of learners aged between 11 and 18 years old. She had great fun and was involved in many extra-curricular activities, including sailing, engineering and the Combined Cadet Force. In 2010, Jo moved into the Primary education sector with roles in all year groups, from EYFS to Year 6 whilst also bringing up her young family. Jo took on a variety of extra responsibilities, including science, arts and EYFS leads across both schools and federations of schools. In 2015, Jo combined teaching in primary school with a teaching role at Durham University School of Education and is now the full-time, enthusiastic teacher of undergraduate and postgraduate students studying education, training to be teachers specialising in science, the Early Years and Design and Technology.