Kenneth Leitch
Kenneth Leitch

Dr Kenneth Leitch PhD, BSc (Hons), FHEA

Associate Professor


Kenny is Head of the Civil, Transportation and Environmental Engineering and is responsible for the leadership and ongoing development of the group. He currently holds a number of high profile positions relating to skills and training for careers in Construction and the Built Environment.

In recognition of his expertise in learning, teaching and the development of upskilling opportunities, he was appointed Principal Investigator (PI) of the Housing Construction and Infrastructure (HCI) Skills Gateway. Part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, this 8-year, £6 million initiative funded by the Scottish Government is tasked with the creation of strategic learning pathways that facilitate routes into careers in Construction and the Built Environment (

Kenny is a leader Edinburgh Napier University’s Graduate Apprentice programme. He has actively sought new opportunities for the creation of new programs in line with the University strategy and has successfully secured funding from the Scottish Government (via Skills Development Scotland) to establish a Level 10 Graduate Apprentice programme in Civil Engineering.

In recognition of his standing and expertise in the field of Graduate Apprenticeships and Work Based Learning, he became an invited member of the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) - the professional body responsible for the accreditation of Civil Engineering degree's programmes offered by UK Higher Education Institutions. This role allows provides the opportunity to use experience to influence national policy on the accreditation of Civil Engineering degrees (

Kenny is a member of the Edinburgh City Region Deal Integrated Regional Employability and Skills (IRES) Programme Board - an inter-disciplinary steering group for the Edinburgh City Region Deal. As a member, he contributes to the regional development of teaching, learning, training and upskilling activities related to Construction and the Built Environment and works to promote interdisciplinary collaborations and cross platform initiatives (

He is also a member of the Edinburgh HE/FE Strategy group, chaired by Peter Mathieson, the Principal of the University of Edinburgh. This group is comprised of members of Universities and colleges across the region and as such, is highly influential to training and upskilling across the region.

In addition to these strategic positions, Kenny has also acts as external examiner on accreditation and validation events across the UK, an experiential learning review for the Institution of Civil Engineers, and as a grant reviewer for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He has extensive international links established through his involvement in transnational programmes with partner institutions in Shanghai and Myanmar as well as European partnerships developed through the highly successful International Civil Engineering Week. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an elected member of the Universities Academic board and has been voted “Best Lecturer” by the Edinburgh Napier Student Association.



Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Member of Integrated Regional Employability and Skills (IRES) Board (2020 to present)
  • Edinburgh City Region - HE/FE Advisory Board (2020 to present)
  • Institution of Structural Engineers Scottish Regional Group Committee member
  • Technical Consultant – Smartply/ Coillte Panel Products
  • Structural Timber Association (STA) – PD6693/ B525 Racking Design Technical Steering Group


Conference Organising Activity

  • Chair - Circular Edinburgh Green Construction Skills Forum
  • ICEW Educational Partnership - DTU Technical University Denmark
  • ICEW Educational Partnership - Fachhochshule Koln, Cologne University of Applied Sciences
  • ICEW Educational Partnership - Universidad De Burgos
  • IPW Educational Partnership - IPW Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main, University of Applied Sciences
  • Chair - Edinburgh Napier University MEng conference


External Examining/Validations

  • External Reviewer - Heriot Watt University Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering validation
  • External Examiner University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) (2020 to present)
  • Development of Work Based Learning Guidelines for Scottish Universities (2019 to Present)
  • Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Proffesional Mentor (2019 to present)
  • Member of the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) (2018 to present)
  • Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Technical Expert Group (2018 to Present)


Fellowships and Awards

  • Best Lecturer SEBE - ENSA Student Nominated Excellence Awards
  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Acadamy (2016 to Present)
  • TRADA Timber in Construction Prize 2008- Runner Up


Grant Reviewer

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (2018 to present)


Invited Speaker

  • University of Edinburgh - Invited Speaker MSc Structural Steel Engineering Design 5
  • Keynote Speaker - Building Success Through Diversity and Inclusion
  • Institution of Civil Engineers - Evening Lecture: Royal Society of Edinburgh (18th November 2015)
  • Invited speaker - I.U.T Lyon
  • Institution of Structural Engineers - Structural Connections Seminar
  • LEITCH, K., HAIRSTANS, R. & COSTE, G. 2007. The performance of dowle type fasteners in timber to concrete connections 3rd Scottish Confernece for Postgraduate Researchers of the Built and Natrual Environment (PRoBE). Glasgow Caledonian University.
  • MENENDEZ, J., HAIRSTANS, R. & LEITCH, K. 2014a. Timber frame racking calculation software. CSC Tedds
  • LEITCH, K., HAIRSTANS, R., ABBOT, D., DODYK, R. & MCANDREW, S. 2008. Experimental Study of Timber-to-Concrete dowel type connections used in Timber Platform Frame. World Conference on Timber Engineering 2008. Myazaki, Japan.
  • LEITCH, K. & HAIRSTANS, R. The development of a hybrid racking panel–appraisal of methods for strength and stiffness calculation. World Conference on Timber Engineering. WCTE, 2010.
  • LIVINGSTONE, A., MENENDEZ, J., LEITCH, K. & HAIRSTANS, R. The Case for Mass Customisation of Structural Timber Design. Structures Congress, 2015. ASCE.
  • SANNA, F., HAIRSTANS, R., LEITCH, K., CRAWFORD, D., MENEDEZ, J. & TURNBULL, D. Structural optimisation of timber offsite modern methods of construction. Proceedings: World Conference on Timber Engineering, Auckland, NZ, 2012.


Public/Community Engagement

  • Institution of Structural Engineers - Scottish Universities Model Competition (14th March 2018)
  • Design Engineer Construct! Activities for creation of Built Environment Pathway (2017 to Present)



  • Reviewer for Journal of Structures and Buildings.


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