The role of the industrial project lecturer is very closely related to the objectives that have been set for a project course. If an objective of the project course is to introduce a substantial element of new technical skill then it has to be done with some care. It may be that some of the students already have that skill if it is knowledge of some programming language and could teach the others. Or we could find a more senior student to do it. In the main these technical skills do not present a serious problem. What is more likely to happen is that studentsí management or negotiation skills are weak and it is then up to the lecturers to intervene in an appropriate way, perhaps with a short course or exercise or, and this is surprisingly effective, by holding a discussion on the issues.
First and foremost, the project lecturer is a facilitator. He or she sets up a project environment and experience that will challenge students to learn by doing and by making mistakes. The good project lecturer is able to build a supportive atmosphere in which it is acceptable to make mistakes. The good project lecturer knows, also by experience, when to let students work and make decisions unaided and when to intervene, offer support, advice and guidance. He or she should be an enthusiast and show interest in and express praise about the students' work.
Last and least, the project lecturer is a fount of wisdom about software management practice.