Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s Student-Led Teaching Awards are back to recognise outstanding members of learning and support staff. After a challenging year for everyone, we’re celebrating our fantastic nominees by shouting about their successes across our digital platforms. #CelebratingTogether
What is your full name?
What is your job title?
Lecturer in Civil Engineering
What school or service do you work in?
School of Engineering
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role.
I joined the University of Edinburgh as a Lecturer back in 2018. Before that, I held research positions at Imperial College London and Cardiff University, conducting research on marine renewable energy and sustainable water treatment.
Here at Edinburgh, I am managing courses related to fluid mechanics for the civil engineering curriculum within the School of Engineering; I have been working on modernising the delivery and updating the material to make these more accessible – particularly during the last year with the challenges presented to all of us. I also lead a team of researchers that are working on hydro-environment and ocean engineering applications.
What does it mean to you to have been nominated for a Teaching Award this year?
It is an incredible honour to have been nominated for a teaching award. I thoroughly enjoy working with students, particularly when being able to witness their progress based on our efforts at the School. This year has been particularly challenging for all of us, as we had to adapt to different style of teaching and interactions. It is very rewarding to see that the students appreciate this.
What’s your favourite part of your role and working with students?
I particularly enjoy when students interact in class and are motivated to ask questions about the material I deliver – I thoroughly enjoy it when students seem interested in the subject and want to find out more. I also enjoy working with (undergraduate, MSc and PhD) students on research projects and brainstorming on tackling interesting questions.
How have you adapted your approach to teaching and supporting students under the Hybrid Model this year?
I focused more on the teaching material to make sure that students can independently follow the course. In fact I suspect that this year has improved the quality of the courses I am delivering. I found that more students were engaging and they enjoyed the additional online components added to aide the “tricky” concepts of the course.
What’s been the biggest challenge in your role this year?
There have been a couple. Firstly, many of our students have struggled disproportionately this year and this made the mentoring and supervision a very delicate matter. It is usually easier to gauge for issues and discuss during in-person meetings, however this year it has been particularly difficult.
Apart from that, the challenge of quickly adapting to the hybrid model has been formidable. In my case, I inherited the teaching of some colleagues and adapting that to a hybrid/online model has required a substantial amount of effort.
What would you say to the student(s) who nominated you, or students who are considering submitting a nomination for a staff member who has had an impact on them?
This is extremely rewarding, and I am glad to hear that what we are doing to support the student community works. For me it was unexpected to be nominated, but getting such positive feedback really makes our work even more worthwhile. I always encourage students to provide feedback when possible regarding courses or our practices in general – as this gives us the drive to go further and improve. It’s little things like these that help improve the standard of the University experience for everyone.
To find out more about the Teaching Awards and browse nomination categories, please visit the Students’ Association’s website.