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 worthy nominees by shouting about their successes across our digital platforms.
What is your full name?
What is your job title?
Research Associate in Offshore Renewable Energy
What school or service do you work in?
School of Engineering
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role.
I have been a Research Associate in Offshore Renewable Energy in the Policy and Innovation Group at the University of Edinburgh for about 2 years working on the next generation of offshore wind technologies, as well as on the optimisation of wave and tidal technologies. As part of this role, I lead the impact assessment of the innovations developed in the H2020 floating offshore wind project FLOTANT. This includes quantifying their techno-economic, socio-economic and environmental impacts. I have also contributed to other research projects such as DTOceanPlus focusing on wave and tidal energy. During this time, I have supervised and co-supervised a number of MEng and MSc students for their final year projects. I previously did a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in wave energy, where I created a framework to generate novel and optimised wave energy converter designs.
What does it mean to you to have been nominated for a Teaching Award this year?
This year, has been particularly challenging for both academics, and students, and so it was particularly important for me to keep students engaged, and to make them feel like they had the support they required despite all the additional challenges. After a long year of working from home, it is very gratifying and encouraging to have been nominated for the supervision award for the offered support and understanding, demonstrating that we have been able to overcome the limitations of virtual interactions and that students have had a positive experience. I am very thankful to the students for their appreciation.
What’s your favourite part of your role and working with students?
I particularly enjoy working with students on their final year projects, because they bring a fresh view into the research topic they work on. It is always a two-way learning experience developing the project together with the students. The mentoring aspect of engaging with students for a longer period, helping them explore their career interests, or work towards their goals is also very rewarding.
How have you adapted your approach to teaching and supporting students under the Hybrid Model this year?
From a project supervision perspective, I think it has been important to be particularly flexible with the students. Given that exam formats were changing, more report-based marking was introduced and the uncertainty around all these changes, I think that being able to adapt the project plan around deadlines, exams etc. and being understanding with this was helpful for students. I have also tried to be flexible with meetings, adapting regularity and times to student needs.
What’s been the biggest challenge in your role this year?
Living at work.
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?
All of my colleagues have made a great effort to transfer their courses to the Hybrid Model, and have had a particularly challenging year addressing all these changes, while facing other challenges due to the pandemic themselves. If as a student you particularly enjoyed a course, or appreciated the support you received from a staff member, I am sure they will really value your nomination. Recognising the good work and effort from all the university’s staff members is particularly important this year. A nomination for a teaching award can reward, encourage, motivate or brighten the day of the people that have contributed to your positive experience at the university.
To find out more about the Teaching Awards and browse nomination categories, please visit the Students’ Association’s website.