Early June 2018 saw success for three members of the Engineering Faculty in the UCL Education Awards. Honoured for their contributions to teaching and learning, Dr Priti Parikh (Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering – CEGE), Lynsie Chew (School of Management) and Dr Brenda Parker (Biochemical Engineering) were winners in their respective categories, joining eight other Faculty staff and students in being shortlisted.
Senior Lecturer Dr Parikh and Senior Teaching Fellow Lynsie Chew both received individual Education Awards, designed to highlight behind-the-scenes work which enables excellent education to take place. Lynsie and Dr Parikh were also part of a select group given the prestigious Provost’s Education Award, recognising their commitment to, and passion for, education.
With research interests ranging from informal settlement infrastructure provision to slum sanitation technologies, MSc Engineering for International Development Programme Director Dr Parikh has enabled over 100 students to work with international organisations through volunteering, and has also instigated a partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineers, allowing funded placements for students working with entrepreneurs in Africa.
Thrilled to be recognised in such a way, Dr Parikh acknowledged the importance of engineering in society. “Global engineering and the application of engineering skills for societal impact is crucial for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I am delighted to receive the Provost’s Education Award, which will give further momentum to our work with the EFID Hub for international student placements and our MSc in Engineering for International Development.”
Senior Teaching Fellow in Accounting and Programme Director of the University of London-affiliated MSc in Professional Accountancy, Lynsie was nominated due to her ability to enrich the learning experience, both face-to-face and online. Noted for her innovative use of e-learning, Lynsie has also received recognition for developing and managing successful business simulation tool Icarus, which has received a lot of praise within the industry.
Pleased but also “pleasantly surprised” with her success, Lynsie notes that “an individual receiving an award is often the consequence of both informal and formal support from colleagues. So a big shout-out to my School of Management Finance and Accounting team colleagues (Peter Clark, Leila Pinto Campillo, Michael Manlangit and Barry McCarthy), plus colleagues over at the University of London who have been not only supportive and great to work with in developing and maintaining the MSc, but also to work with on a day-to-day basis! Also a huge thank you to our Team Lead, Dr Alan Parkinson, who has always made so much so very possible.”
The Brilliant Research-Based Education Award went to Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering Dr Parker. Involving cutting-edge research from both industry and academia in her teaching, Dr Parker also collaborated with guest speakers, and encouraged students to conduct original research, in some cases even arranging for this to be presented to industry experts. The modules Dr Parker teaches on are part of the Integrated Engineering Programme, or IEP, a teaching framework which most UCL Engineering undergraduate programmes, including Biochemical Engineering, follow.
Summing up her work, Dr Parker stated that the “Integrated Engineering Programme enables me to connect my research in sustainable industrial biotechnology into my teaching. Scenarios [week-long team projects] are a great starting point for students to begin formulating their own research questions, and it is a privilege to help support them as they pursue their curiosity. I am fortunate to work in Biochemical Engineering, where we have a supportive teaching environment, and where we are encouraged to implement new ideas.”
Other nominees from the Faculty included Evelina Vrabie from the UCL School of Management, who was chosen as Engineering Faculty Rep of the Year, and shortlisted for Overall Academic Rep of the Year; Dr Folashade Akinmolyan, recently part of the IEP team, who was shortlisted for the Active Student Partnership Award, Dr Luiza Campos, also of CEGE, shortlisted for the Diverse and Inclusive Education Award; and Prof Adam Gibson, Dr Rebecca Yerworth, Dr Pilar Garcia Souto, Eve Hatten and Dr Terence Leung from the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, nominated for their work with the Connected Curriculum.
Professor John Mitchell, UCL Engineering Vice Dean Education, commented that the awards and nominations were a reflection of the dedication staff and students within the Faculty have towards pursuing the best education experience possible. “The UCL Education Awards are a wonderful coda to the academic year. It is fantastic to see so many colleagues and students not only nominated for their efforts in teaching and learning, but shortlisted as well. I am delighted that Priti, Brenda and Lynsie’s hard work in particular has been recognised by the UCL community. I hope their examples prove inspirational to others, and I look forward to seeing what they go on to achieve next.”
UCL Engineering congratulates Priti, Lynsie and Brenda for their fantastic success. If you would like to learn more about the Education Awards, visit the UCL Teaching & Learning news page.