Two engineering staff have been shortlisted in this year’s Teaching Awards, which recognise the best of teaching at the University of Edinburgh as voted by students.
Dr Stephen Welch and Dr Filipe Teixeira-Dias were both recognised for the quality of their teaching and positive impact on students in the annual awards, which are run by Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA).
Stephen was shortlisted for Outstanding Course for his honours year undergraduate course Fire Safety Engineering 4, while Filipe was shortlisted for Teacher of the Year – College of Science and Engineering.
Winners will be announced on Wednesday 24 May on EUSA's Facebook page.
Dr Stephen Welch
Stephen is Senior Lecturer in the School’s Edinburgh Fire Research Centre, where he teaches fire safety engineering practice at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Stephen equips students with the engineering approaches they will need to solve real-world fire safety challenges in the built environment, including analysis of relevant regulations, codes and design principles. He helps students understand fire safety codes from the inside out, considering potential failure mechanisms, including those which may arise unexpectedly from innovations in construction materials and methods. The ultimate aim is to develop engineering competence, with a good understanding of what is actually needed for safety.
With a PhD in combustion and over 25 years of experience in research, Stephen’s teaching is underpinned by his knowledge of fire behaviour and related engineering analysis methods. He is currently working on simulations of “travelling fire”, using computer modelling to predict how a fire spreads in a compartment. These sophisticated simulations can be used to develop improved approaches for fire safety engineering design, complementing or even extending expensive full-scale tests.
Reacting to his nomination, Stephen said:
What students said about Stephen's teaching:
Dr Filipe Teixeira-Dias
Filipe is Reader and Head of Mechanical Engineering. Since taking his first academic position in 1993 as Assistant Lecturer at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, Filipe has always been passionate about teaching and the interaction with students, both in and outside the classroom. He learns from observing best practice from fellow teaching academics and from the feedback he encourages students to provide.
Filipe’s research focuses on impulsive structural dynamics – using experimental and theoretical approaches to understand how materials, structures and systems behave under the effect of dynamic and impact loads.
The applications for his research are cross-disciplinary, bridging the worlds of health, sports, defence and materials science, leading to technological innovations in materials for energy absorption; protection and armour systems; sports impact and human bio-dynamics; crashworthiness; terminal ballistics; blast and shock wave dynamics; and hypervelocity impact.
In response to his nomination, Filipe said:
What students said about Filipe's teaching: