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Professor named leading UK engineering teacher

Richard Shearman and Rachel McCrindle

Richard Shearman, Director of Formation/Deputy CEO, Engineering Council, presenting Rachel with her prize

'To be recognised for excellent teaching is so rewarding and also a fitting testament to the engagement, creativity and hard work of my students.' Rachel McCrindle

We are delighted to announce that Professor Rachel McCrindle has won the Higher Education AcademyEngineering Subject Centre's Teaching Award 2010.

The Awards provide an opportunity for engineering academics to receive national recognition for their outstanding learning and teaching practices.

Rachel, from the School of Systems Engineering, was named as overall winner from a shortlist of seven academics from across the UK, and was commended for her innovative and professional approach.

Over the last year the seven finalists demonstrated their work to the Engineering Subject Centre team. Rachel's award was based on her work to introduce students to the multi-skilled, real-world process nature of software engineering through a design exercise. In small groups, students went through an engineering process themselves to design games that will teach novice engineers about software engineering. 

Professor McCrindle said: "I am thrilled to receive this award from the Engineering Subject Centre. To be recognised for excellent teaching is so rewarding and also a fitting testament to the engagement, creativity and hard work of my students. I am very proud of what they achieve both throughout the software engineering module and how they go on to apply the knowledge gained in the module to other parts of their undergraduate programme."

Rachel was presented with £1,000, which she can use towards future conference expenses, at the Engineering Education 2010 gala dinner earlier this month. All the finalists have their case studies published through the Engineering Subject Centre website. Rachel's work, entitled Software Engineering - Learning through Innovation and Interaction, can be viewed here.

Professor John Dickens, Director of the Engineering Subject Centre, said: "The reviewers were presented with a very difficult decision in choosing an overall winner from the seven case studies but were particularly impressed by the innovative and professional approach taken by Rachel that enabled students to develop a deep knowledge of systems engineering. The students' engagement with the board games was noted as exceptional and the feedback from students was impressive."

Rachel's own software engineering expertise is highlighted through her work with the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme, a UK-wide programme helping businesses to improve their productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within UK universities.

Rachel recently worked on an award-winning Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Riding for the Disabled Association, which helped to create a new website and streamline the charity's management through internal IT systems and improved communication procedures. Rachel was awarded the 2010 Knowledge Transfer Partnership's (KTP) Academic Excellence Award.

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