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Queen Mary academic awarded HEA Teaching Fellowship

Dr James Busfield, from Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science, has won a National Teaching Fellowships from The Higher Education Academy.

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Dr James Busfield
Dr James Busfield

Dr Busfield has been recognised for his outstanding contributions to teaching and learning. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme aims to raise the status and visibility of teaching in higher education, and to provide a national focus for institutional teaching and learning excellence schemes.

Dr Busfield is a senior lecturer at Queen Mary; since joining the College in 1994 from industry he has worked tirelessly, using his previous industrial experience and current internationally recognised research in polymers and design, to inspire and motivate students by ensuring learning is an active experience.

He has been a pioneer and advocate of problem based learning, creating support material for other institutions that has facilitated many others to adopt this approach. He also seeks to develop students for success in the workplace by arranging work placements, organising industrial visits and using industrial based case studies throughout the curriculum.

Dr Busfield commented on his award: "I am delighted to receive the fellowship as it gives national recognition for the excellent innovations that we have pioneered in teaching and learning in materials for many years. It is clearly not just an award for me but for all my colleagues, who have helped develop and embed problem based learning throughout our curriculum."

Student views included in the HEA Fellowship nominations include that: “James helps people develop skills where skills are lacking, and where they are necessary for the future. His enthusiasm and passion is clearly visible and contagious… He is a novelty in our department. He is not only passionate but he truly cares about the students.”

Dr Busfield’s lectures have included everything from designing a bungee for a watermelon, solving imaginary crime scenes, developing nose cones for F1 cars, and how to make the world’s largest turbine blades.

John Stark, Head of School, summarises: “James' greatest achievement is to inspire many students to pursue a career in engineering design after graduation.”

The Fellows, chosen from among 203 nominations from UK higher education institutions, will receive awards of £10,000 for personal and professional development in teaching and learning.

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