This year’s prestigious Vice-Chancellors Awards for Teaching Excellence and Research have been awarded to academics within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (FEPS).
Dr Prashant Kumar, a Reader in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has scooped the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research while Dr Esat Alpay, Director of Teaching and Learning within the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering has won the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
The two were presented with their awards by Vice-Chancellor Professor Max Lu at a special awards dinner at the University’s Lakeside restaurant on 21 November. The awards recognise exceptional performances by members of staff across five categories and consist of a memento, certificate and cash award.
Dr Kumar was honoured for his ground-breaking work on air pollution caused by factors such as vehicle exhausts and construction and demolition, and how low cost sensing could reduce pollution at urban hotspots. The founder and leader of Surrey’s Air Pollution and Health research group, Dr Kumar’s research has won international acclaim resulting in over 100 articles in top-ranking journals.
He said: “I am delighted to have been recognised for my research efforts. It is an amazing feeling and keeps me motivated to continue pushing the boundaries of science for the betterment of our society.”
Dr Alpay was recognised for his innovative teaching methods which have enabled him to transform four undergraduate modules, as well as his ingenuity and enthusiasm, which have resulted in highly impressive MEQ (Module Evaluation Questionnaire) scores. Dr Alpay is also working on introducing virtual reality and mobile phone apps into his teaching.
He commented: “I am really delighted by this award and pleased that I am able to positively contribute to engineering education at Surrey. As a Surrey graduate myself, empathy for the students, as well as a strong sense of responsibility for their progress, seems to come easily! In reality though, it’s the University’s strong ethos towards education that continues to drive my own personal and professional development.”
In addition, a number of FEPS staff were highly commended as finalists in the awards. Linda Bennett (Department of Chemistry) was the Faculty nominee for Colleague of the Year and Anna Kostianka (Department of Mathematics) was nominated in the Postgraduate Research category.