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'To read how students describe how their lives were transformed by a teacher – it is just wonderful' Teaching excellence celebrated at Faculty Education Awards

The winners of the NMES Education Awards were presented with their award at the NMES Summer Party by Michael Kölling, Vice-Dean (Education) and Professor of Computer Science.

To shine a spotlight on the transformative impact that teachers across the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical and Engineering Sciences (NMES), the NMES Education Awards were launched for the first time this year to compliment the long-established King’s Education Awards.

Across six categories, the awards provide an opportunity for students to nominate members of staff who have made a real difference to their King’s experience, and the teaching community to commemorate the vital work of individual members.

I am convinced that we, as a faculty, have undergone a real transformation in how we incorporate continuous improvement, innovation, pedagogical discussion and educational excellence into our day-to-day work.”– Michael Kölling, Vice-Dean (Education) and Professor of Computer Science

The faculty would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to all the winners of the NMES Education Awards. You can find more information on individual categories and their winners below.


Sustained Excellence: Hayley Wootton, Graduate Teaching Assistant in Chemistry

NMES Education Awards-Haley

This award recognises the contribution of an individual (or team) over time which has led to a sustained positive impact on the learning and teaching community, or overall student experience.

Haley was nominated for her continual contributions to teaching and support, which have been recognised by students through high quality nominations in the King’s Education Awards every year since she has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant, where she has provided mentorship and support for other GTAs and new staff members alike.

The nomination comments make it clear how valued Hayley is by students across multiple years of the chemistry undergraduate programmes.”– Michael Kölling, Vice-Dean (Education) and Professor of Computer Science

Innovation in Teaching: Francisco Rodríguez Fortuño, Reader in Physics

NMES Education Awards-Paco

The Innovation in Teaching award recognises the contribution of a pioneering individual (or team) who has taken on new, innovative approaches to designing effective learning environments, delivering creative and inspirational teaching.

Paco has been nominated for several years in a row for the high quality of both his online materials and live teaching sessions, but also the high level of support that he provides students.

His ability to explain and visualise complex topics, most recently through the use of visualisation software, has served to pioneer ways of making subjects more accessible to students.

He has a rare gift for teaching, which is evident in his enthusiasm for his subjects. He is always eager to share his knowledge, and his passion for physics has been contagious. "– Anonymous student nomination

Inclusive Education: Ruba Abu-Salma, Lecturer in Computer Science

This award recognises an individual (or team) who shows commitment and dedication to widening participation by creating a diverse and inclusive environment, through curriculum content and design, teaching practice, and/or supporting students and colleagues.

Ruba’s student recommendations consistently frequently emphasise the importance of her teaching in enabling students to succeed where they did not originally believe they could. By actively listening to her students when designing how to deliver her subject, Ruba has helped her students succeed with warm encouragement and patience.

She cares deeply about the success of her students at all levels of achievement and works hard to ensure they can make progress, going above and beyond the requirements in doing so.”– Michael Kölling, Vice-Dean (Education) and Professor of Computer Science

Student Support: Claudia Neves, Lecturer in Statistics

NMES Education Awards-Claudia Neves

Student Support is an award that recognises an individual (or team) who frequently goes the extra mile to support students in and outside of the classroom.

Claudia was nominated for a number of different aspects of her work – some nominations mention her lecturing, others her student support. All nominations point to the lengths she goes to for students while maintaining a full research load and excellence across her teaching and citizenship commitments.

Her colleagues echo the comments from students that Claudia always goes the extra mile and, in particular, it is clear that she puts in a lot of time and effort to make sure that she gets exactly the right information to help and support her students.”– Michael Kölling, Vice-Dean (Education) and Professor of Computer Science

Expanding Opportunities: Antonio Forte, Lecturer in Engineering

NMES Education Awards-Antonio

The Expanding Opportunities award recognises individuals who purposefully include students in co-curricular opportunities and who support students to engage in ways that connect their academic experience to broader initiatives such as service, internships or employability skills.This also includes through involvement in improving the wider teaching and learning community at King’s.

The nominations describe Antonio's work in an innovative and hands-on module where students design and build a space rover with locomotion inspired by animals who live in harsh climates. Students spend 6 hours per week in design workshops and makerspace sessions, building up to a final demo day.

This type of teaching demands a flexible approach, where teachers adapt their expertise to unforeseen problems that might be faced by students and to support them as they work in diverse groups. Antonio thrives in this environment, showing a real passion for his subject and an extraordinary knowledge and flexibility.

Students consistently mention his passion for the subject and dedication to ensuring every student understands. They mention how accessible the material is and Antonio’s availability and approachability.”– Michael Kölling, Vice-Dean (Education) and Professor of Computer Science

Excellent Feedback: Francesco Ciriello, Lecturer in Engineering Education

Excellent feedback is integral to improvement, and this award recognises an individual (or team) who consistently applies feedback practices that are integral to supporting student development and learning.

Through blending project-based learning incorporating industry standard practice and ‘soft-skill’ team dynamic training, Francesco has developed an innovative pedagogy that gives students the industry skills they need to succeed in the world of employment.

Overall, in a short space of time Francesco has developed several innovative teaching methods which are enhancing the student experience at King’s Engineering and receiving international recognition.”– Michael Kölling, Vice-Dean (Education) and Professor of Computer Science

We applaud all the winners for their outstanding achievements.

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