MECH celebrates junior faculty teaching excellence

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has recognized the teaching contributions of Mech 2 Coordinator Dr. Graham R. Hendra and Capstone Coordinator Bill Rawlings with 2023 Junior Faculty Teaching Awards. These awards are given to outstanding instructors who are either tenure track and have not yet applied for tenure, or lecturers within their first six years of teaching. In addition to a certificate of recognition, awardees receive a $1000 prize.

As Mech 2 Coordinator, Dr. Hendra oversees the execution of our integrated second year program, working with other faculty members, technical staff and a fleet of teaching assistants to deliver academic and hands-on content within a unified set of modules. Working with Dr. Agnes d’Entremont, he co-developed 16 video modules of Equity Diversity and Engagement and Indigeneity (EDI.I) for the Mech 2 program. The modules have been delivered to 380 Mech students, and included in the Applied Science faculty training module which is being referenced by instructors at York University to develop similar content. Dr. Hendra co-developed CREATE-U’s MECH 497 “Research Skills and Data Analysis,” creating a unique technical elective preparing undergraduates for the lab environment. Outside of teaching, he offers an optional LaTeX Workshop, which has shared this software platform with 270 Mech 2, IGEN, and mechanical engineering graduate students over 13 sessions.

Capstone Coordinator Bill Rawlings organizes the year-long 45X design course that allows all fourth year Mechanical Engineering students to apply their skills to a real-world design project. Working with instructors and industry, Rawlings pairs projects and mentors with teams of students, so they can gain fundamental applied experience as the culmination of their degree. As well as showing outstanding teaching in Capstone, and maintaining excellent relationships with students, Rawlings is furthering design teaching at MECH by developing a Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) project on enhancing safety in design courses, and has secured funding to support guest lecturers related to collaborating with Indigenous communities. Rawlings uses interactive methods to teach Engineering Management, including simulation-based learning and Project Management Jeopardy.

Congratulations to Graham and Bill, and thank you for all your contributions to the student experience at UBC Mechanical Engineering!