UCL Engineering


IEP Team celebrates another successful academic year

5 November 2019

Early this June, UCL Engineering staff came together to celebrate the end of another successful year for the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) during the annual IEP Summer Party and PGTA Teaching Excellence Awards.

IEP staff members talking at a table

The event, which took place in the Engineering Cafe, was an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the work of more than 300 members of staff involved in the day-to-day running of the Integrated Engineering Programme, from teaching fellows, researchers and postgraduate teaching assistants to student ambassadors and administrators.

IEP staff members talking at a table

The evening began with Professor John Mitchell, UCL Engineering Vice Dean Education and former IEP Director, highlighting this year’s achievements, as well as the essential role the IEP Postgraduate Teaching Assistants (PGTA) play on the delivery of the programme. Professor Mitchell congratulated all the IEP staff who were awarded Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowships this academic year, among them a number of outstanding IEP PGTAs and IEP Director Emanuella Tilley, who has been awarded Principal Fellow (PFHEA), the highest level of fellowship in the HEA.

Over 100 PhD researchers from across UCL Engineering help support teaching and learning on IEP modules each year, and the contribution of these postgraduate teaching assistants (PGTAs) was recognised during the evening, with the presentation of the IEP Teaching Excellence Awards. PGTAs were nominated by both teaching staff and students and there were over 28 nominations this year highlighting the outstanding work PGTAs do within the IEP.

Professor John Mitchell points out that “the work that PGTAs contribute to supporting both staff and students is phenomenal and it is only right that we are able to celebrate it with such an event.”

IEP Director Rebecca Yerworth explains: “The Integrated Engineering Programme places an emphasis on experiential learning, which, without the dedication, skill and enthusiasm of PGTAs would not be achievable. The help provided by the PGTAs is much appreciated by the students, and I join with them in applauding all the PGTAs, especially those that were nominated for an IEP PGTA Teaching Excellence Award.”

 Professor John Mitchell presented the following awards: 

Best Assessment and Feedback: Lisa Chalaguine

Lisa is a PhD researcher in UCL Computer Sciences and works as a Senior Postgraduate Teaching Assistant in the IEP. Her nominators highlighted her outstanding support of students saying: “She always tried to help students. She also tried to give more professional feedback compared to other TAs.”
“Lisa always tried to help my team push the boundaries and achieve more.  She effectively communicated with my team and responded to every question in time. We would like her to be recognized as one of the outstanding PGTAs.”

Lisa Chalaguine and Dr Rebecca Yerworth

Best Leadership: Nafiseh Vahabi

Nafiseh recently finished her PhD in UCL Electrical and Electronic Engineering while working as Senior Postgraduate Teaching Assistant for the IEP Design and Professional Skills module. Her nominators highlighted her outstanding leadership skills and creative thinking:

“Nafiseh ...has helped in positive and pro-active ways.  In particular this year she coordinated the marking of the writing assignments for Design and Professional Skills.  There was a large group of markers, ...and she went out of her way to make sure that the group marking sessions (marking 'parties') ran smoothly and that all the material that was needed for the sessions was available. 
“Nafiseh has not only facilitated in-class, as her role specifies, but she has also acted as a coordinator, trained other PGTAs and has been a vital assistant to the module lead and all in all, has gone beyond her call of duty.”

Nafiseh Vahabi with IEP Director Rebecca Yerworth and Vice Dean Education Professor John Mitchell

Best Team Contribution (to their associate teaching team): Mark Wentink

Mark is a PhD researcher from UCL Electrical and Electronic Engineering and works as Senior Postgraduate Teaching Assistant for the IEP Engineering Challenges module. His nominators highlighted his organisation and leadership skills:

“The first Engineering Challenge for the EEE department requires a great deal of organisation... The challenge involves groups visiting research groups at some very specific times in the term.   In addition, the teams must be supported to get the most from the visits to the groups and to ask relevant questions.  While I am able to speak to all the of the PGTAs together at the start of the challenge it is much simpler if I have one main PGTA to liaise with during the challenge. Mark fulfilled this role very well.  As well as making the sessions run very smoothly and coordinating with the many different researchers meeting the students, who don't always understand the nature of the work the undergraduates are doing.  He did this with considerable insight and provided some very useful feedback to my delivery of the Challenge.”

Mark Wentink receiving his awards from Dr Fiona Truscott

Best Student Engagement: Rehan Shah

Rehan is a PhD researcher in UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. This year he worked as a PGTA on the Mathematical Modelling and Analysis modules. One of his nominators highlighted his subject knowledge and how well he could communicate that knowledge to students staying:

“Rehan is a very approachable person who is very willing to help anyone having problems understanding the material. His knowledge of math was very thorough and he was more than willing to share his insights in the equations and helped us a lot. He definitely deserves the award, amazing person.”

Rehan Shah receiving his award from Dr Fiona Truscott

Best Overall PGTA Contribution: Mark Wentink

Mark was nominated in multiple categories for his outstanding work as SPGTA this year. Dr Fiona Truscott, Engineering Challenges Lead, shared this about Mark’s work:

“Mark has been fantastic! He was a SPGTA for the Challenges module this year and I couldn't have run it without him. In the classroom he is very good at guiding students and giving them advice whilst letting them take their own path. He took on leading the Integrated Engineering meetings - creating the handouts and marking criteria, organising the schedules for both the meetings and the marking, he basically ran everything about them! His leadership was invaluable in ensuring the module was a success. He is great to work with and I am so happy I could put a key section of the Challenges module in his capable hands.”

For more images of the evening, view our IEP Summer Party album on Flickr.