UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Staff commended at MAPS Faculty Education Awards 2020

14 December 2020

Each year the Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences recognises excellence in teaching from staff through the Faculty Education Awards (formerly Teaching Awards). We are delighted to be able to announce the winners of the 2020 MAPS Faculty Education Awards. The winners are:

Image of trophy being given to prize-winner

Teaching Awards:

Anna Roffey - Chemistry
Sebastian Groh - Earth Sciences
Nadia Sidorova - Mathematics
Sarah Matthews & Ian Raper - Space & Climate Physics
Simon Harden & Elinor Jones - Statistical Science
Brian Balmer - STS

Highly Commended
Jamie Baker - Chemistry
Mengyan Nie - IMD

Support Staff Awards:

Mike Kelly - Chemistry
Joe Nolan - Chemistry
Susie Rizvi - Earth Sciences
Ibrahim Bulime - Mathematics
Randalle Roberts - STS

Highly Commended:
Rebecca Spencer - Natural Sciences
Helen Copeland - Physics and Astronomy
Ryan Edmonds - Physics and Astronomy

Team Awards:

Lab_14 Team - Chemistry
Virtual Field Courses (VFC) Team - Earth Sciences
Education Support Team - Physics and Astronomy

Highly Commended:
IMD Team - IMD
IRDR Continuity planning Team (Student Recruitment) - IRDR
Education Administration Team – Space & Climate Physics

PGTA Awards:

Jasper Berry-Gair - Chemistry
Ivan Clayson - Chemistry
Giulia Magnarini - Earth Sciences
David Sheard - Mathematics

Our congratulations and thanks to them for all of the hard work they have put in to deliver an exceptional learning experience for our students. The reactions from the respective departments can be seen below:

Chemistry (Prof. Claire Carmalt):

Anna Roffey is an essential part of the postgraduate delivery team and has introduced innovative ideas to streamline assessments. She was a departmental Connected Learning Lead and has been instrumental over the last year converting modules for remote delivery. 

Jamie Baker has been foremost in the department’s efforts, co-leading, with the Departmental Tutor, the rapid switch to remote teaching and online assessment. He has ensured that the department thinks about how these changes are longer term changes for the better.  

Mike Kelly has made an outstanding contribution, in particular with his work in the area of timetabling. This included reorganising the fourth-year timetable to support the departments’ vision to move away from modules towards topics and leading on arrangements for small group synchronous sessions. 

Joe Nolan has also made  excellent efforts during lockdown and re-opening of the department. Joe enabled the return of experimental PGR students, and ensured that all Covid-19 safety guidelines were implemented. 

Jasper Berry-Gair has provided inspirational teaching throughout the challenging lockdown conditions. Jasper’s proactive approach has led to additional remote activities, in particular for the MSc research projects that have been disrupted. 

Ivan Clayson (PGTA; joint winner) has gone above and beyond in the excellent support he has provided, in particular in the development of video lectures to support students completing remote projects during lockdown.

The Lab_14 Team (Team; joint winner) has helped to enable 1st year students to do all of their practical work at home. The team includes Andrea Sella , Christoph Salzmann, Daren Caruana, Liz Munday, Helena Wong, Hannah Shalloe, Sabrina Simoncelli, Miranda Molloy, Harry Li, Rebecca Chagoury and Sergio Garcia Busto, Alice Henley, Catherine Webley, Manish Trivedi, Manni Yang, Benji Thoma, Omri Tau, Belen Sola Barrado, Panagiotis Fikas, Minyan Lyu, Jasper Fairchild, Saeed Said, Alan Philcox and Ruby Wright within UCL and Aidan Kerrigan, Jack Dalgleishby and Martin Whitworth outside UCL. A massive team effort involving A-level students, undergraduates, postgraduates, academic staff, technical staff, our security officer, artist in residence and a food physicist! 

Earth Sciences (Prof. Paul Upchurch):

Earth Sciences Department has received four Faculty teaching awards (4 out of the 6 submitted). Many congratulations to Seb Groh, Susie Rizvi, Giulia Magnarini, and the Virtual Field Courses team. Thanks to all of you for your hard work under incredibly demanding and stressful circumstances. The VFC Team (in alphabetical rather than priority order): Tim Atkinson, Paul Bown, David Dobson, Matthew Fox, Martin Homann, Wendy Kirk (Emeritus), Emma Liu, Philip Meredith, Tom Mitchell, Eric Oelkers, Kevin Pickering, Juergen Thurow and Jeremy Young.

IMD (Prof. Kwang Choy):

Many congratulations to Dr Mengyan Nie and the IMD teaching operation team (i.e. Dr Mengyan Nie, Dr Dr Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi, Dr Yohan Dallagnese, Dr Prospero Taroni Junior, Prof Kwang Leong Choy) for their awards: Teaching Award and Team Award, respectively. We are delighted and greatly appreciate the MAPS Faculty recognition of our dedication in supporting our MSc students' learning experience and well-being, especially during these extraordinary times. Working closely with the Faculty team, we continue to offer an enhanced learning experience by enriching our curriculum with the latest research advances and going the extra mile to support our students' wellbeing and career development, inspiring our students to achieve their full potential.

IRDR (Prof. Peter Sammonds):

The performance of the IRDR Continuity Planning Team (Student Recruitment), formed in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the directive to support student recruitment, has been outstanding. The team worked together to recruit 80 new PGT students against a target of 42 - an increase of 90% when the universities faced an existential risk. Created from scratch, because of the impact of the pandemic on key staff, and led by Patrizia Duda, the core team of Sarah Jeal and Gianluca Pescaroli and supported by Katerina Stavrianaki and Joanna Faure Walker, delivered an enhanced recruitment action plan which offered constant engagement and an individualised student-centred approach.

Mathematics (Prof. Helen Wilson):

I'm delighted to congratulate all the winners from Mathematics this year. All three have been absolutely key in making a success of our move into primarily online teaching this year. As chair of our Department Teaching Committee, Nadia Sidorova has masterminded the creation of an entirely new overarching structure from scratch. Ibrahim Bulime was the cornerstone of the practicalities of the move, ensuring all staff had working home IT systems and putting in lots of time supporting our teaching staff to get to the point of successful online delivery. David Sheard is a PhD student who was already involved in outreach before the pandemic struck. He rapidly transferred his own practice into really excellent pre-recorded videos in spring, and over the summer produced guides to help teaching staff follow suit. All three of them have made extraordinary contributions to the smooth delivery of our teaching this year and they thoroughly deserve their awards.

Physics & Astronomy (Mrs Lori Coletti Campbell):

Helen Copeland has been with the department for 2 years and in that time has provided excellent support for the Director of Teaching, undergraduate tutors, module leaders and both undergraduate and intercollegiate students. She is exceptionally hard working, meticulous in her approach and always employs the highest level of professionalism. She is a problem solver who always seeks solutions proactively.  Helen is a very valued member of our team.
Ryan Edmonds j
oined us just over year ago and made a huge impact in the department. He has elevated the work to a new level, especially in the area of admissions.  He is enthusiastic, helpful and always willing to lend a hand. A smiling face and a welcoming attitude. Ryan is one in a million.  

I am so proud that the Education Support Team in Physics and Astronomy were selected for this wonderful accolade. The team comprises Selina Lovell, Helen Copeland, Ryan Edmonds, Sadia Begum (currently on parental leave), Sarah Murphy (parental leave cover), Annalisa Medici, Nadia Waller and Sabrina Samuels. It is an amazing achievement for a relatively young team who under the management of Selina Lovell have really made a huge impact in the department by supporting of the departmental education strategy and improving the student experience.

Space & Climate Physics (Prof. Andrew Fazakerley):

I am very pleased that staff from the Department of Space and Climate Physics were among those who received recognition in this year's MAPS Faculty Education Awards. Professor Sarah Matthews and Dr Ian Raper, who jointly received an Excellence Award in the Teaching category, deftly responded to requests for rapidly developing changes to our usual teaching practices, and with a positive attitude and impressive work ethic assisted the wider teaching staff in understanding and adapting to the new approaches. I'm also delighted that our Education Administration Team (Natasha Magennis, Philippa Elwell and Lizzie Hudson) received a Highly Commended Award in the Team category. The Team worked tirelessly and with a can-do attitude to successfully respond to the continuously changing landscape, while also coping on a personal and professional level with the absence through illness of our Senior Teaching Administrator who sadly passed away during the summer. I would like to thank all our staff involved in Education, who have worked and are working tremendously hard to help UCL respond successfully to the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and to maintain excellent teaching for our students, but it is particularly pleasing to see key people receiving recognition for their exceptional efforts.

Natural Sciences (Dr Ella Metcalfe):

As Programme Manager, Rebecca Spencer handles all aspects of the student life cycle from application to graduation, for over 400 students engaged with up to 300 modules on 45 distinct study combinations. This is a tremendous undertaking at the best of times, and the unusual circumstances of the last year brought even more challenges than usual. Rebecca handled the test with great efficiency, enthusiasm, and flair. She joined the department only one year ago, but has already shown that she is an extremely valuable member of the team. We are very lucky to have her.

Statistical Science (Prof. Richard Chandler):

In Statistical Science, very many congratulations are due to Simon Harden and Elinor Jones, for their awards in the category of “members of staff who have delivered excellent and inspirational teaching and/or have played a pivotal role in responding to the education and assessment challenges of the Covid-19 crisis”. As in other departments, many staff have gone well above and beyond the call of duty in exceptionally difficult times; but Simon and Elinor were nominated almost universally for their tireless work in organising teaching delivery and communications to students, as well as their provision of resources, training and support sessions as we adapt to a new style of teaching delivery. Our students have been incredibly positive about their learning experience this year: everyone must take their share of the credit, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the work that Simon and Elinor put in to facilitate it.

Science & Technology Studies (STS) (Prof. Emma Tobin):

Prof. Brian Balmer was the Director of Education in Science and Technology Studies in 2019-20. Brian played a very important leadership role at STS throughout the Covid19 crisis period. Brian provided outstanding support and communication to students in our department. He liaised with faculty and central teams to keep abreast of UCL policy as it changed and was implemented often quickly. He led and facilitated staff in the move to blended learning.  

Randalle Roberts is the Academic Administrator in Science and Technology Studies and has been the primary point of contact for students throughout the pandemic. Throughout the crisis, Randalle has been a calm and consistent point of contact for our students, offering both pastoral and academic-related support, whilst liaising effectively with other areas within UCL to resolve and, often, anticipate student issues. Randalle’s work was also commended by the Faculty Education team at the end of the Exam Board, whilst the External Examiners were extremely grateful for Randalle’s support and promptness during this time of crisis.