Three engineering staff shortlisted in Teaching Awards

Professor Tom Bruce, Dr Wasiu Popoola, and Filip Taneski (left to right)
Professor Tom Bruce, Dr Wasiu Popoola, and Filip Taneski (left to right)

Three engineering staff have been recognised for the quality of their teaching and positive impact in this year’s Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) Teaching Awards.

Professor Tom Bruce and Dr Wasiu Popoola have been shortlisted for ‘Teacher of Year – College of Science and Engineering’, while PhD student Filip Taneski was shortlisted in the ‘Student Tutor of the Year’ category.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday 25 May.

Professor Tom Bruce

As Chair of Coastal Hydromechanics, Professor Bruce researches the interaction of the sea with the engineered coast, looking at the breaking wave forces and wave overtopping at seawalls and breakwaters.

He is particularly concerned with how climate change is changing the performance of existing defences, and increasing the likelihood of coastal flooding and increasing the direct hazards to people and infrastructure at the coast.

Professor Bruce said “Research is crucial to getting the correct responses understood and prioritised. (But is is great to have a research area that involves professional visits to the seaside!)”

Professor Bruce is also Dean International Students, working on international projects with students at their centre, in close partnership with the College Dean International Partnerships. These projects range from short-term mobility opportunities and student recruitment, to postgraduate research through the promotion of joint PhDs with key strategic partner universities worldwide.

A student who nominated Professor Bruce said:

"Brilliant course which introduced me into the study of fluid mechanics. The lectures were enjoyable and understandable with consistent support throughout the course.

"The large amount of labs conducted with the course allowed for knowledge to be reinforced in a practical way. All in all my favourite course of my entire time studying in the University."

Dr Wasiu Popoola

Dr Wasiu Popoola is Senior Lecturer and Royal Academy of Engineering and Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow in the Electronics and Electrical Engineering discipline.

He is also Deputy Director of Learning and Teaching for Widening Participation and Outreach, leading the School’s activities to promote widening access and outreach to empower more people from diverse and under-represented backgrounds to pursue engineering.

In addition to teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in electronic and communications engineering, he leads a research group in optical communications engineering. His research focuses on topics including optical wireless and optical fibre communications technologies, and digital modulation techniques.

One nomination read:

“Dr Popoola is an extremely dedicated, supportive and enthusiastic teacher who creates a close and personal learning environment for students. He has gone above and beyond to help me and other students on his course. His teaching style is always enthusiastic, passionate and bright. He puts energy into the room, which can be a hard feat when it is filled with tired, stressed students in Kings at 9AM.”

Filip Taneski

Filip Taneski is a PhD student who is developing lidar technology for self-driving vehicles, while also teaching undergraduate students.

Lidar, which stands for ‘light detection and ranging’, is a method for determining distances and ranges by targeting an object or surface with a laser and measuring the time the reflected light takes to return to the receiver - which it is hoped will be particularly useful in the burgeoning self-driving car industry.

A student who nominated Filip said:

“He is the best tutor that I have ever met. He can understand my question and find a suitable way to let me understand. He has great patience. Also, I am a shy student who dares not to ask questions, but he will ask me actively, which helps me a lot. I sincerely recommend him.”

View the list of nominees