Engineering expert recognised for outstanding contribution to learning and teaching

03 March 2021

Bundaberg-based mechanical engineering lecturer Dr Ramadas Narayanan has received a citation for outstanding contributions to student learning as part of the prestigious Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).

Citations are awarded to those who have contributed to the quality of student learning in a specific area of responsibility over a sustained period.

Dr Narayanan was specifically recognised for equipping students to address future challenges in engineering through the development of highly successful industry-oriented authentic tasks and methods' in complex learning environments.

Dr Narayanan said that he was delighted to see his efforts recognised with a national award.

"I am delighted to see my efforts over the last ten years at UniSA and CQUniversity be recognised at this level.

"I am committed to providing my students with interactive and engaging experiences that prepare them for industry practice.

"I develop authentic learning environments in my units by incorporating industry-oriented tasks and methods.

"My methods have led to significant improvements in the satisfaction scores of units with historically low satisfaction scores and transformed existing units into highly engaging and inspiring ones. In addition' I have created entirely new units which have also achieved high student engagement and satisfaction.

"My wide range of teaching experience' including from the University of South Australia (UniSA)' Curtin University' Open Universities Australia (OUA)' and CQU and the several teaching and learning programs on these universities contributed to the evolution of my teaching methods' approaches and philosophies'" said Dr Narayanan.

"I believe a key factor for me to be an effective engineering educator is to constantly update my knowledge and skills and having close interactions with industry and professional bodies.

"My research and engagement activities have contributed to the success of my teaching methods and my involvement within professional networks is of great benefit to my students' as it provides contemporary tasks and examples which I embed into my teaching.

Dr Narayanan's teaching approaches and innovations have also been recognized several times at a university level having previously received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Exemplary Practice in Learning and Teaching in 2016 and the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Learning and Teaching in 2018.

He has also received Student Voice Commendations for educator of the year.

Dr Narayanan is a specialist in Sustainable Energy Engineering and is currently working on several funded research projects in collaboration with CSIRO' RMIT and IIT Delhi (India) and the Australian College of Kuwait.

He also supervises PhD and research Masters students and regularly publishes research articles in international journals and conferences.
The AAUT were established in 1997 by the Australian Government to celebrate and reward excellence in university teaching. Since then' the Awards have become a valued form of recognition for university educators Australia wide.

The 2021 AAUT were announced online on Wednesday' 24 February 2021.