Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor receives 2017 UC Teaching Award

12 May 2017

Professor Philippa Martin, Electrical and Computer Engineering, is one of three winners of UC Teaching Awards for 2017.

Nominated by Professor Jan Evans-Freeman, PVC College of Engineering

Philippa is repeatedly described by her students as infectiously enthusiastic, and by her colleagues as deeply committed to teaching and achieving the best experience for her students. She is an innovative and creative teacher who lives up to her belief that learning and teaching should be: “fun, positive, encouraging and delivered with enthusiasm.”

Philippa’s approach to teaching has shown the way for several of her colleagues, particularly in online methods of teaching. During the time of the earthquakes, she noticed that her students were having particular difficulties not only in attending lectures, but also in retaining information and in concentration. Her solution was to develop short tutorial problem videos which offer a step-by-step guide in which she works through difficult concepts which students can access any time, any place.  These resources have subsequently been refined to ensure they are still relevant, valuable and easy to use and continue to grow and are now part of the course material on Learn. 

In addition to the popular videos, Philippa also uses a wide variety of other tools to increase student participation in their learning including Kahoot for in-class quizzes, Padlet, to encourage anonymous collaboration and feedback and tutorials and laboratory sessions to apply knowledge and relate it to real world technologies and research. Philippa has also conducted a research project into tutorial video use and her efforts to assess the success of those methods led to her receiving a College of Engineering Innovation award, followed by a College Teaching award (established career).

Philippa is leader of the communications research group and has supervised 28 research students since 2014.  She is a course coordinator who diligently tracks student performance and provides excellent pastoral care.  She shows consistent commitment to engineering education through mentoring and supporting new colleagues, leading curriculum reviews and to pedagogy through her completion of both the Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Tanagata Tū, Tangata ora course and her current enrolment on an MBA course on Leading Others.       

The final word from her students: “she is a really effective teacher who takes what could be a nightmare of a subject and presents it in a very manageable way… I am now considering pursuing a job in this area of electrical engineering because of the way she taught the course.” 

PhD student Azadeh Hashemi

Turning milk powder into biomedical devices

A University of Canterbury PhD student is using milk protein to 3D-imprint muscle and bone cells and one day she hopes her research may be used to reg...

Volker_Nock_Honey_I_Shrunk_the_Lab

Lab-on-a-Chips

Engineer Volker Nock, from the University of Canterbury and the MacDiarmid Institute, has developed a lab-on-a-chip that allows biologists to precisel...