Bundaberg-based CQUniversity engineering lecturer Dr Ramadas Narayanan has been recognised with a national teaching award as part of the prestigious Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).
Dr Narayanan has taught at the Bundaberg campus since 2014, and he received AAUT citations for his outstanding contributions to student learning.
The AAUT awards celebrate outstanding achievements in university teaching and nominations are assessed by an independent panel of expert academics from across the higher education sector.
“I am overwhelmed with congratulatory calls and messages,” Dr Narayanan said.
“I was thrilled when I got a call from Vice President (Tertiary Education) Prof Helen Huntly at 9 am, congratulating me.
“Also, emails and calls from the VC’s office and several colleagues within the university and many external collaborators.
“I am delighted to see my efforts over the last ten years at UniSA and CQU is recognised at the national level.”
During his time as an engineering lecturer, Dr Narayanan said there were many highlights, including having several of his research projects funded, and publishing international journals.
“I am specialised in Sustainable Energy Engineering, and I have several funded research projects in collaboration with CSIRO, RMIT and IIT Delhi, India and the Australian College of Kuwait,” he said.
“I also supervise PhD and Research Master students and regularly publish research articles in international journals and conferences.
“I believe a key factor for me to be an effecting engineering educator is constantly updating the knowledge and skills and having close interaction with industry and professional bodies.
“I was the Chair of the Bundaberg Regional Committee of Engineers Australia in 2018 and 2019.
“I am in the special technical group for Renewable Heating and Cooling for AIRAH.” (Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heating.
Dr Narayanan's success of teaching methods
Dr Narayanan said as a member of the Australian Solar Energy Society he had several industry connections, and with research and engagement activities this has contributed to the success of his teaching methods.
“My involvement in these networks is of great benefit to my students, as it provides contemporary tasks and examples which I embed into my teaching,” he said.
“My teaching approaches and innovations have been recognized several times at the university level.
“Previously, I received Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Practice in Learning and Teaching in 2016.
“I received a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Learning and Teaching in 2018. In the same year, I received a Student Voice Commendation for On-Campus Educator of the Year.
“Again, in the Year 2020, I received Student Voice Commendation for Educator of the Year.
“These awards were based on high overall student satisfaction determined by quantitative data collected through the anonymous student evaluation process.
“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 evolvement of teaching methods, approaches and philosophies.”
Dr Narayanan lectures and tutorials are streamed live to four other campuses, and online through ZOOM.
“Students in those campuses and distance students can attend the session and participate in the activities. I am also the Mobility Program leader for the School of Engineering and Technology,” he said.
“Recently, I was appointed as a Fellow of Higher Education Academy, UK. This prestigious international appointment is made as an acknowledgement of ongoing and exceptional commitment to excellence in learning and teaching in higher education.”
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.