Undergraduate Teaching 2018-19

Lent 2018 Teaching Office Newsletter

Lent 2018 Teaching Office Newsletter

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Happy New Year and welcome to the Teaching Office newsletter which contains information about up-coming events, mini-profiles of new staff and details of key changes to the course and related guidelines.

Upcoming events

SSJC exam study skills session

The SSJC (Staff Student Joint Committee) will run a  session on exam skills on Wednesday 13 March 2019 from 2.00-4.00pm in lecture room 3.  The session is particularly targeted at first-years.

Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy Discussion Events

Help shape the way Cambridge supports students’ mental health and wellbeing
If you can share some ideas on how to stay healthy, or want to have your say on what really gets students down, we really need to hear from you.

To support all our students to make the most of their time at University, we want you to tell us which issues are most important to students’ wellbeing - from paying bills, workload and friendship issues, to loneliness and imposter syndrome. 

Are there things people wish they knew before you came to Cambridge? How do you talk to a friend who’s feeling blue? Who would you turn to if you needed help?

Join one of our four discussion events and help shape the way Cambridge supports students' mental health and wellbeing (all students welcome).

Events are being held at:

·         St John’s College - Friday 25 January at 14:00h – 16:00h

·         Clinical School, Biomedical Campus  - Monday 28 January at 17:00h – 19:00h

·         University Centre – Wednesday 30 January at 14:00h – 16:00h

·         Newnham College- Thursday 31 January at 17:00h – 20:00h

·         Hauser Forum, West Cambridge – Friday 1 February at 12:00h – 14:00h

Course updates

More technical skills taught in part I

Two new part I practicals were introduced this year to provide all students with additional technical skills.

IA Machine Tools lab

In this 2h laboratory, IA students are introduced to the lathe and the milling machine, two of the most common machine tools. Starting from technical drawings for these parts, students manufacture a small aluminium wheel on the lathe and a small aluminium beam on the milling machine. parts need to be manufactured within prescribed tolerances so that they can be combined with Lego parts to build a three-wheeled buggy.

Learn more about it in the lab handout!


IB Computing - Micro-controller activity

In an activity sponsored by ARM and STI, IB students were all given a Nucleo development board to learn the basics of microcontroller programming, including memory allocation, interrupt, timers, as well as I2C communication with simple sensing devices. Following the general model of part I computing, this activity is not timetabled and students have the flexibility to work whenever and wherever they wish, including over the Christmas holiday to relieve the usual term time pressure.

Feel free to have a look at the new activity online.


Are you interested in Teaching & Education?

Teaching is a great way to improve your communication skills and knowledge. We are exploring ways to allow IIA and IIB students to participate in programs such as Stimulus, and to do it for credit as part of the course. If you would like to know more about it, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Education, Seb Savory (director-ugrad-education@eng.cam.ac.uk).


Updated referencing guidelines

Following student feedback, we have updated and improved the referencing section of the report writing guide. Feel free to consult it when needed.

The library offers training https://training.cam.ac.uk/eng/theme/eng-ug-trans?providerId=1134538 

Do make sure to ask them if you have any questions cued-library@eng.cam.ac.uk

Student mental health & wellbeing

New CUES Welfare Officer

We are delighted to report that Isla Ziyat is CUES' first Welfare Officer.  We are working with Isla and the SSJC to address the findings of the student mental health survey run by former IIB student Sinead Cook last year.  Sinead's full report and our response, plus the results of Isla's recent welfare survey and her first Welfare Bulletin, are available on the SSJC Moodle site

Counselling Service provision for students

Details of the Counselling Service's short courses, groups and workshops for Lent Term are available online at http://www.counselling.cam.ac.uk/studentcouns/studentgroups

All groups and workshops are open to any student.

Best lecturer awards 2016-2017

Based on student votes in 2016-2017 for their best lecturers, we are delighted to announced the following winners (in alphabetic order within each year group):

Year Lecturer Course/Module
IA M J DeJong Structures
IA C A Hall Thermofluid Mechanics
IA T H W Minshall Engineer in Society
IB R Cipolla Information elective
IB M L Oyen Bioengineering elective
IB K A Seffen Structures
IIA A J Kabla 3G2 Mathematical Physiology
IIA D Liang 3D5 Water Engineering
IIA R Venkataramanan 3F7 Information Theory & Coding
IIB F A McRobie 4D10 Structural Steelwork
IIB K A Seffen 4D17 Plate & Shell Structures
IIB S S Singh 4F7 Digital Filters & Spectrum Estimation

From 2016-17 onwards, selection criteria were adjusted to account for variations in the number of students taking each course. The three lecturers in each year with the largest number of votes per student taking their course were elected. 

In 2017-18, students are allowed to select their three best lecturers.

These changes allow us to better identify and reward good practice in the department, regardless of the class size.


SSJC and Faculty Board student representatives

Dimitrios Alexadridis (da460)

IA Rep &Teaching Committee Rep, Freshers Coordinator

My name is Dimitri. I am a first-year student from Girton. I chose to participate in the SSJC because I am keen to share ideas that will enhance the student experience in the Engineering Department. This year, Tek and I are the Part IA reps, which means that we are especially happy to discuss and resolve issues faced by first-year students. I am also a member of the teaching committee and I can transfer any suggestions on the improvement of teaching directly to the Student-Staff Joint Committee. Feel free to talk with me at any time to discuss departmental issues or suggestions! Any feedback will help us better represent the student body in our attempt to make everyday life in the department even more enjoyable and productive.

Michaela Chan (mkyc2)

IIA Rep & College Rep Coordinator

I’m Micheala, a third-year engineer at Trinity Hall. This is my third year on the SSJC and I’m currently sitting on the Environment Committee, as well as being College and IIA Representative and College Rep Coordinator, along with Fleur. This means I will be working closely with people representing you from your college, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come directly to me with any issues or feedback that you have! I’m here especially to represent the interests of third-years so please do get in touch. If you’re not quite sure about what’s going on in the department, or you think something could be improved, let me know!

Tek Kan Chung (tkc26)

IA Rep & Fresher Coordinator

Hi I’m Tek, a first year engineer from Pembroke. I believe education shouldn’t be something that’s spoon-fed by lecturers to students. I want to see students engaging with the department and helping shape the education that would prepare them best for the future. As part of the SSJC committee, I hope you feel comfortable giving valuable feedback to the department through me and the rest of the team. My email lives at tkc26@cam.ac.uk – and if you’re a fresher like me, you can also find me before or after a lecture! I usually sit somewhere near the top left-hand side of LT0, if you’re looking from the lecturer’s side (use whichever co-ordinate system you prefer…).

Fleur Conway (gc538)

IB Rep & Faculty Board Rep & Library Committee Rep & College Rep Coordinator

My name is Fleur and I am a second year undergraduate from Pembroke College. My role in the SSJC includes sitting in on the faculty board, SSJC and library committee meetings. I also act as the 1B representative with Agnes Fung, and college rep coordinator with Michaela Chan. That means as well as listening to any issues from people within my year, I will talk to representatives from each college from every year. So do approach me if you see me around. I also work within the Cambridge University Engineering Society as Marketing and Communications Director and the alumni-student connection society, 1347, in my college. I just finished my role as college rep for the Varsity ski trip this year too! In the coming year I'd love to see the welfare and community within the department improve.  Do let me know if there are any issues you'd like me to bring up concerning the course and engineering life in general!

Martina Cheadle (mec65)

SSJC President  & IIB Rep

I’m Martina, a fourth-year engineer at Sidney Sussex who spent last year as a student rep on the Faculty Board, Teaching Committee, and Staff-Student Joint Committee (SSJC). This year I have been elected President of the SSJC which means I am the official first point of contact for CUED regarding student wellbeing/opinion. As President I will continue to directly communicate with the people who run the engineering course on your behalf. If you’re not quite sure about what’s happening in the department, or if you think something could be improved please let me know – I am here to help!

Some things I’m currently working on:

•             Better cohesion between lectures and labs, especially in Part I

•             Improving the transition to Part II using students’ feedback on module choices

•             Increased availability of course material in the form of lecture notes, recorded lectures, past Tripos papers and worked solutions

•             Better feedback on lectures, lab reports, and supervisions

Any questions, concerns, or comments on anything CUED related, please feel free to ask!

Agnes Fung (alsf3)

IB Rep & Faculty Board Rep &Communications Manager

Hi there! I’m Agnes, a second year undergraduate at Jesus. My main aims within the SSJC are to increase diversity and access within the engineering department. Your feedback is invaluable and helps shape the way things are run for you and future cohorts of students. Fleur and I are here to represent the IB students; second years please don’t hesitate to approach us after lectures if you have any comments! As a Faculty Board student representative, I can also help you communicate directly with the big potatoes.

My role in the SSJC includes being the Communications Officer too. Stay tuned for our brand new Facebook page, which will include summaries of our meetings. You are also welcome to message me if you have any comments or questions!

Manesh Patel (mp735)

SSJC Vice President & IIB Rep

My name is Manesh Patel and I'm a fourth year at Pembroke College, and will serve as both the fourth year representative and vice president. I take a selection of modules across the aerothermal and mechanics divisions and enjoy helping bring the eccentric engineering projects of other students to life. This year I want to look at further increasing levels of student feedback for labs and modules, and turning that feedback in to useful resources for students to use. I'm interested in hearing how the department can work better for you so please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Fergus Riche (fr293)

SSJC Grad Rep and Faculty Board Rep (Research Graduate Students)

Fergus has been at the Department since 2011, and has acted as both its fiercest critic and most staunch defender. He will fight your corner (which he will do with a smile, and without fear or favour), and help the Department become a lean, mean engineering machine.

Fergus is particularly interested in improving the experience of graduate students involved in the department’s teaching, so if you have any suggestions on that, or any other aspect of the graduate experience, don’t hesitate to tell him!

Jon Arne Toft (jaet2)

IIB Rep & Teaching Committee Rep

I’m a fourth year mechanical engineer at Homerton. I’m a co-founder and former president of ITIC (iticam.org), a society designing products to tackle global challenges. My main interests are to improve department support for extracurricular activities, and to improve the learning experience as a whole. I’m not a big fan of the current lecture note system. On the other hand, I’m a big fan of free coffee!


Lukas Gast (latg2)

Faculty Board Grad Rep (Taught Graduate Students)

Lukas T Gast is an MPhil student in Engineering for Sustainable Development (Kurt Hahn Trust Scholar, DAAD). Before coming to Cambridge, he studied Industrial Engineering at TU Berlin and KTH Stockholm. His research interests include environmental policy, energy systems and industrial processes. He also organizes field trips for students in Germany and enjoys various sports (running, rowing and skiing).


Last updated on 21/01/2018 21:52