CEAS celebrates BP Achievement and GTA Awards

An awards ceremony has been held in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science (CEAS) to celebrate the presentation of the BP Achievement and GTA Awards.

Taking place on Tuesday, 23 March, the ceremony was an opportunity for the Department's academic and professional services staff, as well as its undergraduate and postgraduate students, to come together and celebrate virtually. Head of Department Professor Lev Sarkisov introduced the ceremony and welcomed staff and students before introducing the two award categories.

The BP Achievement Awards have been sponsored by BP for the last ten years and are aimed at first and second-year undergraduate students. Their goal is to recognise and support academic excellence in students who have the ability to excel in their discipline, and to encourage students with an interest in energy to consider careers in the energy sector.

Applicants submitted an essay on an energy-related subject, relevant to their discipline, and this year the essay question was around low-carbon energy. Professor Sarkisov shared that himself, and the panel of academics were extremely impressed with the standard of essays submitted.

The winners of this year's BP Achievement Awards were:

  • Annali Khalatbari and Anh Vo Que Luu (first year)
  • Yamin Banglawala (second year)

Speaking of her award, Annali said: "The application process for the BP Achievement Award invited students to write an essay about the role that chemical engineers are playing and are expected to play as society strives to transition the energy economy of the world. I would like to thank the Department of CEAS hugely for giving me this award and opportunity - I greatly appreciate it. I look forward to enhancing my knowledge as a student and the potential of gaining industrial experience within a global company."

Anh described the BP Awards as "an occasion for students, particularly in engineering degrees, to enlarge and fulfil our knowledge about sustainable energy. Sustainable energy plays an important role in our current world as we are facing a global crisis, which is known as climate change. Therefore, by participating in this award, we could raise our own awareness and from there, use our influence to spread the message that we have learnt to everyone. Furthermore, it allows us to develop our understanding of what we should develop in terms of technical and non-technical skills as an engineering student who will become an engineer in the near future".

Second-year student Yamin said: "BP's Achievement Award is a step towards inspiring the next generation of engineers by incentivising the analysis of alternate and renewable sources of energy. I think it is a brilliant way to increase the presence of the most important topics within this discipline. I would like to thank the entire CEAS Department for creating the perfect environment where engineers can develop, improve and connect with huge corporations such as BP."

The GTA Awards have been established in CEAS to promote excellence and commitment from demonstrators delivering the chemical engineering curriculum. Dr Bernard Treves Brown announced the awards, explaining how graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) are a very important part of the student experience.

Demonstrators worked very hard in Semester 1 and 2 to help deliver the chemical engineering curriculum, and the Department is keen to support excellent demonstration in CEAS, and to reward and encourage GTAs who have done an outstanding job.

The winners were:

  • Most approachable (nominated by students): Elliott Sutton
  • Most effective/innovative online (nominated by academics): Tianmu Yuan
  • Best feedback (nominated by academics): Noah Miller
  • Most collegial (nominated by GTAs): Julia Jimenez Romero

Best feedback winner Noah said: "I won the award for giving detailed and helpful feedback on work that I have marked. The ceremony was lovely, it was nice to see everyone together and be involved in a little celebration despite all the struggles of the last term."

Winner of most effective/innovative online GTA Tianmu commented: "For the course there was a 'coursework requires' group discussion and face-to-face interaction. However, this was impractical due to the COVID restriction. Therefore, the instructor designed a story, and I wrote an interactive webpage for the students to go through the coursework materials without losing its essence. I sincerely hope this award will motivate all of us to come up with more effective, inspiring, and convenient ways of teaching."

Elliot, winner of the most approachable award, said: "It's really nice to have recognition for my work as I care a great deal about ensuring all of the students I work with get the most out of the sessions. They're a pleasure to teach and I look forward to continuing to do so."

And winner of the most collegial award Julia added: "The award was part of the initiative to incentivise and recognise the work of GTAs in this time of online learning. The award is related to teamwork and collaboration and, in that sense, I think I wouldn't have received this award if it were not for my peers and the rest of the staff. I really appreciate the nomination, and I would like to thank, again, my colleagues and all the staff I work with. This is not only a recognition of my efforts but also to the colleagues I work with, for generating a teaching/learning environment that is more productive, harmonic and cooperative.

"Finally, I would like to thank CEAS staff for the opportunity to complement my PhD studies with teaching experience. Being a GTA has been an excellent opportunity to work with people from different cultures and I strongly recommend other PhD students put themselves in the roles. It is not only a great opportunity to see things from the teaching point of view and support new generations' learning, but it also allows you to meet other fellows, share ideas and develop your soft skills."

The Department sends its huge congratulations to this year's winners, and thanks everyone who came along to celebrate!


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