National Teaching Fellow 2011
Dr Tom Joyce is an internationally renowned researcher whose work on failed metal hip joints has been showcased in the international media. Tom is equally as passionate about conveying engineering as the fascinating, dynamic, and life-changing subject which he believes it is. Tom teaches engineering from foundation year to Masters level and across faculties, contributing his engineering knowledge to biomedical subjects too.
At foundation year, a video involving a workman trying to pull a tub of bricks twice his weight over a pulley aims to convey the application of Newton's second law, with the workman accelerating upwards. In his first year design and manufacturing module Tom uses funding from a £10,000 ExxonMobil teaching prize and challenges his students to design, manufacture and test a domestic-scale wind turbine. In his bioengineering module he champions small group work and shows examples of used artificial joints before inviting his students to critique current designs of replacement joints.
Tom was the invited editor of a special issue of the Journal of Engineering in Medicine on the subject of biomedical engineering education in 2009, he is the Degree Programme Director for a forthcoming MSc in Biomedical Engineering, and is listed as one of seven engineering education champions on the Engineering Subject Centre website. In 2010 he won a Vice-Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching award from his University and was a finalist in the Engineering Subject Centre's annual Teaching Award.
As Stage 1 Manager Tom has led no-cost changes to the first year which have seen progression rates in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering substantially increase from 83% to 93%. Retention and progression are major issues in engineering education nationally and internationally and Tom has shared the Newcastle methodology through publication in the journal Engineering Education. Tom's pedagogical research to further improve progression rates continues and includes gathering data from focus groups to further enhance the learning experience of his engineering students.