National Teaching Fellow 2008
Professor John Yates completed his four year term as Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield in the summer of 2008. During this time, he was also the Director of the White Rose Centre for Excellence in the Teaching and Learning of Enterprise (WR CETLE), working closely with his fellow Directors, Pauline Kneale at Leeds and Tony Ward at York.
John is an enthusiastic advocate of the need to educate his students to become successful professional engineers. He was successful in instigating significant change in the curriculum at the University of Sheffield, its delivery and assessment by fostering debate about how teaching, research and extra-curricular activities can be brought together to provide a comprehensive educational experience.
This change ensured students are provided with the opportunity to work with real clients and has brought local and national recognition for staff in his department, along with an award for an inter-disciplinary team drawn from two of the university faculties.
John’s teaching is informed both by his research into the fatigue and fracture of engineering materials and his interests in motorsports. Both provide opportunities for students to gain insight into the work of professional engineers; some undergraduate students have made original contributions to engineering science and become co-authors of peer reviewed journal papers; others have been inspired by working with John on race and rally cars and have gone on to careers in the motorsports industry.
Under John’s direction, the WR CETLE has had a significant impact upon the student experience. This five year, £4.85 million project provides undergraduate and postgraduate students at Sheffield, Leeds and York with the business, entrepreneurial and social enterprise skills to help them become effective professionals and valuable members of society. In Sheffield, John’s team has expanded the range of extra-curricular training, advice and access to facilities available to students, as well as embedding enterprise education into departments.
Professor Paul White, the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at the University of Sheffield, says:
“John is a truly innovative leader who can inspire and manage others to deliver student experiences of the highest quality.”
John moved to The University of Manchester in 2010, where he is Professor of Computational Mechanics and Director of the Centre for Modelling and Simulation.
Professor of Computational Mechanics, Director of the Centre for Modelling and Simulation
University of Manchester