National Teaching Fellow 2009
Like many engineers, Professor Martin Levesley has always been fascinated by new technology and enjoys innovation. As an undergraduate he chose to study at Brunel University which allowed him to spend half of each year in industry. This taught him the importance of being able to make solid connections between material taught within university and real-world examples. His PhD and subsequent postdoctoral research at Southampton University, focussed on aero engine vibration, was undertaken in collaboration with Rolls Royce, providing him with more direct links between academia and industry.
In 1997 he moved to Leeds to take up a lectureship in dynamics and control and immediately set about developing new courses which included examples he had seen in industry and research. As a former undergraduate and PhD student observed:
“Martin's dynamics and control lectures were a highlight because of his enthusiasm and ability to make the subject relevant and accessible through real-world examples”.
Martin has harnessed his enthusiasm for innovation to make his teaching more effective. Over many years he has introduced new technology and novel approaches to improve the student learning experience and in 2004 he was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship to support him in developing these further.
One particular example of his innovative approach is ReLOAD, a novel system he has developed to give almost unlimited access to high quality real experimental equipment in real-time via the web (http://reload.leeds.ac.uk). Initially developed to improve his own students’ access to laboratory experiments, it now enables students and staff from other universities in the UK and abroad to benefit from his approach by allowing them access to ReLOAD-enabled equipment in Leeds. He now plans to enable other universities to develop their own ReLOAD equipment.
Martin has an inspirational passion for his discipline and is keen to share his enthusiasm for engineering not just with his own students but with as wide an audience as possible. One of his post doctoral research fellows noted,
“Martin has demonstrated time and time again his ability to communicate across disciplines and it is his enthusiasm that inspires others to achieve”
Professor of Dynamics and Control
University of Leeds