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Loughborough University academic awarded prestigious National Teaching Fellowship

Dr Peter Willmot from Loughborough University has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship – the UK’s most prestigious honour celebrating excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning.

Awarded by the Higher Education Academy (HEA), the Fellowships are open to staff whose teaching or support roles enhance the student learning experience at institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Dr Willmot teaches engineering design, machine analysis and project management in Loughborough University’s Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. His primary interest is the development of activity-based learning methods to enhance student engagement. He was also the founder of the international award-winning Web-PA online peer assessment project, which allows students to grade the performance of other students working in their group.

Dr Willmot has been Director of Undergraduate Studies for the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, responsible for six undergraduate and postgraduate degrees programmes, and has also been part of both the Centre for Engineering and Design Education (CEDE) and its forerunner organisation, the government-funded  Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (engCETL), which offered a national support network for engineering lecturers, promoted stronger links with industry and developed new learning technologies.

He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the HEA and a specialist subject adviser to the British University in Egypt.

Dr Willmot has previously received an HEA International Scholarship, which enabled him to visit universities on three continents in order to further his research into student motivation.

Of his latest accolade, Dr Willmot said: “I am delighted, honoured and humbled to receive this award and to join Loughborough’s past recipients, who I have long admired and respected.

“Thank you to those who nominated me and supported my nomination and also to the many people in the Wolfson School and in the Centre for Engineering and Design Education who have supported and encouraged me over many years.”

Dr Willmot will use the £10,000 award, made under the Fellowship scheme, to support his professional development in teaching and learning.

The candidates for the Fellowships were nominated by their institutions.

Professor Morag Bell, Pro Vice Chancellor for Teaching at Loughborough University, said: “Peter is an energetic, innovative, dedicated teacher who has extensive international experience, an eye for detail and significant experience of course design and leadership.

"He epitomises the outstanding teaching which is prevalent across the University. We are delighted that his skills, experience and commitment to excellence have been recognised with this prestigious award.”

Professor Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive of the HEA, said of the 55 new National Teaching Fellows: “While their fields of expertise are many and varied, what they each hold in common is their commitment to learning and teaching, their dedication to their students, and their tenacity in sharing their expertise with others. What also strikes me about our National Teaching Fellows this year is their willingness to learn from others, showing us that learning is an ongoing process from which we can all benefit.“

Our students deserve the best possible learning experience and it is colleagues like those we celebrate today who can make a real difference to their futures. I congratulate all the successful Fellows and wish them every success in their own learning and teaching experiences.”

Dr Willmot will be presented with his National Teaching Fellowship at an awards ceremony in October.