Three exceptional lecturers of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) were honored with the Teaching Excellence Award during the UTB Excellence Award ceremony held in conjunction with the university's 9th Convocation Ceremony 2023. The recipients were Professor Dr Sivakumar Manickam, Dr. Law Kah Law, and Dr. Shahriar Shams. They serve as inspirations, recognised for their significant impact on student learning and academic development at UTB.
Professor Dr Sivakumar Manickam, Professor in the Petroleum and Chemical Engineering programme area, and Deputy Dean (Research) at the Faculty of Engineering, has been recognised for creating a positive and supportive learning environment, earning him the award. His commitment to teaching excellence is evident through various methods aimed at building a friendly and supportive community within his classes.
His teaching style places emphasis on open communication group projects, and activities fostering teamwork. By actively recognising and appreciating diverse backgrounds and perspectives, he creates an inclusive space where everyone feels heard and respected. Additionally, outside regular class hours, he provides extra help and support, thereby strengthening the student- teacher relationship.
Professor Dr Sivakumar shared a transformative experience for a struggling student. Through one-on-one guidance, encouragement of participation in collaborative activities, and the integration of real-world examples into lectures, Professor Sivakumar witnessed remarkable improvements in the student's confidence and academic performance.
He further added that the integration of real-world examples into lectures proved instrumental in boosting the student's interest and grades. This experience underscores the significance of personal attention, collaboration, and real-world connections in fostering both academic and personal growth.
For prospective students considering a journey at UTB, Professor Dr Sivakumar's teaching approach aligns with the university's commitment to fostering a supportive and collaborative academic community. His inclusive learning environments, open communication, and personalized support aim to create an atmosphere where students thrive academically and embark in a transformative journey, preparing them for success in both academic pursuits and future endeavors.
Dr. Law Kah Haw, Assistant Professor of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Deputy Dean (Research) of the Graduate Studies and Research Office (GSRO), stands out for his dedicated efforts in cultivating a dynamic and enriching learning environment.
Dr. Law Kah Haw places a strong emphasis on igniting curiosity and critical thinking. His approach encompasses collaborative coordination, effective content delivery, and engaging strategies, including sustained eye contact and continuous comprehension monitoring. The "island model" seating arrangement he used exemplifies an interactive learning environment, extending the atmosphere beyond the classroom to empower students for success in both academic and professional journeys.
Dr. Law's impact on students' academic journeys becomes particularly evident through projects related to Power Electronics. This captivating field involves generating regulated voltage from alternative sources, sparking significant interest among students. Under Dr. Law's guidance, these projects provide hands-on experiences and practical applications, allowing students to gain exclusive knowledge in designing circuits, implementing control systems, and simulating circuits using cutting-edge software.
Highlighting the transformative impact of his teaching methods, Dr. Law emphasizes the pivotal role of Power Electronics projects in shaping students' academic trajectories. His commitment extends to ongoing research in the field, ensuring the integration of recent trends into teaching methodologies. This dedication provides students with an engaging and practical learning experience, aligning with Dr. Law's mission to prepare them for success in their academic pursuits.
In his message to potential students, Dr. Law Kah Haw highlights the transformative nature of the postgraduate journey at UTB. He commits to providing a comprehensive and enriching educational experience, fostering a dynamic learning environment, instilling a passion for continuous learning, and preparing students for success in their chosen field. The emphasis on practical applications and a commitment to staying abreast of industry trends positions Dr. Law as a dedicated guide for students embarking on their academic journey at UTB.
Dr. Shahriar Shams, Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Programme Area of Faculty of Engineering, is recognised for his dedication to teaching excellence. Integrating theoretical knowledge with practical applications, he draws on real-life situations and case studies to prepare students for the professional landscape.
Reflecting on his educational journey, Dr. Shams highlights the impact of a practical approach to learning on his understanding of integrated water resources management (IWRM). Field trips and practical training programmes provided hands-on experiences that significantly influenced his comprehensive understanding of the subject. This personal connections to the importance of practical learning adds a unique dimension to Dr. Sham’s teaching approach.
The Teaching Excellence Award recipients at UTB exemplify UTB’s commitment to academic excellence, innovation, and student development. Their contributions highlight UTB's dedication to providing a transformative and supportive learning environment. Additionally, UTB has been recognised as one of the top three institutions for Teaching and Learning in the 2024 AppliedHE Public & Private University Ranking: ASEAN, further underscoring its position as a leader in higher education within the region.