Dr Tony Cowling receives prestigious National Teaching Fellowship
26th July 2012
Congratulations to Dr Tony Cowling, who has been awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship Higher Education Academy (HEA).
Dr Cowling joined the University of Sheffield in 1973 after completing a PhD at Leeds. He became a lecturer in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science before transferring to the Department of Computer Science when it was established in 1980. He has led the creation of our undergraduate degree in Software Engineering which was one of the first in the world.
Dr Cowling said: "I’m delighted to have been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. Individual bits of work get recognised from time to time, and that is encouraging, but this recognises 20-plus years of effort, which feels far more significant.
"My work has focused on how to teach students to engineer software systems. When we first started this, even the professionals who could do it well had difficulty in explaining how they designed such systems, beyond saying things like “you know when it looks right”, which was no help at all in teaching students to do it!"
"We have been able to develop ways of simplifying the problem, so that now we can build up students’ skills in stages, starting from simple systems and working up to industrial-scale ones."
Dr Cowling's work has led to his involvement in a number of international activities: accreditation workshops in the USA and Lithuania, and European Union 'Tempus' projects in Hungary and Romania.
Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the HEA said the awards carry considerable prestige within the sector and are highly competitive.
He added:" The 55 new Fellows created this year have all made a highly valuable contribution to learning and teaching within their institutions and often more widely. At the HEA we are committed to recognising and rewarding excellence in teaching. Students deserve – and expect – the best possible learning experience during their time in higher education, and fantastic staff such as National Teaching Fellows help to deliver this experience."
Dr Cowling will officially receive his award at a special ceremony in London on Wednesday October 10, 2012.