UQ’s Fine Fellows

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowship scheme is a professional recognition scheme for university educators. It provides an international benchmark for teaching quality.

Following a successful pilot in 2016 and further development across the last year by The Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation (ITaLI) alongside school and faculty partners, the UQ HEA Fellowship scheme is now institutionally accredited by Advance HE (UK).

This enables ITaLI to manage and administer internal HEA Fellowship applications for the benefit of all staff (both academic and professional) working in Teaching and Learning at UQ.

At UQ, the HEA scheme is one way the university is building and acknowledging a community of great teachers creating change. Read about one of our newest HEA Fellows below.

Associate Professor Saiied Aminossadati (SFHEA) (Amin) from the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering was born in Isfahan, the third largest city in Iran, still famous for its glorious boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets. Amin’s love for Engineering was influenced and encouraged by his father and older brother, and is obvious in his teaching practices. Outside of the classroom, Amin has a passion for indoor volleyball, a sport he has been playing since age nine.

Teaching journey

I completed my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering in 1988 at Isfahan University of Technology, and then worked as an industrial piping engineer in the oil and gas industry for four years. In 1992, I came to Australia and completed my Masters degree and PhD in the area of “Aerodynamic Loss of Gas Turbines” at UQ before heading back overseas. I then worked as an engineering academic for 6.5 years before I returned to UQ in 2005, and have been working as a teaching and research academic in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering since that time (13 years!).

While teaching at UQ, I have been working on various research and industrial projects funded by industry. This has given me the opportunity to recognise a very real problem with engineering graduates. It is essential for our graduates to have a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skills - a key challenge of our engineering curricula. I am determined to evaluate every course I teach to make sure outcomes are aligned with objectives and practical context; underlying theory and student engagement are integral to course design. My successful influence on student learning can be attributed to my passion for teaching, my caring for the learner, and the time I devote to develop their skills.

HEA experience

I found the application process for the Higher Education Fellowship (HEA) a fantastic opportunity to reflect on my practice, and evaluate and affirm my teaching practice against an internationally recognised educational framework. I was very fortunate to receive tremendous support from the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation (ITaLI) in developing and completing my application. I was delighted to be acknowledged by the HEA for my efforts and ability to impact and influence student learning. To be part of this global network, as a Senior Fellow, I can demonstrate my commitment to professionalism in learning and teaching in higher education.

I strongly believe that HEA significantly contributes to building a strong and effective teaching and learning community at the University of Queensland. 

Memorable teaching moment

I love to share my knowledge and skills with my students; teaching gives me great satisfaction and I want to continue to make my students’ learning journey a rewarding one. My commitment to my students’ learning has been recognised with many program and teaching awards, but my proudest moment was when I discovered that more than 200 students had signed and sent an unsolicited letter of endorsement in support of my excellence in teaching to the Dean of Faculty and Head of School.

Teaching philosophy

I am guided by my belief that learning is about stimulating students’ intellectual curiosity and engaging them in interactive settings. My teaching philosophy is that students with deep theoretical knowledge can develop a comprehensive insight of the principles of what they are practising and that students need to experience “hands-on” learning activities to develop technical skills required by industry.

The way I reconceptualise learning experiences for my students includes identifying and implementing innovative approaches and developing quality teaching resources. I like to work with my students in such a way that they actively engage with their learning activities and are qualified to undertake their role in their chosen industry in Australia and internationally. 

Career goal

Taking into account my enthusiasm as well as my personal and professional capabilities in teaching and learning; and with the support of ITaLI and my HEA Fellows, I am confident that I will be able to successfully enhance my teaching and learning skills as a university academic, and continue to make significant contributions to the teaching excellence at The University of Queensland.