Dr Adam Bridgeman is a Professor of chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney. He completed his first degree at St Catherine’s College (University of Oxford) and his PhD in theoretical inorganic chemistry at Trinity Hall (University of Cambridge). After positions at the universities of Cambridge and Hull, he moved to the University of Sydney as Director of First Year Studies in Chemistry.
He currently holds this role as well as Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching for the Faculty of Science at Sydney. He has received a variety of institutional and national teaching awards in the United Kingdom and in Australia for his work on electronic resources and personalised education, and support in chemistry and science.
As a devoted teacher, he strives to actively engage students in class and online in the wide number of courses he coordinates and leads. Alongside his interests in enhancing education and the student experience, he uses computational approaches to solve chemical problems such as the design of nanomaterials for applications in medicine.
Associate Professor Gwen Lawrie has been a teaching-focused academic at the University of Queensland since 2008, and is currently Director of First Year Chemistry. She holds a PhD from Cranfield University (UK), BSc(Hons) from Sheffield Hallam University (UK) and a Graduate Diploma Education (Secondary) from the University
of Queensland. Gwen teaches introductory chemistry, first-year chemistry, physical chemistry and nanoscience, and has received multiple teaching excellence awards including a 2013 Australian Award for University Teaching and the 2013 Pearson RACI Chemical Educator of the Year Award. Gwen’s research explores strategies to address student diversity and engagement in very large classes through collaborative inquiry tasks, the implementation of undergraduate research experiences and mechanisms for provision of formative feedback to support self-regulated learning. Through innovative approaches to technology-enhanced learning environments, she has demonstrated assessment strategies that evidence learning gains in student-created products including vlogs and wiki lab notebooks. Gwen has published this research in national and international education journals and book chapters.
Dr Daniel Southam is a Senior Lecturer in chemistry at Curtin University. He completed his bachelor and PhD degrees in chemistry at the University of Tasmania, where a passion for chemistry education was sparked. Daniel is a passionate advocate of active learning, and crafts engaging social environments to support student success. His broad aim is to improve students’ perceptions of their ability to learn chemistry and to develop capacity for real change in the depth of their understanding and enjoyment of science. Daniel has an interest in the dynamic relationship between chemistry education research and its application to practice, especially in foundation chemistry classes. To achieve these aims his research explores issues of educational measurement in different sociocultural contexts, and in inter-disciplines such as forensic science and nanotechnology.
Dr Chris Thompson is an education-focused Lecturer from the School of Chemistry at Monash University, and holds degrees from the Australian National University and Monash University. As First Year Coordinator and Chief Examiner of five units he oversees multiple curricula delivered over multiple campuses, encompassing over 1500 students. Chris has almost 50 research papers to his name, across the fields of spectroscopy, computational chemistry and chemistry education. He is the Chair of the RACI Chemistry Education Division, Victorian Certificate of Education Exam Author, and Chief Examiner for the Monash Foundation Year program in Chemistry.
He also sits on the board of the not-for-profit Chemistry Education Association and is heavily engaged with secondary school outreach, with Monash’s School of Chemistry hosting over 2000 primary and secondary science students annually. His particular interest is in active learning in university classrooms, and he is specifically passionate about enabling students to harness their imagination to visualise chemistry.
Dr Natalie Williamson is a Senior Lecturer and the First Year Director (chemistry) at the University of Adelaide. She teaches at all undergraduate year levels, with a particular interest in synthetic organic chemistry. Natalie enjoys helping students get to that ‘lightbulb’ moment through their own endeavours, using a mixture of interactive classroom activities, humour and immediate feedback to engage students in the learning process. She has won a number of teaching awards, including an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2010) and the University of Adelaide Stephen Cole the Elder Award for Excellence in Teaching (2014). Natalie was also named the Early Career STEM Tertiary Educator of the Year at the 2013 South Australian Science Excellence Awards.
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