Education Innovation

Our mission is to support and encourage teaching excellence

At UNSW Engineering, we strive for excellence in education. As Australia’s largest engineering faculty, our greatest impact is through our many graduates, and our priority is ensuring that they graduate with the skills, knowledge and qualities that are needed by the profession and society.

We believe that the most effective way to encourage and support excellence and innovation in teaching is by giving our teachers the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by each other. To that end, many of the education initiatives in the faculty provide opportunities for academics to meet colleagues in other disciplines and share insights about teaching engineering at UNSW. In addition, our teaching and learning team offer technical and pedagogical support.

Interested in learning more? 

Contact the Education Innovation Unit    

Teaching Support
Technology Support Icon

Educational Technology

Practical support for teachers developing their courses:

  • Exam Digitisation
  • Lecture Recording Services
  • Course Support Drop-in Clinic
  • Blended Learning Support
  • 360° Lab Tours & Field Trips

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A one-stop-shop for teaching and learning:

  • Course Design
  • Teaching Approaches
  • Digital Technologies
  • Recap of UNSW Educational Events
  • Teaching Inspiration 

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Professional Development

The initiatives assist our academics seeking to develop their teaching:

  • Lunchtime Roundtables & Workshops
  • The Peer Observation Teaching Program
  • Mid-term Classroom Check-Ins

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Professional Development Opportunities

To support education and teaching professionals, we have a range of development opportunities for teachers who want to "up their game". Offered in a range of formats and a variety of levels, our professional development program includes the Engineering Education Lunchtime Roundtables, the Peer Observation Teaching Program and an online self-paced learning hub, STEMblended. To find out what's on offer, visit Engineering's Educational Events

The flagship event for the Professional Development Program is the Summer Course Design InstituteThe program is offered over 5 days in an intensive workshop setting. Working in small groups under the guidance of peer facilitators, and as large groups led by Institute facilitators, you'll be exposed to fundamental concepts of course design, student motivation and assessment, as well as novel methodologies and approaches that you can implement in your own courses. 

UNSW Engineering’s Course Design Institute

Teaching Awards

Each year we recognise the important work of our teachers through the University and Faculty of Engineering teaching awards. We also encourage our staff to apply for national awards such as the Australian Awards for University Teaching.  

UNSW Engineering Students' Choice Teaching Award

In 2018 we introduced this new initiative to shine a light on inspiring teachers in the faculty. As a student-focused award, it is organised, nominated and judged by our students, revealing great teachers in Engineering who might not consider putting themselves forward for an award.

UNSW Engineering Students’ Choice Teaching Award

The award is presented in front of the Engineering education community at the annual Engineering Education Showcase.


The Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (VCATE)

This award recognises the passionate teachers who are transforming how our students learn. Nominations for this annual award are due in September. Those considering applying should consult with their Head of School. The awards on offer include the:

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence
    • Awards for Teaching Excellence (General)
    • Awards for Teaching Excellence (Early Career)
    • The Heinz Harant Award for Teaching Innovation

Learn more about the VCATE Teaching Awards.

Faculty of Engineering Staff Excellence Awards

These Faculty awards were established to encourage exceptional and outstanding service or work within the Faculty.

Nominations for the Education Excellence and Innovation Award cover:

  • Innovative delivery or re-design of an existing course or program
  • Introduction of a new course or program
  • Technology enabled innovation
  • Improvements to management, support and training of sessional staff
  • Collaboration (especially cross-school/faculty) for the purpose of supporting new teaching initiatives
  • Outstanding work with students in areas such as mentoring and advising, supervision of projects or practical work
  • Outstanding work with groups/organisations outside of the school/faculty (e.g. companies, research centres etc.) for the provision or development of new and/or relevant teaching and topics
  • Exceptional student feedback and/or peer review outcomes
  • Effectively embedding research-integrated learning into programs

 Submit your nomination by mid-November via ENGage (staff login required). The winners are announced in December each year at the Engineering Town Hall.

Scientia Education Academy

Established in October 2016, the Scientia Education Academy gives UNSW and its outstanding academics a platform to showcase excellent teaching. The Academy recognises inspiring educators - the Scientia Education Fellows - and harnesses their drive and enthusiasm to enhance learning and teaching across UNSW.

KPMG Inspiring Teaching Award in a First Year Undergraduate Program

The KPMG Award celebrates teachers who create rich learning environments and provide a consistently excellent educational experience for students. 

Voted by first year students, the winner receives a $3000 cash prize and certificate presented at the awards lunch hosted by KPMG with their senior representatives and UNSW staff. Voting opens in early September.

 Australian Awards for University Teaching

These Awards presented by the Australian Government celebrate and reward excellence in university teaching. There are four Award types promoting and recognising excellence in learning and teaching:

  • Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning
  • Awards for Teaching Excellence
  • The Award for the Australian University Teacher of the Year

For more information and key dates visit The Australian Awards for University Teaching.

Teacher Features

Meet Lauren Kark - knowledge assured not assumed


Lauren Kark

Dr Lauren Kark from Biomedical Engineering found a pretty cool way to help ensure that students' prior knowledge is assured, rather than assumed.

In the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, the students have undergraduate degrees in engineering, science, medical science or allied health.

A student with a background in pharmacy could find themselves trying to keep up with a bio-mechanics class. This unusual student demographic is what prompted Lauren Kark to develop an online content support system, ensuring students have the appropriate prior knowledge to succeed in her class.Read the full story

Alison Jones, 2019 Winner of the Students' Choice Teaching Award


Alison Jones

Associate Professor Alison Jones was presented with the 2019 UNSW Engineering Students’ Choice Teaching Award for best lecturer. So, what does it take to be nominated by your students for a teaching award?

Student Adelaide says: "Since having her as a lecturer I've become more confident in my value as a person and in my skills to work as a food scientist. She has definitely been the most memorable and instrumental person in my education at UNSW." Read the full story