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’I see teaching as a great indicator of how well I myself as a researcher understand the topics’

Doctoral Candidate Glenn Ross was selected by the school community as Motivator of the year 2018 at the School of Electrical Engineering.
Aalto University / Glenn Ross / photo: Linda Koskinen

’Being awarded the Motivator of the year for teaching has been a real highlight and nice feedback from the students’, Glenn Ross says with a smile on his face. The acknowledgement he received came for excellent and dedicated guidance in advising students’ project work.

Ross is currently involved in the teaching of two courses: one is instructing the lab work of the Materials and Microsystems Integration course and the second is as an instructor for the Automation and Electrical Engineering’s project work course.

’The project work is closely related to the research work carried out by the Electronics Integration and Reliability Unit I’m part of’, Ross says. He is looking at new ways of further integrating microelectronics through new materials and structures, aiming to make microelectronics faster and smaller without compromising on device reliability.

Ross, originally from Australia, got interested in becoming a researcher while studying at Aalto:

’During the masters studies I experienced interesting and challenging courses that exposed me to the possibilities that research has to offer. What attracts me the most, in particular here in Finland, is the academic freedom to explore one’s ideas. The possibility to get one’s hands dirty in the fantastic infrastructure here at Aalto definitely supported my decision to become a researcher.’

Students respond well when they feel that they are a part of something scientifically or technically challenging and relevant.

Glenn Ross

The master’s course offered by the research group Ross is in has a strong emphasis on allowing students to actively participate in the development of microelectronic integration strategies, which aligns well with Ross’s research work. As a result, he got involved in teaching.

’I see teaching as a fantastic opportunity and an indicator of how well I myself understand the topics. If you can teach it well, you generally have a good understanding of the subject’, he says.

What makes a good teacher then? You should get a reliable answer from the Motivator of the year:

’In my opinion, there are a number of things. A good teacher is one who constantly tries to improve their course or skills year after year. This is achieved by discussing with students one on one and considering and acting on feedback from previous years. Secondly, students typically respond positively to a teacher’s enthusiasm.’

’Finally, the students respond well when they feel that they are a part of something scientifically or technically challenging and relevant. A good example of this are the project work groups, as students are actively involved in problems that are of real technological importance’, Ross finishes.

There you have it.

The second Motivator of the year award was given to Mika Nupponen.

Text and photo: Linda Koskinen

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