CDT Academics win Rector's Excellence Awards


Two academics in the CDT receive awards for teaching and research supervision

Max Weber advised all those who wished to begin a scientific academic career that they should only do so if they firmly believed they could live without any recognition despite their qualities or, worse, by having to bow to that granted to less meritorious recipients. It was perhaps with the intention of countering that pessimistic observation that, every year since 1996, the Imperial College Rector has come to recognise the outstanding contributions members of staff may make beyond their research alone with the Rector’s Awards for Excellence. And indeed, if these awards were to be judged by this year’s recipients, we could be certain that they have not only not been awarded in vain but, quite the opposite, they have never been more deserved, at least when it comes to those won this year by Prof Adrian Sutton and Dr Daniele Dini, both academics in our CDT.

Thus, our founding father Prof Adrian Sutton has been announced the recipient of two of those awards: the Rector’s Medal for Outstanding Innovation in Teaching, and one of the Rector’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Both are awarded for outstanding contributions in teaching, which in the case of Prof Sutton reflects his efforts both in setting up the CDT and in his latest endeavour, the pan-academic Imperial Horizons course for undergraduates, in which he tries to offer scientists-to-be a scope broader than that of mere science, by introducing them to some of the social and economic impacts their work might have. On this, Julia Buckingham (Pro Rector for Education and Academic Affairs) commented that “it is a very fitting tribute for all Prof Sutton has done both for the CDTs and Horizons, both of which have been hugely beneficial to our students and, perhaps more importantly, have had a huge influence on the thinking of how we should be educating our students.” We wish to congratulate him for such a recognition and, more important, to thank him for making the CDT possible.

As for Dr Daniele Dini, one of the main academic contributors to the CDT, he has been announced the winner of one of the Rector’s Award for Excellence in Research Supervision and, on top of that, the Rector’s Medal for Excellence in Research Supervision. These awards celebrate staff that is considered to show “exemplary activity in inspiring and supporting students throughout their studies.” Seldom can such an institutional description do more justice to anyone. Indeed, those who are lucky enough to have Daniele as a supervisor know that few people could deserve this award more than he does: his constant support, suggestions and advice are never an obstacle for his students feeling free to pursue their whims without, at the same time, being abandoned but, rather, accompanied and kindly directed. It is a more than well- deserved award, and we wish to congratulate Daniele for it. 


Lucy Stagg

Lucy Stagg
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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