The new academic year is well and truly underway. It was 2019 when we last welcomed students to campus in person for the start of the academic year. In my role as Dean, I have been touring lecture theatres trying to speak to and welcome students in all of our taught programmes in the School of Engineering. It is exciting to see packed lecture theatres full of students eager to listen and learn. For the first time in a decade, I am not teaching this year so that I can focus on other activities. I have mixed feelings about giving up teaching. I taught my first class thirty-six years ago in Mechanics of Solids. For the last eleven years I have been teaching Thermodynamics to first year students [see, for example ‘From nozzles and diffusers to stars and stripes‘ on March 30th, 2022]. So, teaching has been a substantial part of my working life and its absence will leave a large hole. I will miss the excitement of standing in front of a class of hundreds of students as well as the rewards of interacting with undergraduate students who are encountering and engaging with a new subject. One consequence of my change in focus is likely to be a decline in the frequency of blog posts featuring thermodynamics [you can read them all under ‘Thermodynamics’ in Categories], but perhaps that will be a relief to many readers.
Image: Painting by Sarah Evans owned by the author.