22 March 2012

Interactive and enthusiastic teaching at The University of Queensland has seen Professor Joan Esterle recognised in the 2011 Australia-wide “Lecturer of the Year” competition.

Professor Esterle, from UQ’s School of Earth Sciences, has been awarded as the top Lecturer of the Year at The University of Queensland, and was ranked in the top 15 lecturers across the country.

Over 4000 lecturers were nominated by their students to become Australia's “Lecturer of the Year” and more than 70,000 votes were cast, making it the most competitive award to date.

The award, now in its fifth year, aims to recognise the efforts of diligent academic staff who have helped enrich the lives of their students and work colleagues.

“Joan has a way of capturing the class through her infectious enthusiasm and energy,” said one of Joan’s previous students, Sarah Collins.

“Her fun and interactive hands-on approach really allows students to gain practical experience that helps prepare them for a career in soft-rock geology.”

Working closely with various industry partners to strengthen research and training in coal and unconventional energy geosciences, Professor Esterle provides her students with real industry exposure, contacts and experience.

She continues the tradition of outstanding teaching in the School following Professor Sue Golding who was nominated as a top lecturer at UQ in 2010, and Dr Steve Hearn in 2008.

“We pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching staff,” said Professor Paulo Vasconcelos, Head of the School of Earth Sciences.

“All our lecturers are passionate researchers and this clearly has a positive impact on our students.”

A $2.5 million dollar collaboration between Vale, the world’s second largest mining company, and the School of Earth Sciences is ensuring that UQ is a pivotal geosciences training ground for future geoscientists.

Media: Lynelle Ross (lynelle.ross@uq.edu.au or 0416 399 983).