Meet one of our top teachers: Bryony James

29 July 2013
Associate Professor Bryony James
Associate Professor Bryony James

University of Auckland teachers or teaching teams have won 19 National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards, one in every year but one since their inception in 2002.

The awards recognise and celebrate New Zealand’s finest tertiary teachers and this year three of the ten awards went to University of Auckland teachers.

Associate Professor Bryony James joined the University’s Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering in 1998 and is now Director of the Research Centre for Surface and Materials Science.

She teaches Materials Science and Advanced Materials Characterisation and students describe Bryony’s enthusiasm as “infectious”, and appreciate her humour and approachability. She is noted for her ability to explain concepts clearly. She carefully monitors understanding of potentially difficult core concepts; employs multiple techniques to cater for different learning styles; and uses memorable demonstrations and examples that resonate with students and provide context for their learning. Meticulous preparation of lectures, and refinement through reflection on practice are hallmarks of Bryony’s teaching.

“The environment in my department values the students as being central to everything we do” she says. “Being part of a teaching team that is also highly research active is essential to keeping yourself relevant and contextualised.

“Also I really love my subject so it's hard not to enjoy teaching it, and our students are the greatest source of energy anyone could wish for, it's like being plugged into the mains!”


Read more about Associate Professor Bryony James and the Research Centre for Surface and Materials Science

More information about the University’s Teaching and Learning and the National Teaching Awards