In the field of geotechnical engineering, my teaching interests range from elementary classes such as Soil Mechanics or Foundation Engineering, to more complex topics such as Soil Dynamics, Advanced Geotechnical Design, Advanced Soil Mechanics, and Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering.
I believe it is important to acknowledge that there are many different forms of learning, and that a good learning environment combines a wealth of teaching methods. A key component of learning that is often underestimated in engineering classes is the social learning style, in which students learn through engaging with each other and with the professor. For example, I know that discussing a concept with my peers helps me gain a better understanding of it. Discussions both in and out of class should be encouraged and facilitated by the professor so students can explore a subject in depth.
Geotechnical engineering courses should lead to a mastery of the different theories used in practice, and in addition should provide an introductory experience in geotechnical engineering design. By creating a project in which students must rely on their own problem-solving abilities, I can enhance their learning experience by demonstrating the hypothetical effects of their decisions, and encourage students to think as engineers. Finally, students should demonstrate their understanding of the technical specificities by presenting their findings in a report or a short technical presentation. Overall, this teaching approach expands the role of the professor into that of a guide who teaches students how to solve problems, make critical choices, and communicate effectively.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that the key to successfully teaching future engineers is to promote reflection while providing the strong theoretical background needed to be an engineer. A good professor does not teach merely what to think but how to think.
Ecole Polytechnique of Montréal:
Fall 2017 CIV3420 Foundation Engineering
Winter 2017 CIV3415 Soil Mechanics
Winter 2017 CIV3420 Foundation Engineering
University of California, Los Angeles:
CEE123: Advanced Geotechnical Design (Teaching Assistant)