Two Dubai academics - Dr Hind Zantout, Deputy Academic Head of the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, and Dr Fadi Ghaith, Dean of Science and Engineering - have recently been conferred the Senior Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) UK.
The Higher Education Academy (HEA) is the guardian of the UK Professional Standards Framework which sets out the dimensions of practice for teaching in higher education. The SFHEA is awarded to professionals who demonstrate a thorough understanding of effective approaches to teaching and learning support as a key contribution to high quality student learning. Distinctively, Senior Fellows lead and mentor other colleagues towards teaching excellence, and influence practice and systems to enhance the learning environment for students.
Upon receiving the SFHEA status, Dr Zantout commented, “I feel deeply honoured to receive this award. This is a great incentive to continue contributing to both Heriot-Watt and the wider higher education community. My teaching approach mainly involves continuous assessment which is very much in tune with the University’s Responsive Blended Learning approach, and I hope I can further demonstrate what this new model can mean in practice, and how it can ultimately improve student experience.”
Dr Ghaith shared, “I am very pleased with this highly regarded accreditation, particularly given our sustained commitment to providing our students with an excellent learning experience. Over the past few years, I have employed my industrial experience and design passion to engage my students with industrial oriented projects. This helps students attain learning from practical experience as they interact with industry at an early stage even before they graduate. Receiving industrial recognition such as the Fellowship of IMechE (CEng FIMechE) last year and SFHEA recently have been incredibly helpful in establishing strong research partnerships between the University and many leading industrial firms in the UAE.”
Dr Zantout is also the Associate Programme Director of Studies for MSc Data Science. She joined Heriot-Watt University Dubai in 2012 after holding various academic positions in Egypt, the UAE and the UK. Throughout her 30-year career, Dr Zantout has taught in the classrooms of institutions belonging to various educational systems: British, American, Australian and German, with student cohorts ranging from adolescents to mature adults. Her academic and research interests include teaching and learning, and interdisciplinary topics that link computing and informatics with business and society. Dr Zantout is also a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), a professional body and a learned society that represents those working in IT and computer science, in the UK and globally.
Dr Ghaith has served many positions in academia as well as industry, which includes roles such as Design and Development Engineer, Technical Purchasing Manager, and Engineering Consultant during his tenure in the oil and gas industry. In addition to his current role as a Dean of the University, he is also the Associate Director of Combined Studies programme at the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and has had led the development of the programme in Dubai since its inception in 2011. Dr Ghaith has previously led multidisciplinary research in the areas of elastodynamic modeling of fluid-structure interaction systems and solar powered cooling systems. His industrial experience has helped him earn internationally recognised qualifications such as a Chartered Engineer from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (CEng FIMechE) and as a member of many international engineering associations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and IAEME.