Cambridge teaching prize for 'Raineyite'

Dr Keith Seffen
Dr Keith Seffen

A former Rainey Endowed School pupil has won a prize for teaching excellence at Cambridge University.

Dr Keith Seffen, from Gortgilly, Moneymore, is in charge of Structural Engineering at the university where he was first a student.

Dr Keith Seffen teaching students at Cambridge University

Dr Keith Seffen teaching students at Cambridge University

The Pilkington Prize awards were inaugurated in 1994 and endowed by Sir Alastair Pilkington to acknowledge excellence in teaching. The prizes are awarded to individuals who make a substantial contribution to the teaching programme of a Department, Faculty or the University as a whole. There are 12 prizes awarded each year, with nominations made by each school. The prizes are awarded annually by the Vice-Chancellor.

In its citation the university noted that Dr Seffen was one of the most outstanding staff members in his department.

It continued: “His teaching activities range from the large Part 1 structural engineering classes for 300 students to the research courses for a handful of graduates on advanced topics such as shell theory. Dr Seffen has frequently been the recipient of student-voted Best Lecturer Awards. The popularity of his teaching is due not only to the panache with which he delivers his lectures, entertaining while he teaches, but also to the masterful clarity of his lecture notes.

These provide exactly what students want and need, and are exemplars of good practice. They are carefully prepared to the highest professional standards and embedded with many illustrative computer-drawn diagrams. He willingly devotes the time and energy to generate these superb documents whenever he takes on a new course.