A NORTH-EAST forensic expert who is revolutionising the way bone identification is taught across the globe has been recognised by a national award.

Dr Tim Thompson, Reader in Biological and Forensic Anthropology at Teesside University, has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy.

The £10,000 Fellowships recognise excellence in teaching and learning, with just 55 awarded this year to academics in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Dr Thompson will receive his Fellowship in a special ceremony later this year.

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He said: “The award is given for demonstrating that you are transforming the learning experience of students, so for me personally, it’s a wonderful recognition of the effort made to make my teaching interesting and innovative.

“As well as acknowledgement for myself and acclaim for the University, there is also a cash award which I can reinvest into my teaching and research.”

Dr Thompson, who teaches at all levels, from foundation courses to PhD students, said: “I was delighted when I first found out I had been put forward. Although I have a very active research line, I try to bring this directly into my teaching to make it innovative and engaging, so for me personally, it’s great recognition.

“I make a lot of effort to enhance the students’ learning experience and get a positive response from students and colleagues, but it’s still nice to achieve this type of external recognition too, which makes it all the more rewarding.”

Dr Thompson, who has a particular interest in the use of digital technologies in the teaching of the forensic and crime scene sciences, has published over 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals and books.

He is a renowned expert on heat-induced changes in bone, and most of his research on this focuses on the development of new analytical tools to examine this challenging biomaterial.

He is also interested in the role of forensic anthropology and anthropologists in the world at large, researching teaching methods and processes within forensic anthropology and has published on the legal and ethical constraints of teaching such subjects.

Dr Thompson is also managing director of anthronomics ltd, which develops and sells teaching aids and tools for those learning and teaching the skeletal sciences.

Professor Stephanie Marshall, chief executive of the HEA said: “Our students deserve the best possible learning experience and it is colleagues like those we celebrate today who can make a real difference to their futures. I congratulate all the successful Fellows and wish them every success in their own learning and teaching experiences.”