Dr Russell Goodall receives IoM3 award for outreach activities.

Dr Russell Goodall receives the Sir Colin Humphreys Education Award from Sir Colin HumphreysDr Russell Goodall, Reader in Metallurgy in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield, was this week awarded the Sir Colin Humphreys Education Award by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3).

This Award recognises the contribution made to enhancing students' scientific/technological literacy through the teaching or support of materials, minerals or mining topics within 11-19 learning, either in the secondary or further education sectors.

Dr Goodall has long been associated with outreach and engagement activities within the Department and in the wider Materials Science and Engineering community, being a member of the IoM3 Education Committee since 2010, and its Chair between 2015 and 2018.

Dr Goodall has been involved in outreach since his undergraduate days, and has always seen it as an essential counterpart to his professional role as a research academic, to be integrated with his research and teaching work. He has given many talks to non-specialists, from primary schools (e.g. Westbourne School, Sheffield) to retired people (e.g. University of the Third Age) and also acted as the administrator for the annual Hatfield lecture, the largest public lecture on Materials in the UK, from 2008-2015.

One of Russell’s major contributions has been the development of a simple and engaging demonstration for the mechanical properties of materials; the Charpy impact testing of chocolate. This was created in collaboration with an undergraduate student (published in [Parsons and Goodall, Phys Ed 46 (2011) 50-56]), since when it has been widely used, initially for outreach at Sheffield, but latterly adapted by the University of Manchester into kit form, and employed by other universities (e.g. the University of Oxford) and made available directly to schools. The same method has been further adapted into teaching practice at Sheffield, providing an accessible platform for first semester experiments (such as composite materials for Materials students and general Risk Assessment labs done by approximately 1000 engineering students each year at Sheffield), which many students already have some familiarity with due to the national influence of the outreach activity.

Russell has guided his teaching to expand on the high quality Materials Science & Engineering outreach available. For later year students, such as those undertaking PhD programmes, or final year MEng undergraduates, he has designed and implemented a module where the students develop, run and evaluate their own outreach activities. This module, which has run for 10 years (delivered to more than 150 students) and continues to expand, ensures that as well as there being continual innovation in the development of new resources, there is a good opportunity for students at an early stage of their professional careers to become deeply involved in and experience outreach, while remaining in a supportive environment.

These programmes, devised by Russell, led to developments such as the board game Materials Monopoly, distributed to more than 1000 teachers worldwide, animations like the Metals Lab, and a large number of other video and interactive resources.

Russell is currently a RAEng/The Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow leading the NoStraDAMUS project - Novel Strategies for Designing Alloyed Metals; University of Sheffield - which will develop a systematic and theoretical approach to discovering new alloy systems which will be of practical significance to a broad range of industries.