Samantha Gooneratne

Samantha Gooneratne


Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Samantha Gooneratne completed her undergraduate studies at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, obtaining an MEng (Hons) degree in Chemical Engineering. She remained there as a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust scholar and obtained her PhD in 2011. She joined Teesside University soon after as a lecturer in Chemical Engineering.

Summary of Research Interests

Sam's teaching and engineering research activities focus on reaction engineering and process simulation. She also has a significant interest in pedagogic research, and is passionate about the development of learning and teaching (L&T) pedagogy in engineering. Her interests include:

  • design of authentic assessment (especially with regards to group work)
  • improvement of feedback literacy amongst undergraduate engineers
  • use of EdTech tools to support and enhance higher education practices

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Sam regularly presents her work at University- and School-wide L&T Conferences. Past topics include:

  • Development of an Online Tool for Self & Peer Assessment (2017)
  • Using focused screencasts to enhance learning and feedback in the traditional learning space (2019)
  • In class or online - Class Notebooks as a robust means of providing one-to-one feedback in any scenario (2020)
  • An Exploration of Digital Automation in the Enhancement of the Student Learning Experience (2021)

She has also presented this work at national (ChemEngDayUK) and international (Advance HE symposia) conferences.

Sam's work has been presented as case studies by Teesside's L&T Enhancement team:

She has also successfully managed three Teesside University Students as Researchers projects (two on Advanced Distillation Studies, one on Self & Peer Assessment in group work).

Sam is a founding member of Teesside's LTExChange Network, and currently serves as the Deputy Chair of the LTExChange Steering Group.

Academic Responsibilities

Alongside her regular teaching, Sam has coordinated the BEng Chemical Engineering Design Project at Teesside University since 2014 (this is the major project undertaken by final year Chemical Engineering undergraduates). On the administrative side, she was the Course Leader for Undergraduate Chemical Engineering from 2014-2020, and Admissions Tutor for the same courses from 2014-2022. She was appointed Principal Lecturer for Staffing & Resources in Engineering in 2017.

Sam played a significant role in preparing the successful bid for re-accreditation of Teesside's Chemical Engineering courses by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in 2014-15. She led the successful bid for subsequent IChemE re-accreditation in 2019-20.

Sam has been a member of the Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team (both at University and School level) since 2012. She is a member of the University Gender Focus Group and has previously been involved in Ethics and L&T Committees at School level.

External Roles and Professional Activities

Sam is an Associate Member of the IChemE (AMIChemE) and has served as the University Liaison Officer for the IChemE Teesside Member Group since 2013. She is also an active member of the IChemE's Education Special Interest Group, and represents Teesside University at the Heads of Chemical Engineering UK forum. She is currently the External Examiner for Chemical Engineering programmes at the University of Strathclyde.

Sam joined the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE) as an Associate Fellow during her PhD; she has been a Senior Fellow (SFHEA) since 2017 and serves as a mentor and reviewer for colleagues completing their own applications as well as an Associate Tutor on Teesside's accredited PgCLTHE programme.

Sam became a Microsoft Certified Educator in 2019 and was a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert from 2019 to 2022, focusing on communicating best practice from the national community to colleagues at Teesside.

Sam was one of two Teesside University representatives on the EPSRC-funded Northern Power Inclusion Matters project. This project is aimed at supporting the career progression of academics and early career researchers from traditionally under-represented groups at universities in the North and North East of England.


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