2015 Provost Outstanding Teaching Award Finalist Information Sheet Name Braden Lusk Department Mining Engineering Rank Associate Professor Non-tenured Faculty (regular title) Non-tenured Faculty (special title) Tenured Faculty 10 years or less at UK X Tenured Faculty more than 10 years at UK Lecturer Title Series Clinical Title Series Teaching Assistant DOE (Faculty only) Last Four Years & Fall 2014Semester Research Teaching Service Administration
50 45 5 50.68 42.62 6.7 53.68 42.12 4.2 85 13 2 73 24 3
Classes Taught Last Four Years & Fall 2014 Semester
Fall 2014 2013-14 2012-13 2011-12 2010-11
Mentoring at UK Graduate Students (# of students) 12 Ph.D. Committee Chair 7 Ph.D. Committee 14 Masters Committee Chair 5 Masters Committee 13 Undergraduates: Hundreds Theses MNG 592 Advisees 237 Other Mentoring Experiences: Advisor to Student Organizations including: ISEE, SME, Intercollegiate Mining Team, Mine Design Competition Teams, Undergraduate Researchers, Mentor to Junior Faculty in Mining Engineering 3 New Assistant Professors in last 4 years.
MNG 331 MNG 331 MNG 331 MNG 331 MNG 331 MNG 531 MNG 592 MNG 591 MNG 591 MNG 431 MNG 371 MNG 592 MNG 592 MNG 592 MNG 621 MNG 531 MNG 531
Teaching Philosophy Statement Several methods must be utilized for effective teaching. The classroom environment
only allows for partial delivery of the engineering disciplines. Emphasis placed on personal contact to encourage professionalism is as important as teaching fundamentals of engineering. Students in mining engineering must be competent in the basics of engineering; however, special emphasis should be placed in conveying to them the importance of acquiring the ability to use the tools at their disposal for lifelong learning. The basic function of my teaching efforts can be summarized by stating that I am partially responsible for the development, both professional and technical, of mining engineers that will enter the industry following the completion of my classes as well as those taught by my colleagues. With this in mind, the most appropriate method for describing how this development is accomplished is by outlining a set of teaching goals and corresponding methods for reaching those goals.
1. Ensure technical competency in the aspects of mining engineering that my teaching responsibilities cover. Specifically, my classes must cover blasting and the use of explosives pertaining to mining. Additionally, I am responsible for preparing students for mineral economics and mine system valuation. I am also responsible for teaching our departments capstone design course where I solicit assistance from my colleagues to ensure technical accuracy in many aspects of a real mine design project.
2. Develop students abilities in communication of technical issues. 3. Provide a basis for professional ethics in the mining engineering field. 4. Encourage professional interactions similar to those that will be required for
successful career advancement upon graduation.
TEACHING METHODS 1. Establish personal and individual relationships with each student in order to
identify the specific mediums needed to initiate the learning process. 2. Design assignments that directly lead to the accomplishment of the Teaching
Goals. Part of these assignments must include the highest level of learning discussed in Blooms Taxonomy. Evaluation, Analysis, and Creation are held paramount in my classroom. Students are required to perform peer review of others work to aid in their understanding of the material.
3. Encourage spirited feedback in the classroom to instill learning as a lifelong process.
4. Visualization through hands on teaching. Whenever possible, students should be taken to the field for hands on training. This can be facilitated through field trips and lab sessions.
More detail is necessary to show how the Teaching Methods facilitate the achievement of the Teaching Goals. For example, the application of Teaching Method #1 is necessary to create a positive environment for students within the formal classroom setting. Students should feel comfortable expressing questions regarding technical issues. Individual knowledge of the
students allows for them to be comfortable interacting as a group. Mining engineering classes provide a luxury of small classes that especially cater to this type of teaching. In larger class settings, this is a less realistic method.
Technical competency in blasting includes the knowledge of principles that guide the use of explosives as well as practical applications. While scientific principles are easily discussed in a classroom setting, practical applications are more easily conveyed in a practical environment. Blasting is a highly regulated field, and thus hands-on experience is more difficult to cultivate in a university setting. For complete attainment of Teaching Goal #1, I feel that Teaching Method #4 is imperative. As an educator, it is my responsibility to utilize regional industry to create field trips that allow students to handle explosive products in the field. In the long term, my goal for teaching explosives and blasting at the University of Kentucky includes lab sessions where students design and implement initiating systems in a laboratory setting. Teaching Method #4 is also applicable to earning technical competency in mine design. The capstone mine design course will utilize real data and the results of the designs will be presented to the local and regional industry stakeholders to ensure technical competency.
Teaching Goal #2 can be most easily obtained by utilizing Teaching Method #2 and #3. For example, designing assignments that involve the communication of results to different audiences will help students understand how to frame reports to target the audience they are wishing to address. Appendix A shows an assignment requesting students to prepare a technical memo to an engineer requesting help. The exercise is designed to help students prove technical competency while developing technical writing skills. Later assignments in the class might ask for a memo to a mine manager or company accountant. Each letter should be written differently considering the target audience. In addition to the communication centric assignments, more technical design assignments are used to prove technical competency and comprehension of the material. The second assignment shown in Appendix A reflects a typical design assignment in blasting.
As previously discussed, blasting is a highly regulated field. The potential for ethical dilemmas is high, thus students need to be prepared to handle such situations. Application of Teaching Method #3 is a quality method for developing the thought processes involved in the safe and ethical use of explosives. In class exercises might include discussion of regulations that were to be reviewed by the students prior to class time. These discussions will lead students to the importance of reporting, storing, and using explosives in the correct manner. While technical competency might be obtained through other teaching methods, this competency may be irrelevant when discussing proper application of regulations and social norms.
Finally, Teaching Goal #4 can be facilitated through the application of Teaching Methods #1, #2, and #4. Some assignments (but not all) will include working in teams, and students will be encouraged to network with professionals during field trips and hands-on training. Students in my classes are urged to immerse themselves into the mining industry. Networking with mining professionals, reading current events surrounding the industry, and ultimately learning to have pride in their profession is very important to sustaining the mining industry.
All of the teaching goals require the application of higher level learning for students. They are required to Analyze, evaluate, and create. This can be easily seen in courses such as Mining Engineering 592 and 371 where technical documents are prepared. Students are tasked with evaluating and peer reviewing other students work to aid in improvement at the draft phase
of these assignments. It requires thoughtful implementation of these evaluations in the classroom and encourages lifelong learning once students leave the class room for the real world.
While most of my philosophy on teaching is covered above, there are a few additional comments that are necessary to complete the teaching process. First, the mining industry is highly scrutinized, and many would choose to do away with it altogether. New mining engineers must be prepared to address these concerns and plead the case that without mining our country would be virtually irrelevant. Mining provides so many of the luxuries that we have all grown accustomed to, and as an educator, I am charged with ensuring that future mining engineers are prepared to deal with the social aspects of our industry. By sharing my enthusiasm for mining and discussing these social issues in class, I can impart some of the same enthusiasm in my students.
As time proceeds, my technical information must also keep pace with the changing face of the explosives and blasting field. Assignments must be designed to keep students abreast of tech