On 7 January 2020, Dr Amir S Gohardani (PhD Aerospace Engineering 2012) was named as the 2019 Turnitin Global Innovation Award winner in North America, Higher Education, for his teaching endeavours and innovation regarding scholastic originality. The Turnitin Global Innovation Awards recognise institutions and educators who champion authentic learning, enhance assessment practices and help students to create high quality, original work.
Dr Gohardani has been an educator across 20 subject areas for over 20 years. Alongside working in the USA aerospace sector, he is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the College of Business and the 2019-20 Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee Chair at Westcliff University, California. He has highlighted the importance of data and the role it plays in understanding “where we innovate or where we copy”. Discussing the database offered by Turnitin, he said: “I think implementing these tools makes this a much fairer process for students and paves the path for ingenuity in society.”
The Turnitin Award isn’t the only success that Dr Gohardani has seen over the last year. In April 2019, he was the opening sessions invited lecturer on Aircraft Electric Propulsion at the prestigious Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) in Brussels, Belgium. Visiting the VKI alongside other prominent aerospace experts, he observed the importance of a multilateral viewpoint when it comes to technology and innovation: “I witnessed first-hand that the technological aspects of electric propulsion were not the only drivers for electric aviation. In fact, a myriad underlying factors including technology, business, sustainability, policy and legislation are likely to affect the future trajectories of environmentally friendly and efficient mobility solutions.”
In 2019, Dr Gohardani became President of the Orange County Engineering Council (OCEC) in California – an organisation which works to enhance the public image of engineers and scientists and provides a forum for synergy between professional societies, corporations and universities. He is also national chair of the Society and Aerospace Technology and Integration and Outreach Committee at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
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