Let us introduce TalTech lecturers of the year in and join the army of congratulators!
For the first time, the university also selected the best programme directors – Maarja Kruusmaa (Programme Director – doctoral programme ‘Information and Communication Technology’), Vello Tõugu (Applied Chemistry, Programme Director – undergraduate programme ‘Food and Gene Technology’ and master’s programme ‘Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology’), and Kristjan Rebane (Programme Director – one-year master’s programme ‘Digital Transformation in Business’).
Below are the ten best lecturers of the last year:
School of Information Technologies
Visiting Lecturer at the IT College
Priit is a very vigorous database specialist. He is a software engineer with extensive experience in both banking and state systems. Priit deserves the title of Lecturer of the Year for long-term good work lasting over a generation in training future database professionals in different universities. The very close connection between his teaching and real life and practice has made him a highly respected lecturer.
Associate Professor at the IT College
Kristiina has been teaching advanced mathematics at the IT College since the early years of the college and has received consistent recognition from students very early on, which proved itself every subsequent school year. Kristiina is a multiple-time laureate of the Lecturer of the Year award at Estonian College of Information Technology and the current nomination only confirms that a good lecturer will not be shaken off from their professional path by any changes in the management of higher education institutions – now, she has been teaching at TalTech for three years. Kristiina’s efforts to enrich her qualifications in the IT field are particularly commendable, as she received a master’s degree in Computer Science in addition to a PhD in Mathematics.
School of Engineering
Senior Lecturer at the Department of Materials and Environmental Technology
Marina is a lecturer who has been motivating students to explore the world of technology and allowing to enjoy the learning process for over 16 years. From the spring semester of 2018 to the spring of 2019, the students’ average rating of her performance as a lecturer was 4.82. According to students, Marina is one of the top 25% teachers. This result included a total of eight subjects she taught for the first time.
During her research and teaching career, Marina has supervised 30 successfully defended master’s theses and two doctoral theses. It is noteworthy that some students who experienced difficulties during their studies later expressed a desire to pursue a PhD because they were attracted to the world of science introduced by Dr Kritševskaja.
The success of Dr Kritševskaja as a good lecturer can be attributed to her personal development in science. In 2019, Marina Kritševskaja and her co-authors published six articles of category 1.1. In addition, she is active in promoting technical education and presenting environmental issues, as well as the environmental technology research lab, at conferences and seminars.
In 2019, the university submitted her candidacy for a nationwide competition for teachers, where she reached the top 10 finalists.
Lecturer at Tartu College
Based on student feedback, Jane has been among the best lecturers for years and often the best at Tartu College. She takes on a lot of responsibility, so her burden sometimes has to be limited. For example, she supervises most bachelor’s and master’s theses at Tartu College, teaches a number of subjects, is a health commissioner, is trying to get a PhD this year alongside the hard work of a lecturer, always helps her colleagues with e-support issues, etc. According to colleagues, Jane Raamets is the best lecturer at Tartu College.
Lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture
Aurika Nõmm, Lecturer in Engineering Graphics, is a highly respected lecturer whose students have been successful in competitions. She actively participates in updating teaching materials and systematically develops her skills in using new digital tools for teaching three-dimensional spatial concepts. Aurika Nõmm is also the president of BaltGraph, an international organisation in her field.
School of Science
Programme Director at the School of Science, researcher at the Department of Geology, and Head of Division of Mineral Resources and Applied Geology
In practical courses, Rutt teaches about mineral geology, structural geology, geological survey methods, etc., so consideration of the individuality of students is inevitable. She also contributes to creative thinking in teaching specific applied geological tasks. Rutt Hints supports this development of students through internships and seminar presentations, and through individual counselling and coaching, skilfully combining the methodological approaches and methods of teaching. As a logical result, Rutt Hints is one of the most respected lecturers among students, according to SIS feedback.
Under the leadership of Rutt Hints, two new curricula (Georesources), both at the undergraduate and graduate level, were prepared and as a programme manager, she will make an important contribution to launching and managing these programs. Rutt Hints has worked tirelessly to market curricula at the Institute of Geology through close contact with major geology companies and organisations. Internship opportunities and topics for graduation theses are often created for students through cooperation with companies.
At the same time, Rutt has an extraordinary contribution to popularising geological knowledge among school students. She organised the national olympiad in earth sciences in Estonia, which was held for the first time at Tallinn University of Technology this spring. Similarly, Rutt’s contribution was invaluable in initiating, organising, and conducting the geology week – Maapõuenädal. The purpose of the event was to introduce geology to the general public, to support public debate on a variety of geology-related topics, and introduce the exciting world of geology, mining, and mining engineering.
School of Business And Governance
Associate Professor at the Department of Business Administration
Always bright and empathetic, Marina can win every student’s heart with her open mind. Her exciting solutions in lectures and seminars also actively involve quieter and more modest students. Although Marina has almost 20 years of teaching experience, she is constantly evolving and being innovative – her goal is to update her lectures every semester in the light of new scientific findings, and each of her lectures is unique as she can skilfully connect theory with numerous examples from practice. Marina does her job with love and dedication and finds out the strengths of each student. As an indisputable patriot of TalTech, Marina often finds ways to publicise her profession and the university.
Associate Professor at the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance
Külli has excelled in developing, coordinating, and teaching new practical subjects, which have been well received by students and which give the undergraduate and graduate students of the institute a good overview of today’s key tasks of Estonian public administration and possible ways to improve the administrative organisation.
Lecturer at the Department of Economics and Finance
Raili is a professional in teaching, able to pacify even the most math-anxious students with her calmness and balance. For her, students and their well-being are paramount and her willingness to help everyone is admirable and enviable. A publishing house could issue a short novel based on the students’ positive feedback to Raili. In short, Raili Lahi is an example to all of us of how teaching can and must be done!
Estonian Maritime Academy
Senior Lecturer at the Shipping Centre
Harli is a highly respected lecturer both among students and colleagues, which is clearly reflected in student feedback.
By nature, Harli is very well-disposed and considerate of others. He takes his work very seriously. In addition to teaching students, he conducts several advanced training courses in simulators and laboratories, the setting up of which he has supported a lot. Already in 2017, he was selected by students as the best lecturer at the Shipping Centre and a year later, he was recognised by his colleagues too.
In the past, Harli has been at sea for many years, from duty engineer to chief engineer – these experiences have given him excellent professional knowledge, which he now gladly passes on to students.
During his ten-year teaching career, he has published several specialist textbooks. Harli is also a board member of the Estonian Ship Engineers’ Association.