When I was younger, I used to go on deployment all the time. Being away from home for 3-4 weeks was fine – an adventure! But as I get older, have a family and develop my university career, it becomes harder to go overseas for such long periods of time. But I still want to contribute to the humanitarian contexts that interested me in the first place. Which is partly why we developed our short course, and why I am increasingly interested in training, development…Continue Reading “Teaching on tour…”

I don’t know if you realise this, but I’m a bit of a nerd. I hide it well, behind this cool exterior of senior management sophistication, but it’s there. Academically it focuses on studying people from their skeletons, and particularly their burned skeletons. I can remember exactly where my interest here began – in the library of the University of Bradford in the winter of 1998. I was in a dark corridor of shelving pouring over bound volumes of journals (now I’m really showing my…Continue Reading “Lets get ready to CRUMBEL!”

Well, it’s official. Tim Thompson has left the building. And entered another one. 100 metres away. On the same campus. This seemed more dramatic when I started… As some of you may know, the School of Science, Engineering and Design is no more. We’ve had a bit of a restructure here at Teesside, and the School that was once my home has been split into its three component parts and spread across the rest of the Institution. Engineering heads over to the new School of…Continue Reading “Parting is such sweet sorrow…”

Now this may come as a surprise to many of you, and indeed those of a nervous disposition should sit down for this, but I am not perfect. And neither is my teaching. Sometimes my enthusiasm and personal interests get the better of me, and we end up going way off point in class. Thankfully we use a module evaluation process here which allows our students to go, “Tim, what the hell..?”. One of the comments I got last year, from a few students and…Continue Reading “Forensic Science and Climate Change”

I quite like this time of the academic calendar. I’m usually not long back from leave and although I’m always disappointed that the School hasn’t ground to a halt in my absence, my mind starts to turn to the next semester’s teaching. As you can probably tell, I really enjoy my teaching. I can’t confirm that my students feel the same way, but I’m an AD so they can’t stop me! I pretty much only teach in Semester 1 now, but I have been doing…Continue Reading “Inspiration Station”

Sometimes, just sometimes, I agree to do something before I’ve fully thought through how I can actually do it. And sometimes, just sometimes, innocent people get caught up in all of this. Now, I either do this because I have a pathological fear of saying ‘No’, or because I have unfaltering confidence in the abilities of my colleagues. Someone once said (Google tells me it was David Ogilvy, whoever he was…) that you should “Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them…Continue Reading “I choo-choo choose you!”

As someone who teaches, I spend the summer recharging my batteries to get ready for the next academic year. As someone who has responsibility for people who teach, I spend the summer wondering why more people aren’t preparing teaching material for the next academic year! It’s very stressful being me… Anyway, I guess what I should be doing is seeing if I can make such prep easier.  Which is what I’ve done! You’re very welcome… When our new team took over the editorial roles of…Continue Reading “A new forensic teaching resource: JFLM Commentaries”

So, I like playing games. Most people know that by now. And I don’t mean, like, emotional games, although those can also be fun. Like today, when the poor guy valiantly organising nine graduation ceremonies for thousands of students for next week asked if I was ready to read out the names of the graduates, and I told him I was going to wing it. He went very grey. It was very funny. No, I mean board games. I’m thinking of them again now because…Continue Reading “Skele-rush! Board games, not bored games…”

Let’s face it, children are idiots. They whine a lot and rarely know what’s good for them. For example, some of them don’t even realise that a trip to a museum is not a chore. It’s fun! Who doesn’t want to learn things?! Idiots, that’s who… Anyway, it was just this attitude that we were faced with on a recent trip to Preston Park. Preston Park is a museum and gardens complex near Stockton. The large house was built in 1825 and became a museum…Continue Reading “Replica worlds – the education benefits of bloody violence in the grimy streets of physical and virtual reconstructions of the past”

I presume that I’m not the only one who watched the start of episode 4 of this final season of Game of Thrones, and as the emotional memorial of the dead took place, and we said goodbye to some of our favourite heroes, turned to their partner and said solemnly, “Those are some efficient pyre constructions there”… As we know, I’m a big fan of GoT – I even use it in my teaching and take valuable leadership lessons from it (for example, I am…Continue Reading “A Song of Ice and Fire – but mainly fire…”