Dr Kate Durkacz is a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics and head of the mathematics team at
Edinburgh Napier University within the School of Engineering and the Built Environment.
She is passionate about her subject and her goal is for every student within the school to find Maths fun!
Kate’s main research area is in mathematical control. She also undertakes pedagogic
research in innovative teaching methods, such as providing audio feedback for
undergraduate students. Kate is an active member of the Teaching Fellow community at
Edinburgh Napier University.
Interview by Ailish Fowler
What has been Kate’s career path to date?Over the course of her career Kate has undertaken a number of roles all related to the domain of mathematics. These have included research positions at:
- GEC, where Kate worked on aircraft navigation systems;
- Sheffield University, where Kate’s research assistant post on a project on mathematical control provided her with the opportunity to study for her PhD;
- Strathclyde University, where Kate developed algorithms for applications in geology and seismic science;
- Leeds University, where Kate was involved in transport research.
Kate has also spent much of her career teaching mathematics. This experience includes helping international students prepare for UK higher education, teaching statistics to Masters student at the University of Leeds, and a role at the University of Derby that is similar to the one that she now holds at Edinburgh Napier University. Here she supports students on engineering and computing degree courses.What is Kate’s involvement with Connect?Kate has much involvement with Connect. The focus of this work is responsibility for supporting and encouraging female staff and students to participate in Connect events. This is part of her role as the Scottish Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology academic champion for the School of Engineering and Built Environment. The goal of this academic champion post is to help recruit more female students to engineering courses at Edinburgh Napier, and to ensure the retention of those female students already within the School. To this end, Kate works with other staff and student ambassadors at Edinburgh Napier University on a number of initiatives, including hosting visits from school children. In 2012/13, for example, mixed groups of pupils came into the University to experience ‘hands-on’ engineering activities and to gaining knowledge of engineering as a subject. Kate enjoyed the enthusiasm of the visitors and hopes her influence may encouraged some of them to pursue a career in engineering.
Dr Kate Durkacz at her PhD graduation