Mamadou Fall receives 2016 John V. Marsh Award for Excellence in Teaching

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mamadou Fall

Mamadou Fall, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, has received recognition from the Faculty for his outstanding contributions to teaching. He is the recipient of the 2016 John V. Marsh Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is given annually by the Faculty Teaching Personnel Committee: “Professor Fall is always available to his students and he always shows interest in not only their academic success, but also in their professional success”. The Dean of the Faculty, Claude Laguë, adds: “On behalf of our entire Faculty community, I want to congratulate Dr. Mamadou Fall for this much-deserved recognition and I also want to thank him for his dedication and commitment to our students and to our university. Congratulations, Mamadou!

During the last ten years, Professor Fall has contributed to the Faculty as an educator, researcher and administrator. Besides teaching courses in civil engineering at the undergraduate and graduate level, he has been leading several major research projects—relating to mine waste management, underground disposal of nuclear wastes, carbon sequestration, permafrost engineering and engineered landfill technology—in collaboration with a large team of postdoctoral researchers and graduate students (PhD and Masters).

Professor Fall has set up a dynamic research program that has received several grants and external contracts. Twenty-three graduate students have completed their studies under his supervision—five of which were at the doctorate level—and currently his research team is comprised of sixteen graduate students, including fourteen at the doctorate level. Professor Fall has also done admirable work as the Graduate Program Coordinator and Director of the Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Environmental Engineering, which combines the research strengths and resources of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton University with that of the Departments of Civil Engineering, and Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Ottawa.

Since joining the University in 2006, Professor Fall has taught a number of undergraduate and graduate courses in the field of geotechnical engineering in both official languages. From early on, he has adopted innovative learning tools in his teaching process, such as the use of videos and simulations. Professor Fall has been a dedicated user of the pedagogical services provided by the University’s Teaching and Learning Support Services to continuously improve the quality of his teaching and of the materials available to the students enrolled in his courses.

Students have systematically provided stellar assessments of his performance as a teacher in the official uOttawa reports on the evaluation of teaching.  A number of these students, Faculty Alumni, and colleagues have provided eloquent testimonials with regards to his performance as a teacher:

Dr. Mamadou Fall is a soft-spoken gentleman who conveys his feelings more with actions rather than words”;

He seems to have a significant easiness in dealing with students as he motivates them and makes them go further, while stirring their curiosity with new, challenging projects, ideas and by using the power of personal example and experience”;

For myself, and a number of my fellow graduates, Professor Fall was an instructor that had a positive impact on us all; his availability and his dedication to his students are unmatched.

Professor Fall explained his approach to teaching and the significance this recognition holds for him: “It’s very comforting, because for me, one of the main objectives of a university professor is to educate students, to prepare them for the coming challenges in the job market. There’s nothing better, as a professor, than to hear a student say that I offered them quality information, or that I helped them fulfill their dream. That’s a feeling that’s priceless.

Professor Fall graduated from the Earth Science Institute at the University of Dakar with an Award of Excellence for best graduating engineer. He was awarded a PhD excellence scholarship for his doctoral studies in geotechnical engineering at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Germany. He was subsequently granted a postdoctoral fellowship by the German Research Foundation and coordinated the German Research Chair of Environmental Geosciences and Geotechnics. It was also at these institutions that he began his career as a researcher before accepting a position in research at the l’Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

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