Dr Samantha Pugh

My research interests are in Physics and STEM Education, with a particular focus on student employability, employer involvement in the curriculum and curriculum development. I have also worked with a number of commercial organisations on research projects with undergraduate students. I am a National Teaching Fellow and the Faculty Lead for Teaching Enhancement. I also manage the Year in Industry programme for Physics and I am the Leeds Academic champion for the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy consortium.

My teaching focuses on embedding enterprise through problem-based learning in the STEM disciplines, with employer input to enhance students’ commercial awareness. My teaching philosophy centres on student employability, focusing on the capabilities and attributes that students need for a successful career, and students’ abilities in articulating those capabilities. To this end, I have pioneered the use of reflective writing in Physical Sciences at Leeds. Students develop the life skill of reflection, which they can use this in multiple academic and professional contexts.

I have secured numerous teaching development grants that have enabled me to pioneer an approach to embed enterprise, enabling students to develop commercial awareness through the curriculum. For example, the Institute of Physics awarded me £10k to develop a Physics Group Industrial Project module for undergraduates. We are now developing a postgraduate version of the module. I drew upon our Industrial Advisory Board members to create live, yearlong projects for the students to work on with sponsoring companies.

One of my Group Industrial Projects was so successful that the company subsequently sponsored an EPSRC PhD iCASE Award. This was a tremendous achievement; securing £130k research funding for the School, and was a great credit to the students who worked on the project. 

It has been a great pleasure to lead the MSc Physics and Business Management programme in partnership with the internationally acclaimed Leeds University Business School. We have built on our technical expertise, industrial links and the business school’s capabilities to develop and deliver a novel degree programme.

Find out more
To find out more about my research activities, the students I am supervising and some of my recent publications visit my staff page.