The Beloved Teacher – Prof. Andy Bushby

Prof. Andy Bushby (formally known as Andrew Bushby) is the Executive ViceDean and member of the Joint Administrative Committee of QMES (Queen Mary Engineering School), NPU (Northwestern Polytechnical University). He has successively served as a lecturer, senior lecturer and professor in the School of Engineering and Materials Science, and currently the director of NanoVision Centre of QMUL (Queen Mary University of London). Prof. Bushby is further affiliated to the Institute of Physics and a fellow of the Royal Microscopy Society. He has developed volume electron microscopy techniques for 3D imaging of biological tissues in collaboration with leading biological imaging groups in the UK. He is also a leading expert in the technique of nanoindentation for small-scale mechanical property measurement and contributes to ISO Standards working groups for instrumented indentation. His fundamental research has focused on the origin of size effects in mechanical properties and has led to new understanding of the strength of nano-structured materials.


Prof.Bushby Delivering a Welcome Speech at the 2018 Opening Ceremony

When NPU planned to launch a Sino-foreign cooperative education project in 2015, QMUL was also seeking a third partner university in China, targeting Project 985 universities. Before the partnership of QMES was established, NPU and QMUL had maintained a long-term exchange mechanism in the field of materials science. On the solid basis of exchanges and cooperation in research and teaching, the joint education institute (i.e. QMES) came into being. As one of the founders, Prof. Bushby has been passionately involved in the establishment and building of the School. Together with colleagues from both sides, he has helped a lot in the construction and development of QMES.

At the beginning of the founding of the School, Prof. Bushby visited many universities to learn their experiences and vigorously introduced a group of British backbone teachers. To present suitable module textbooks and teaching materials, he contacted professional experts to seek help. At the same time, he was committed to the in-depth cooperation and development of the two universities, which led to the establishment of the International Centre for Teaching and Learning (ICTL) of QMES. Through this platform, Chinese and English teachers can jointly explore teaching, learn from each other and make progress together. The teaching resources of the two universities are shared as well. Prof. Bushby holds the belief that the international cooperation in higher education should take the responsibility of promoting friendly exchanges between cities and even countries in addition to strengthening the process of internationalisation of higher education. He hopes that through the in-depth cooperation between the two universities, education can realise its leading role in international cooperation.

For Prof. Bushby, travelling thousands of miles to found a joint institute or teach in China is not merely a job, it’s where his passion for technology exchanges lies. Through his efforts, Prof. Bushby hopes to cultivate internationalised scholars with a unique vision and lifelong learning ability, that is, to cultivate scientific workers who could think like scientists. He sincerely hopes that through studying in QMES, students will be able to develop their scientific thinking, perspective, and ability to solve problems in an international context. He believes that the English-speaking world dominates the cutting-edge scientific research, and if students master the language of science-English, they can find the key to the science world. Certainly, students studying in QMES also need to develop their ability to work, be qualified for jobs, and be able to solve problems professionally under the context of internationalisation.

Prof.Bushby Teaching Materials Experiment

Prof. Bushby further illustrates in his interview that, “we (QMUL) are very honoured to work with NPU to create the joint education institute. In the early days of communication, our two universities have formed a consensus and established clear goals, which has laid a solid foundation for further actions. ‘A good beginning is half done.’ It is determined that the joint education programmes must be grounded on the most cutting-edge and most advantageous disciplines of the two universities. It is because of the great sincerity between the two sides that the establishment of QMES has been successfully carried out, attracting many excellent students from different parts of China in its first enrollment. Having taught these students for one year, Prof. Bushby said he was impressed by the vigour, wild imagination and boundless creativity of the students. They have made great progress after one year’s study.

In addition to class time, Prof. Bushby is also actively involved in all kinds of activities at QMES, getting more interactions with the students. According to his experience, very few college students in the UK live on the campus. But here in China, he gradually gets to know that nearly all college students live in university dormitories, which surprised him a lot. However, he believes it is very helpful for students’ development because campus life enables them to stay closely related to each other. Apart from this, there are colourful activities of different associations which are just like a miniature of society they are going to step into after graduation. The students even prepared classes which systematically introduce traditional Chinese culture to the foreign teachers, greatly enriching teachers’ life in China. Prof. Bushby delightedly said that “In QMES, students are sometimes our teachers. This is a unique experience.” These wonderful activities have shortened the gap between teachers and students, making him not only a teacher but also a friend to students.

When it comes to interactions, Prof. Bushby says, “There are many impressive activities but I’d like to talk about the students’ summer school in London. It has been a good platform for QMES students to know about the cultural difference between China and the UK. When first arriving in London, the students excitedly described London in their imagination, their expectations for the trip and their knowledge about British culture. When the summer school came to an end, the students shared their real feelings of British culture and education after two weeks’ life in the UK. Through pictures and videos, the students presented their experiences during their stay in London, which surprised me because they’ve made such rapid progress in their English competence and their capability to act independently. They also visited the world-famous Cambridge University, and I do believe this journey to the UK will encourage them to study harder and try their best to make their dreams come true.”

One interesting event in the summer school period was that Prof. Bushby designed the London Marathon Activity to help the students fit into the new environment and adjust to life in the summer school. He even joined the Activity, making the students surprised and excited. As a teacher, Prof. Bushby is just like the wind in spring, warm and refreshing. As a friend, he is like bedrock, firm and reliable. He is a Briton but he devotes time and efforts to education in China, to the friendship between China and Britain, and to the culture and science technology exchanges between the two countries. He says he will continue to promote the development of science and technology for China and the UK.

Prof.Bushby Sharing QMES Experience at Smart Education Summit

On June 12, 2018, Prof. Bushby was invited to attend the first “Belt and Road” Smart Education Summit Forum in Xi'an. The forum also attracted education experts, delegations and leaders from home and abroad and overseas. Over 500 people participated in the Forum which was themed “Smart Education, Our Future”. At the Forum, Prof. Bushby shared his explorations and reflections on smart education, hoping to provide QMES experience to more schools for reference, supporting their development. Prof. Andy Bushby has treated China as his own home where he makes his contributions to imparting knowledge and cultivating talents. He is a messenger who bridges the culture gap between Britain and China. He is a gardener. He sows the seeds of friendship today are bound to blossom all over the Eurasia land in the future.