Farewelling Elf Eldridge
19 Dec 2017 - 11:03:00 in AchievementAfter years of outstanding service, Victoria’s School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) is sad to be farewelling one of its most well-loved lecturers. In his time at ECS, Elf Eldridge has amassed an enthusiastic following comprising the students he has taught and nurtured since their first year, as well as being popular with his colleagues. Elf first joined the School while finishing his PhD in Physics to take up a role in the outreach and pastoral care team. He was instrumental in inspiring high school students to study at ECS, then providing academic support for them when they arrived at university. In 2015 Elf joined the permanent academic staff as a lecturer, with a unique vision for first-year engineering courses. Since early 2017 he has also served as the first-year programme director. Elf says his favourite thing about working at ECS has always been students who have an appetite for knowledge, be it for games, programming, videos, machine learning, hacking, robotics—anything! “First-years, in particular, are just as excited by new technology as I am. While they have a range of abilities, the common thing about them is that they are genuinely interested in learning new things and finding clever solutions to the problems they encounter.”
Elf also says the Faculty’s good sense of humour creates a unique learning environment.
“The students are comfortable enough to ask for help if they need it, but also to laugh it off if they or I make a mistake.” Head of School Dr Stuart Marshall says Elf will be sorely missed. “It is regrettably time to say goodbye to an extremely valued member of our School community,” says Dr Marshall. “Elf has been an outstanding and engaging colleague and has contributed highly to our School culture, never afraid to put forward ideas and suggestions for improvement.” Elf’s ‘Lecturer of the Year’ award from the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA) in 2016 is also a testament to his commitment to his students and inspiring teaching style, says Dr Marshall. “Elf won this award for his hard work, dedication and engagement with students, and he is incredibly well-liked by students and staff alike. We wish Elf all the best for the future and reflect on the times we have shared with him.” Elf also has a busy 2018 planned. He hopes to spend time at the beach, perform in a circus show and tramp in the Andes. He also intends to keep running robotics outreach events and public science outreach. “That should be enough to keep me busy for the short term!”