VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year finalist Glen McMurtrie is a man of many talents. The process instrumentation and control teacher is also a world champion para shooter. But it's his innovations in the classroom that have landed him a nomination in the Metropolitan regional final of the 58th Queensland Training Awards.
But it hasn't always been smooth sailing for Glen. In 2009, a serious motorcycle accident left him with a fractured spine and unable to continue his employment in the Mount Isa mines. Starting a new chapter of his life, Glen joined TAFE Queensland in 2011 and hasn't looked back.
As a process instrumentation and control teacher, Glen's goal is to ensure his students are equipped with the latest and most advanced skills required to meet the demands of industry. Coming from an industry background, he understood that oversights in the gas, mining and heavy vehicle manufacturing industries can be fatal and workers cannot afford to make mistakes.
Glen decided to take matters into his own hands, designing three simulation rigs to teach students practical skills in the classroom. Successfully managing to secure industry donations he then built the rigs in his spare time.
The rigs focus on the measurement and control of physical variables in manufacturing, refining and treatment plants. The technology then simulates tank levels and flow in pipes which are controlled by a computer. The rigs also allow new technologies to be retro-fitted over time to ensure that training can continue to be updated. Their portability also allows for flexibility to meet student and employer needs onsite.
Glen’s manager at TAFE Queensland, Richard Auld supported the initiative and worked with him to plan the training delivery.
"Glen is an inspiring young man who's making positive changes in the instrumentation and control field," said Richard.
Glen sees teaching as a way he can pass on his knowledge and give back to the industry which has given so much to him.
“I now find myself teaching the sons and daughters of previous work colleagues which is very rewarding," said Glen.
Not only has Glen improved the learning space at TAFE Queensland, he's also achieved many accolades in his sporting career as a world champion para shooter. Glen is a member of the Australian Disabled Shooting Team and competed at the 2017 and 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Grand Prix. In 2017 Glen took out first place in the 10 metre Air Rifle event in Poland achieving a world champion status in his competing category.
Glen will be cheered on by his colleagues and counterparts at the Metropolitan regional final of the 58th Queensland Training Awards in Brisbane on 19 July.