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 make him stand out as a world-class educator. 

But it hasn't always been smooth sailing for Glen. A serious accident left him with a fractured spine and unable to continue his employment in the Mount Isa mines. 

"In 2009 I had a pretty nasty motorbike accident and not knowing what I wanted to do afterwards, I decided that maybe TAFE, or TAFE teaching in particular, would be a great way to give back to the industry and allow me to pass on my knowledge to the next generation of apprentices," Glen said. 

Starting a new chapter of his life, Glen joined TAFE Queensland in 2011 and hasn't looked back since. 

"I'm passionate about teaching the instrumentation and control trade because it's a trade that was so good to me. I try and help my students achieve their career goals by being an excellent mentor and setting a good example," he said. 

Glen's goal as a teacher 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.

So 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 allows for flexibility to meet student and employer needs onsite.

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. He's competed at both the 2017 and 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Grand Prix and took out first place in the 10 metre Air Rifle event in Poland, achieving a world champion status in his competing category.

"I started to compete in Brisbane competitions, and then state competitions, and finally national competitions before being selected for the Australian Disabled Shooting Team. 

"The opportunities target shooting has given me is a chance to literally wear the green and gold, travelling the world representing my country," he said. 

Despite his sporting success, Glen sees the classroom as the place where he's had his greatest achievements.  

"The best part of teaching is when students have those lightbulb moments — you know they've understood a concept and they're never going to forget it." 



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