Researcher biography

Dr Sowmya Shetty is a T&R academic at the School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland. Currently, she is the Year coordinator for BDSc Year 1 and 2. She is also the Student Experience Coordinator, and is part of the Student Experience Committee at School of Dentistry which is chaired and run by students.

In 2022, Sowmya was awarded a HABS Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (COCSL). She was nominated for her teaching practice and the support of learning that influences, motivates and inspires students to learn, utilising authentic simulation and engagement strategies to foster critical thinking approaches and motivate dental students towards life-long learning.

She is also part of the 2022 award winning UQ Dental Clinical Simulation Team led by Dr Jessica Zachar. This team was awarded a HABS Excellence in Clinical and Professional Skills Education (ECLiPSE) Award for their work in independantly designing and implementing a sustainable, novel dentally relevant emergency training module for year 3-5 BDSc Hons students at UQ.

Previously she has served in a range of service roles within UQ Dentistry, including Research Higher Degrees Coordinator, interim Teaching and Learning Chair, Program Coordinator, External Engagement and Placements Coordinator.

She is currently focussed on student partnerships for improving course design, assessment and feedback, and is motivated to improve clinical and observational placement experiences for students especially in interprofessional education. She is currently working on creating open educational resources in collaboration with year 1-3 course coordinators with a view to co-design custom open access textbooks for UQ dentistry courses. These are being developed with student partner contribution and feedback, via Student Staff Partnership grants through UQ.

Her research interests stemming from her PhD primarily focussed on dental materials testing, especially methodology. She worked to understand dentine permeability and its relationship to both tooth sensitivity and dentine bonding effectiveness; virtual surface mapping in tooth wear; CAD/CAM, fatigue test design and evaluation; fracture surface analysis and failure forecasting. Dental Materials is a primary focus of her teaching portfolio in the early years of the dentistry curriculum.