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Mathematics and Statistics

Photo of Prof Layal Hakim

Prof Layal Hakim

Director of Education and Student Experience, Associate Professor (E&S)

 (Streatham) 5764

 01392 725764


Academic year 2023-2024:

Co-Director of Education and Student Experience in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Module leader and lecturer: MTH1002 Mathematical Methods (Term 1) and MTH3042 Integral Equations, lecturer: ECM1416 Computational Mathematics

Office hours

Term 1: Mondays 11:30-12:30, Fridays 10:30-11:30

Term 2: Mondays 13:30-14:30, Thursdays 09:30-10:30


Layal was born in London, England. She graduated in July 2010 from Brunel University with a Bachelors of Science degree with Honors in Mathematics. In October 2010, she started a PhD, funded by the EPSRC, in the same department under the supervision of Professor Sergey Mikhailov. Her thesis titled 'Numerical Analysis of a Cohesive Zone Model Approach for Time and History Dependent Materials’ won the Dean's Prize for Innovation and Impact in Doctoral Research at Brunel University London in February 2015, and a Merit Prize for best student paper at the International Conference of Applied and Engineering Mathematics part of the World Congress of Engineering in July 2013. In this project, a non-linear history-dependent cohesive zone model of crack growth in linear elastic and viscoelastic materials was studied. Layal completed her PhD in April 2014 and joined the Department of Computing at Imperial College London as a research associate in July 2014. She was a member of the MOSS project, which was funded by the Technology Strategy Board, and lead by Professor John Darlington. The main aim of this project was to obtain a way of processing and archiving binary large objects, using control abstractions presented as higher-order functions, by making wide use of functional programming languages. In October 2015, Layal joined the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College as a research associate in the Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics section where she continued researching in the field of fracture mechanics. Alongside her research, Layal used to lecture and mentor undergraduate students in the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Computing. In April 2018, she joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Exeter.

Research Interests:

Integral equations, numerical methods, solid mechanics, fracture mechanics, time and history dependent crack growth, viscoelasticity, pedagogy in higher education mathematics, innovation in course design, delivery and assessments.

Currently open to collaborations and supervision of PhD students in any of these research fields.

Education Projects:

Collaborative online international learning course, Fundamentals of Non-formal Education, in collaboration with Prof. Beatriz Isabel Gomez Garcia at the University of Monterrey, Mexico.

Machine Learning Methods in Improving Higher Education Assessments, Alumni Annual Fund, in collaboration with Ricky Bassom at the University of Exeter.

Principal investigator on the education project grants funded by the Exeter Education Incubator:

  • Continuing Student Development - designed regular online assessments in Mathematics, and launched the Maths Cafe
  • The Exeter Spectrum Project - exploring ways on supporting autistic students at university and forming the Autism Champions group, in collaboration with Prof. Barrie Cooper.
  • Mobile Learning in Higher Education Mathematics - building a mobile application to support learning
  • Mathematics Without Tears or Fears - exploring pedagogical digital games that teach mathematical proofs, in collaboration with Dr Pascal Stiefenhofer and Dr Weihan Ding
  • Encompass: Decolonising STEM - exploring ideas on how to decolonise STEM subjects in higher education, in collaboration with Dr John Bruun

A co-investigator on the project Parallel Texts in Education in collaboration with lead Prof. Barrie Cooper and Prof. Leif Isaksen.

Other Roles at Exeter:

Academic representative for the IMA (Institute of Mathematics and its Applications)

CEMPS coordinator for the Transition and Induction working group

Committee member of the Mathematics WIDER group (Workplace Excellence, Inclusion, Diversity, Equality & Respect)

One of the Mathematics Digital Leads for Project Enhance

CEMPS representative of the Project Experience working group


LMS Committee Member for Women and Diversity in Mathematics

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

Ordinary Member of the London Mathematical Society

Fellow of Exeter Education Incubator

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2022 | 2019 | 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2013 | 2011 |


  • Hakim L, Ashwin P. (2022) The impact of thinking fast and slow on teaching and learning strategies in mathematics, A Focus on Pedagogy: Teaching, Learning and Research in the Modern Academy, Online, 20th - 22nd Apr 2022. [PDF]


  • Hakim L. (2019) The effect of mobile learning in higher education mathematics, International Journal of Higher Education and Sustainability, volume 2, no. 3, pages 216-216, DOI:10.1504/ijhes.2019.10023509. [PDF]
  • Hakim L. (2019) Modelling Creep in Concrete Under a Variable External Load, Integral Methods in Science and Engineering Analytic Treatment and Numerical Approximations, Birkhäuser.


  • Hakim L, Mikhailov SE. (2018) A History-Dependent Cohesive Zone Model in Elastic and Visco-Elastic Materials under Constant and Variable Loading, International Journal of Mechanical Sciences.




  • Hakim L, Mikhailov SE. (2013) Integral Equations in Cohesive Zones Modelling of Fracture in History Dependent Materials, World Congress on Enginerring - International Conference of Applied and Engineering Mathematics, International Association of Engineers.
  • Hakim L, Mikhailov SE. (2013) Cohesive Zone Models in History Dependent Materials, International Conference on Computational Mechanics 2013.


  • Hakim L, Mikhailov SE. (2011) Nonlinear Abel-Type Integral Equation in Modeling Creep Crack Propagation, Integral Methods in Science and Engineering.

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Further information

Other Activities

External examiner for the Applied Mathematics courses at another UK university.

Times Higher Education Campus articles, 2022

Manuscript Reviewer for the Journal of Mechanics of Time-Dependent Materials, 2013-present

Manuscript Reviewer for the Journal of Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences, 2018-present

University of Exeter Realising Opportunities Science Rep, 2019-present

Conference Talks and Seminars:


UK Conference on Autism in Higher Education, July 2021

Elasticity Day, University of Exeter, May 2019

Research Associate Symposium, Imperial College London, June 2015

Invited Speaker:

Expert task force panelist at the annual Digital Universities UK, co-hosted with the University of Leeds, April 2023

Panellist at the Times Higher Education webinar The Future of Higher Education Assessment, April 2022

Pedagogy for Neurodiverse Learners in STEM, hosted by the University of Exeter Academic Development, Feb 2022

Pedagogical games in Higher Education Mathematics; hosted by the Society for Natural Sciences, April 2021

Pedagogical Research in STEM in Higher Education; College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Dec 2020

Women Count, Department of Mathematics, Queen Mary University London, Mar 2017

Presented at:

Focus on Pedagogy: Teaching, learning, and research in the modern academy, April 2022

Reimagine Education Conference, December 2019

Elasticity Day, May 2018

International Conference on Integral Methods in Science and Engineering, July 2018

International Symposium High-level Parallel Programming and Applications, July 2015

Women in Mathematics Day, April 2015

British Applied Mathematics Colloquium, March 2015

Women in Mathematics Day, London Mathematical Society, April 2014

Applied Mathematics and Analysis Seminar, Brunel University, January 2014

World Congress on Engineering; Imperial College London July 2013 International Conference on Applied and Engineering Mathematics

International Conference on Computational Mechanics, March 2013

Postgraduate Student Research Symposium; Brunel University, March 2012, 2013

Mathematical Modelling in Solid Mechanics, May 2012

British Applied Mathematics Colloquium, March 2012

Eighth UK Conference on Boundary Integral Methods, July 2011

International Conference on Integral Methods in Science and Engineering, July 2010

Other Publications:

Chun C., Hakim L., Autoinventio, Offbeat/Quirky: Journal of Experimental Fiction, Edited by Eckhard Gerdes, V. 73, 2017

Hakim L., Integral Equations Modelling Crack Growth, Student insert MSOR Connections, V. 10, 2010.


Awards Won

Outstanding Teaching Award (CEMPS winner), University of Exeter Guild (student-led) Teaching Awards, May 2022

Lecturer of the year, awarded by MathSoc at the University of Exeter, Dec 2019

Inspirational Teaching Award, CEMPS Academic Recognition Awards University of Exeter, March 2019

University of Exeter Above and Beyond Award (x6) 2018- 2022

Imperial College London FoNS Annual Prize for Excellence in the Support of Teaching and Learning, May 2017

Dean’s Prize for Innovation and Impact in Doctoral Research, Brunel University, Feb 2015

Student Teacher of the Year Award, Brunel University Student-Led Teaching Awards, May 2014

Women in Mathematics Day Best Poster, awarded by the London Mathematical Society, April 2014

Certificate of Merit (Student), awarded by the International Conference of Applied and Engineering Mathematics, for the paper: Integral Equations in Cohesive Zones Modelling of Fracture in History Dependent Materials, Aug 2013

Student Teacher of the Year Award, Brunel University Student-Led Teaching Awards, April 2013

Honourable mention

Shortlisted: global competition on Imagining the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education, Sep 2020, hosted by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Shortlisted: global Reimagine Education Awards, Sep 2019, Learning Assessment category

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