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Prof Layal Hakim

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


Telephone: 01392 725764

Extension: (Streatham) 5764

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