Dr Austin Tomlinson PhD, MSci, PGDipEd, PGCertHE, FHEA

Dr Austin A Tomlinson

School of Metallurgy and Materials
Associate Professor

Contact details

School of Metallurgy and Materials

Austn is primarily involved in the delivery of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Year. He leads on the mathematics and computer programming modules that prepare students for undergraduate study in the College of EPS. Additionally, he is the Deputy Senior Tutor and Academic Integrity Officer in the School of Metallurgy and Materials.

He is interested in Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) systems and how they can be implemented, at scale, to improve engagement and outcomes for students and save time for educators.

Austin is a co-founder of Graide, a spin-out from the Theoretical Physics Group here at Birmingham.


  • PGCertHE, University of Birmingham, 2022
  • PGDipEd in Secondary Education (Physics Specialism) with Qualified Teacher Status, University of Birmingham, 2018
  • PhD in Theoretical Physics, University of Birmingham, 2018
  • MSci in Theoretical Physics, University of Birmingham, 2013


Austin completed his PhD in the Theoretical Physics of Vortex Matter in 2018 with the Theoretical Physics Group at the University of Birmingham. His research focused on the structure and dynamics of two-dimensional systems of repulsive vortices that appear in type-II superconductors.

Following this, he completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, specialising in secondary physics teaching and spent some time teaching in secondary schools developing pedagogy with a strong interest in A-Level standards.

Austin rejoined the University of Birmingham in 2020 as a teaching focused lecturer in the School of Metallurgy and Materials. He leads the mathematics and computer programming provision on the Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Year which progresses students onto undergraduate degrees within the college. He is the Academic Integrity Officer and upholds academic integrity standards in the school, supporting students with their work. He is also the Deputy Senior Tutor and supports foundation year and postgraduate research students.

Austin also co-founded 6 Bit Education LTD, an education technology company who developed Graide. Graide is a digital assessment technology that optimises grading workflow by learning how the assessor marks students’ work and automatically suggests feedback, saving time and effort while maintaining high standards of feedback.


  •  LF Mathematics
  • LF Mathematics II
  • LF Calculus
  • LF Elementary Computer Programming


  • Workflow optimisation in digital assessment.
  • Human interactions with AIs in educational contexts.
  • Structural configurations of repulsive particles on cylindrical geometries.

Other activities

  • Academic consultant in the education technology industry.
  • Co-founder of 6 Bit Education LTD.


Tomlinson, A. A., Wilkin, N. K., Kainth, M., & Stanyon, R. (2023) ‘Coaching AI to be a Team Player’ in Benjamin Goldberg & Robby Robson (eds.): Proceedings of the 1st AI-GEL Workshop “Artificial Intelligence in Support of Guided Experiential Learning”. At the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED ’23). Tokyo, Japan. July 7, 2023, CEUR-WS.org/Vol-3484

Stanyon, R., Tomlinson, A. A., Kainth, M., & Wilkin, N. K., (2022), Providing individual student feedback at scale for mathematical disciplines, L@S '22: Proceedings of the Ninth ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491140.3528313

Tomlinson, A. A. & Wilkin, N. K. Controlled transitions between phyllotactic states of repulsive particles confined on the surface of a cylinder. EPL 136 (2021) 38001. https://doi.org/10.1209/0295-5075/ac4620

Ansell, H.S., Tomlinson, A.A. & Wilkin, N.K. Transitions between phyllotactic lattice states in curved geometries. Sci Rep 10, 17411 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-74158-x

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