15 December 1997

Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences; Faculty of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture graduates will receive their degrees at a ceremony on Monday, December 15, at 4pm.

At 6.15pm, Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences; Faculty of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture; School of Social Work and Social Policy graduates will receive their degrees.

University Deputy Chancellor Dr Mary Mahoney will deliver the address of welcome at the 4pm ceremony while University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay will welcome graduands at the 6.15pm ceremony.

- Group Captain Julie Hammer of the Royal Australian Air Force will address graduates at the 4pm ceremony while University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary O'Kane will address graduates at the 6.15pm ceremony.

Ms Hammer, an honours graduate in physics from the University, attended the RAF College at Cranwell, in England, and while in the UK completed her masters thesis in aerosystems engineering.

During her air force career Ms Hammer has blazed a pioneering trail and in 1977 became one of the first women commissioned in the RAAF while the WRAAF still existed.

In 1985 she was the first female engineer promoted to squadron leader; in 1991 the first woman who was not an ex-WRAAF or ex-RAAFNS officer to be promoted to wing commander; in 1992 the first woman in the RAAF to command an operational squadron; and last year she became the first female officer promoted to the General List (group captain and above).

- Bachelor of science graduate Roy Lancaster will deliver the valedictory address at the 4pm ceremony. Mr Lancaster will now start the four-year Graduate Medical Course. He said he developed an interest in medicine in his second year at University while studying physiology and biochemistry. He said he was glad a degree had become a prerequisite for medical studies at the University as it ensured students were from diverse backgrounds and highly committed to careers in medicine. For more information, contact Mr Lancaster (telephone 07 3376 8746).

- Bachelor of social work graduate Geeta Chhatbar will deliver the valedictory address at the 6.15pm ceremony.

- Blind University of Queensland graduate Dr Andrew Hart, 25, will be awarded his PhD from the Mathematics Department at the 6.15pm ceremony. One of the University's highest achieving students, Dr Hart's enthusiasm for mathematics developed in high school. He completed his studies with the help of a range of specialised Braille equipment and assistance from narrators who read lecture notes and textbooks onto audiotape for him.

Supervised by Dr Philip Pollett, Reader in Mathematics, Dr Hart's thesis further develops a modelling tool for deducing characteristics of biological or epidemiological populations, in particular their long term behaviour before extinction.

Dr Hart's academic success includes winning a University Medal in 1994 after gaining a grade point average (GPA) of 6.95 out of a possible seven during his undergraduate and honours degree. One of three finalists in the science and technology category of the 1993 Queensland Young Achiever of the Year Awards, he also received a string of prizes and scholarships. These included the AMP Prize in Statistics in 1990, the James Cecil Stevenson Memorial Prize and Maude Walker Prize in 1991 and the Harriet Marks Bursary and Ethel Raybould Prize in Mathematics in 1993. From 1994, Dr Hart was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) at the high priority rate, the first such award at this rate to a PhD candidate in the Mathematics Department.

His parents Lesley and Douglas, sister Ellissa, brother Malcolm and grandmother Shirley Radloff from Rockhampton will attend the ceremony. Dr Hart can be contacted on telephone 07 3365 8506.

- Dr Gordon Wyeth will receive his PhD from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the 6.15pm ceremony. For his PhD, he invented Corgi, the world's first robot that can learn to see and react rather than merely be programmed to perform or repeat identical tasks. The robot was named Corgi because its shape resembles a squat dog on wheels. Dr Wyeth's PhD demonstrated a robot could be taught to behave if familiar with its environment - Corgi can locate and retrieve tennis balls. During his studies, Dr Wyeth, a lecturer with the Department, took his own pet project, a robotic rodent, Cuqee III, to win the international American Power Electronics Micromouse Championship held in the United States earlier this year. Cuqee III and its predecessors Cuqee II and Cuqee won the national robotic mouse championship, Ozmouse, in 1988, 1990 and from 1993-96. For more information, contact Dr Wyeth (telephone 07 3365 3770).

For more information, contact Protocol Officer Karen Welsh (telephone 07 3365 2737).