4 December 2001

Two high profile Australian scientists will be addressing University of Queensland graduation ceremonies at the St Lucia campus in Brisbane tomorrow.

Dr Alan Finkel, founder and Chief Executive officer of the high-technology device manufacturer, Axon Instruments, will be addressing a combined Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences (BACS) and Faculty of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture (EPSA) graduation ceremony at 4pm at Mayne Hall.

Dr Finkel established the corporation in Silicon Valley, California in the 1980`s, and Axon is now a world market leader in neuroscience and genomics research instruments. He is based in Melbourne, and is also an Adjunct Professor at the UQ School of Biomedical Sciences.

And Professor John Boldeman, the Director of UQ`s Centre for Synchrotron Science and a key advisor to the Victorian Government on the installation of the National Synchrotron Facility, will be addressing a second combined BACS and EPSA ceremony later that evening at 6.15pm.

Professor Boldeman, a UQ graduate, has promoted the need for an Australian Synchrotron for more than 11 years and headed the Australian Synchrotron Research Program until his recent appointment to the University of Queensland.

The valedictorians in the ceremonies will be Lisa Smith, who is to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (honours) in the field of botany and Karen Aurisch, who is to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (honours) in the field of earth sciences.

Graduands include Matthew Munchow (tel. 3848 8091), who majored in ecology and marine biology in his Bachelor of Science program. Matthew leaves for South Africa next month on a 12-month volunteer research program with the Universities of Cambridge and Pretoria.

"I will be studying the behaviour and family structure of the meerkat - a small mammal living in the Northern Transvaal region on the edge of the Kalahari Desert," he said.

"I hope to get the opportunity to look at other projects in Africa, and of course developing a career in research."

Media: For further information, contact Peter McCutcheon at UQ Communications (mobile 0413 380 012).