16 December 2002

Designers, planners and engineers will get the green light to create and implement their learning after receiving their degrees at a University of Queensland graduation ceremony on Tuesday, December 17.

Graduates from UQ’s Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture faculty will don their caps and gowns for ceremonies at 3pm and 6pm at the new $20 million UQ Centre.

The valedictorian at the 3pm ceremony will be Lisa McAully, who will receive a Bachelor of Information Technology. The guest speaker will be the new State Manager for Sun Microsystems, Mr Andrew Boulus.

The valedictorian at the 6pm ceremony will be Caitlin Marley, who will receive a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil). Mt Isa Mines director Mr Nick Stump will be the guest speaker.

Interesting graduates include:

• Rebekah and Casey Vallance, both 24, of Taringa, who met in the first year of their Bachelor of Architecture studies and married three years ago. Mr and Mrs Vallance will both graduate with first-class honours. Mr Vallance has also been awarded the inaugural RAIA Cox Rayner Architects and Planners Graduation Prize in Architecture, which recognises the successful balance between design excellence and construction and practice excellence. As part of the prize, Mr Vallance will work with Cox Rayner for a year. Mr and Mrs Vallance said they looked forward to working in different firms, to vary the couple`s joint architecture experience. “We work together well and both strive to do the best we can,’’ Mrs Vallance said.

• Michelle Hay, 21, of Bundamba, will begin work with Arnott’s Biscuits after graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering (chemical). Michelle said her final-year thesis on starch led to an interest in the food industry and she was excited about the opportunities the graduate programme with Arnott’s would offer. “I will be doing everything from human resources management to finance to working on the factory floor,’’ Ms Hay said. “Engineering work is intrinsically about problem-solving and that’s why Arnott’s looks to engineers for their graduate programme.’’

• Adam Khan, 30, of Highgate Hill, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering (chemical), despite once being told he would never be able to study at a tertiary level because he did not have the ability. Mr Khan left school before completing senior and joined the army, before completing Years 11 and 12 at a mature-age college in Western Australia and gaining entry to university. He said graduation was the culmination of his “new beginning’’. “I have always admired engineers’ ability to think laterally in problem solving. I always thought it would be a wonderful thing to be one of them, and after taking the long way around, I finally am.’’

• Kate Wagner, 21, of Kenmore, who will graduate with a Bachelor of
Regional and Town Planning, is the Queensland National Young Planner
Representative for the Planning Institute of Australia. She is currently
in the process of forming a Young Planners Group for Queensland to
elevate the role of newly qualified planners in the development of policies and
the promotion of the Planning Institute of Australia. Ms Wagner
currently works at PLACE Planning and Design, a locally owned
multi-disciplinary firm with offices in Brisbane, Sydney, the Sunshine
and Gold Coasts and in China.

• Elizabeth Webb, 21, of Ascot, has enjoyed two stints overseas while studying for her Bachelor of Engineering (Environment). Ms Webb studied for a semester at University of Nottingham in the UK as part of an exchange last year and attended the Alliance for Global Sustainability’s Youth Environmental Summit in Switzerland in July this year. “I think the two experiences gave me a global perspective on my profession,’’ Ms Webb said. “What is accepted practice in one nation may be foreign to another.’’ Ms Webb said she planned to consolidate her university learning in Brisbane, with a view to working as an engineer overseas in the future. She begins work with a Brisbane-based consulting group in January.