26 May 2003

The University of Queensland will award what is believed to be Queensland’s first Doctor of Technology degree at a graduation ceremony tomorrow (May 27) at the UQ Centre, St Lucia, at 5pm.

Dr Warren Seib, Chief Mining Engineer (Surface) with Anglo Coal Australia, will receive the doctor of technology in mining engineering.

Dr Seib combined more than 25 years work experience at mine sites around Australia with coursework and research for his thesis entitled ‘Innovation in Mining’.

He said his research offered guidelines for getting new procedures tested and implemented in the mining industry.

“The mining industry traditionally is production-oriented, has large capital expenditure and is operation-focused,” Dr Seib said.

“It is very difficult to persuade companies to try anything different or new. My research provides guidelines and strategies for overcoming industry difficulties and for dealing with other areas such as workforce concerns when confronted with changed processes and statutory regulations.”

Guest speaker at tomorrow’s graduation ceremony will be Dr John Glaister, Acting Executive Director, Office of Energy, and Executive Director, Science, Research and Innovation, Queensland Department of Innovation and Information Economy.

Dr Glaister has a distinguished career in several Australian state government departments and was former Manager, Innovation and Commercialisation at UniQuest.

He co-chaired the third World Fisheries Congress in Beijing in 2000, chaired the World Aquaculture Conference in Sydney in 1999 and the second World Fisheries Congress in Brisbane in 1996.

Dr Glaister has also received many academic awards including a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship.

He will discuss the importance of science to Queensland and the Smart State agenda, and the need for life-long learning.

Professor John McGrath will be presented with the highest award in Medicine, the MD (Doctor of Medicine), in recognition of his work in Psychiatry, particularly his contribution to schizophrenia research.

Professor McGrath completed his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at The University of Queensland in 1980 and the Doctor of Philosophy in 1996. He has won several national and international awards including the Premier’s Award for Medical Research in 2002. In the past 10 years he has published more than 100 refereed papers, books and book chapters and attracted over $3.8 million from competitive, peer-reviewed funding agencies.

The MD higher doctorate is gained by the compilation of published works and judged by national and international peers. The publications that form the basis of Professor McGrath’s Doctor of Medicine, The Epidemiology of Schizophrenia, arose from his research in the past 12 years at the Queensland Centre for Schizophrenia Research.

The student valedictorian will be Bachelor of Physiotherapy graduate Lisa Blackburn.

MEDIA: for more information see below, or contact UQ Graduations Officer Peter Brady (07 3365 9194) or Lynda Flower at UQ Communications (07 3365 2339).

Other graduates of interest include:

Dr Anita Thomas will be awarded a PhD in the School of Biomedical Sciences for her thesis on the targeted delivery of drugs to prevent the re-blockage of arteries after surgical treatment for atherosclerosis.

Dr Thomas said the research, funded by the an Australian Industry Postgraduate (Industry) scholarship with industry partner Agen Biomedical Ltd., provided an important basis for future studies in the treatment for vascular disease. The research was undertaken at UQ’s Centre for Vascular Biology.

Dr Thomas has also been awarded a four-year CJ Martin Overseas Fellowship worth nearly $200,000 from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). She will travel to the UK later this year to undertake further research at the Bristol Heart Institute, University of Bristol.

Dr Craig Aumuller will be awarded a PhD in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering for his thesis on a unique generator which helps achieve optimal power system operation and security.

Dr Aumuller said a significant finding of his research was that the generator had the ability to help power systems avoid blackouts when heavily loaded.

The research was funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant with additional financial support from organizations in Australia and Sweden.

Dr Aumuller is currently a lecturer in the School of Engineering at James Cook University of North Queensland, Townsville.

Tomorrow’s graduation ceremony is for 217 graduates from UQ’s Faculties of Biological and Chemical Sciences; Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture; Health Sciences; and Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science. It is the first of three ceremonies to be held this week.

Another two ceremonies for a further 528 graduates will be held at the UQ Centre on Thursday, May 29 at 5pm (Faculty of Business, Economics and Law) and 8pm (Faculties of Arts and Social and Behavioural Sciences).