James Bennett received high distinctions for all of his undergraduate subjects
James Bennett received high distinctions for all of his undergraduate subjects
19 December 2011

Keeping his options open and giving himself ample time to decide on his major finally paid off when James Bennett was awarded his Bachelor of Science degree this month with nothing less than a high distinction in all his undergraduate subjects.

“A depth of understanding is important, but breadth of experience in science is valuable too,” said Mr Bennett.

“During my first year I hadn't decided on a major, so I took a little bit of everything and tried to keep my options open.”

Eventually he decided in his second year to major in physics.

“I think that it is really beautiful that we can summarise so many natural phenomena using the very minimalist framework that physics supplies. This aspect of physics wasn't really apparent to me until I had finished my first year at UQ,” he said.

A winner of a series of impressive awards during his undergraduate years, which include a QBI Transition Scholarship, a UQ Excellence Scholarship, five Dean's Commendations for academic achievement, a Maude Walker prize, a Daniel Hamilton prize and the John Black prize, Mr Bennett noted that his previous experiences with UQ were an important factor in choosing to enrol here.

As a high school student, he had successfully entered the individual finals of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge and as a result, was invited to spend a week in a lab at UQ and get first-hand experience in watching neuroscience in action. Additionally, between high school and university, he participated in a research project in computational neuroscience at UQ.

“What I had seen of UQ before coming here as a student was encouraging: a research-focused university with links to the community at many levels,” he said.

As part of his undergraduate studies, Mr Bennett participated in a number of projects dealing with the latest areas of physics research.

“In addition to a sound knowledge of core physical concepts, my time at UQ has given me the opportunities to work in real research laboratories, present at an international conference, meet researchers in a variety of fields, and learn from enthusiastic lecturers, tutors and peers,” he said.

Mr Bennett is currently planning to enrol for the Honours program at UQ with a view to eventually entering into an academic career through a PhD degree.

Media: SMP Communications and Marketing Officer Aarti Kapoor (07 3346 9935, a.kapoor@uq.edu.au)