Leading minds in nanotechnology, medicine, environmental engineering and academia were honoured by the University of Queensland (UQ) at its annual alumni awards ceremony in Brisbane on Tuesday night.
The awards recognise the achievements of UQ alumni who have achieved outstanding success in their fields and made exemplary contributions to their communities.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said UQ alumni living and working in 160 countries brought home outstanding advantages to Queensland and Australia.
“It is not only our research, teaching and learning outcomes that make UQ competitive in a tough international environment, it is also our alumni - who serve and make an impact globally,” he said.
The 2012 Alumnus of the Year, Dr Jean Calder, was honoured for her work in the Middle East as a specialist in assisting disabled children in Lebanon, Egypt and more recently in the Gaza Strip. Her contribution to children’s lives over many years has influenced policy and practice in several regions in the Middle East.
The Young Alumnus of the year is Professor Mark Kendall, a biomedical engineer at UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology who has created the revolutionary Nanopatch – a needle free drug-delivery vehicle, which he hopes will change the way vaccines are delivered throughout the developing world.
Also recognised was Hong Kong-based Professor Kin-Man Ho, who received the International Alumnus of the Year Award. Professor Ho is regarded as a pioneer of the environmental engineering and wastewater management sector in South-East Asia and beyond.
Graduate of the Year awards were given to Ms Hilary Chenevix Martin who is now working towards a PhD at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University and Mr Mitchell Watt who is completing a Graduate Diploma in Economics at UQ.
With many winners working internationally Professor Høj spoke of the strong role alumni play in defining UQ as a borderless university.
“If we play even a small role in an alumnus’ development, their success and their drive to contribute to society, then it makes us very proud,” he said.