Newsletter of Alumni of the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering,

Clayton Campus, Monash University

Issue 1

Editor : Sue Morgan 9905 3467

January 1994

We have been remiss in not keeping our alumni in touch with the Department and with the careers of the 1,500+ graduates who have experienced four or more years of intense activity as students here. This is a newsletter which we intend to issue as a means of regular contact with alumni. Our Administrative Officer, Sue Morgan (wife of David) is the editor and will be seeking to inform you of many things to do with the Department. She says, "Those with long memories please forgive the title - I realise that 'Monelec' is or was once a registered business name and will evoke many memories." Please write to her with any items of interest or news about yourself or about other graduates from the Department.

We didn't organise a general SMEEA dinner in 1993, but instead held a dinner to inaugurate the award of a medal in honour of Doug Lampard (see the next item). Since it is a research student award, we only invited past research students and staff. This year we will organise a SMEEA dinner in the middle of the year.

So far as the department is concerned, the news is that we are bigger than ever. Our normal government-funded activities have grown, but we now receive almost as much money again from other sources. We are bursting at the seams, even though we have taken over the old drawing offices 2, 3, and 4 and partitioned them for various research activities. Of course, bigness is not a measure of quality, and in addition to growing we are also striving to maintain academic excellence in a world where it is difficult to cope with the changing role of Universities.

Best wishes,

Bill Brown

President of SMEEA and Head of Department.


This medal has been established in honour of Professor Lampard, who retired in 1990. In any year, it will be awarded to the research student in the department whose thesis is considered to be the most outstanding either as a contribution to the fundamentals of electrical engineering science and/or as an application involving hardware using electrical engineering principles. In addition to the inscribed medal, the winner will receive a prize of $1000.

Forty eight staff members and former postgraduates and their partners attended a dinner on Friday, November 12 to witness the presentation of the first two Douglas Lampard Electrical Engineering Research Medals. The recipients were Rick Alexander, who completed his PhD on "High Accuracy Non-contact Three Dimensional Shape Measurement" in 1990, and Wang Xinhua, who completed his PhD on "Finite Element Methods for Nonlinear Waveguides" in 1992.

1914 - 1993

We were saddened to learn of the death of Karol Morsztyn last year. Students from the sixties and seventies will all remember his lectures on tensor analysis! He retired in 1979, so at least was able to enjoy thirteen years of retirement.


John Bennett will be returning to the department in 1994 after a two year placement with the High Frequency Radar Division of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in Salisbury, SA. He has been working on the problem of coordinate registration for the Jindalee over-the-horizon radar.

Lindsay Kleeman has just returned from Yale after a very successful year working on the use of sonar for distance measurement for robotic purposes.

Lucian Gruner retired at the end of 1993 after 31 years in the department. He has been honoured with Life Membership of IEEE, in recognition of his long association with the Institute and experience in the profession. A retirement dinner was held on December 15.

Two staff will be off soon for OSP:

Ed Cherry, who will be working with Tektronix in Portland, Oregon, on High Speed Data Transmission. They have a custom IC process which makes 13 GHz transistors. This will be Ed's first sabbatical in 20 years.

Andy Russell, who will be working with the Robotics Group in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.


Three PhD degrees were conferred on previous research students of the department at a ceremony held on 6th October:

Jean Armstrong for a thesis entitled "Symbol synchronisation using signal samples". Unfortunately, we are losing Jean to Latrobe University at the end of the year. Her contributions to the department in the few years she has been with us have been substantial.

Bernard Hendrey for a thesis entitled "Robot manipulator path planning". Bernard is still working with Ray Jarvis in the robotics group.

Chek Yoon Wong for a thesis entitled "On Petri net models with time." Although his PhD examination was completed in 1988, he has waited until now to take out the degree. He is with the Microsoft Institute in Sydney as a Consultant Lecturer.

Two others to complete their PhD's in 1993 are:

Ben Lawrence for a thesis entitled "Three-dimensional finite element analysis of passive microwave devices". He has been in Japan for the past four months working in the Communications Research Laboratory of the Kashima Space Research Centre, 100 kms east of Tokyo. He has now left this position to go to Sri Lanka to become a Buddhist monk.

Russell Lang for a thesis entitled "Channel allocation in mobile telephone systems using narrow beam antennas". Russell has been teaching in the department since July and will work in the Video Coding Group for the next two years.


Kim Ng has received funding for a project on Noncontact Shape Measurement using Computer Vision. The aim of the project is to develop the prototype system that he and his research students, Rick Alexander, Boey Seng Heng and Humphrey Hui, have been working on over a number of years into a commercially exploitable product for full three-dimensional shape measurement. The funding, worth $1.115M, from non-government sources through a R&D syndicate is for three years, beginning July 1993. The project will employ a team of three full time research staff under Kim Ng as project leader. Lindsay Kleeman will also be involved in the project. Kemal Ajay has joined the project as team leader.


As part of the Monash University Quality Portfolio recently submitted to the DEET Quality Subcommittee, the University has listed the top 20 departments in terms of grant success for the years 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993.

In those years, our department has ranked 4th, 2nd, 2nd and 4th respectively. It is the leading engineering department, and is beaten only by Physiology, and (on occasion) by the Centre for Early Human Development, Pathology and Immunology, and Chemistry.


Robert Distel (a final year student in 1992) is one of the winners of the 1992 Motorola Student Design Competition. The prize was presented to Robert in August at Motorola Semiconductor Product's office in Wantirna.

Robert's project entitled 'The Electronic Sheep' was one of only three prizes offered world-wide. Robert was given a framed certificate, a cheque for US$500, a very impressive Macintosh computer system and will also take delivery of a laser printer at a later date. For the department, Bill Brown accepted a letter promising the delivery of US$5000 worth of Motorola products. Andy Russell, Robert's supervisor, has chosen to spend the money on evaluation systems for the 68HC11 and 68332 microprocessors.


Mal Wilkinson (BE 1971) is back at biomedical research, this time at the Monash Medical Centre. This follows periods at the Queen Victoria Hospital, Alberta, Health Standards in Melbourne and Telecom Research. He and Judi (BE 1971, MEngSc 1976) and their two children live in Forest Hill.

John Retford (BE 1984) ex Ford is successfully managing both a circuit board company and a young family in Penang.

We recently heard from KK Wong (BE 1981 MEngSc 1985), Boey Seng Heng (PhD 1991), and Soo Jia Sien (BE 1985 PhD 1990). They are participating in the great industrial boom taking place in Singapore and Malaysia.

Alan Finkel (BE 1975 PhD 1981) commutes between Melbourne and San Francisco. His company, Axon Instruments, is successfully selling high quality electronic equipment into the biomedical measurement market.

Alan Wells (BE 1968 PhD 1974) is still with Ford and recently chaired a conference on Manufacturing Engineering where he expounded on the virtues of cellular manufacturing.

Kathy Meyer (nee Fisher) (BE 1988) married while working for Siemens in Germany. She and her husband are both now with Siemens in Melbourne.

Jon Billington (BE 1974 MEngSc 1978) has been appointed to a chair in computer systems engineering at the University of South Australia.

Ian Brown (BE 1967 PhD 1974) has returned to the department to head up the Monash University Centre for Biomedical Engineering, coming via RMIT, Therapeutic Devices and London Hospital. The Centre offers an MEngSc in Bioengineering by coursework and minor thesis, and is involved in the undergraduate BSc/BE in physiology and electrical and computer systems engineering.

Jack Phillips joined the fledgling faculty in 1961 as a Senior Lecturer and had a great deal to do with the formation of the department and with early years and control systems teaching. He resigned in 1970 to become Head of Electrical Engineering at the Preston Institute of Technology. He is now enjoying retirement after many years on the staff of the Swinburne University of Technology.

Ian Wright (BE 1965 PhD 1971) is now the Chief Engineer of AMECON and is pre-occupied with making frigates. He left the SECV a few years ago after many years of service.

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Last updated 6 June 1996

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