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

Clayton Campus, Monash University

Issue 2

Editor : Sue Morgan 9905 3467

May 1994

Welcome to our second newsletter, with information about activities in the Department and about the spectacular feats of our graduates. In this issue we are including a list of academic staff so that you may recognise names from your time at Monash and see just how large we are now.

In terms of undergraduate students we have about 140 in level two, 140 in level three and 110 in level four. Since the passing-by-years regulation was dropped it is not so easy to categorize our students' year levels. Many are doing combinations of two different year levels, and some are even combining levels two, three and four! It is a headache for our timetable coordinator, Michael Conlon, but he does a fantastic job. The numbers quoted include students in the standard BE, the five year BSc/BE (with streams in Computer Science, Maths/Physics, and now Physiology) and in the four year BCSE (Bachelor of Computer Science and Engineering).

This year we have about 50 research students undertaking MEngSc by research or PhD, mostly by full-time study. We also have about 60 undertaking the MEngSc by coursework and minor thesis, mostly by part-time study. These are our largest numbers ever.

On July 22 we will be holding our annual SMEEA dinner here in the University Club at Clayton. Our guest speaker will be Ian Wright, a graduate of many years standing, with both BE and PhD degrees. He is currently Chief Engineer of AMECON, the company now building frigates for the Australian and New Zealand navies. He is also a member of our Faculty Board. I hope you will make every effort to attend. Further details are enclosed with this newsletter.

Best wishes,

Bill Brown

President, SMEEA

Dear Sue,

Thank you for the inaugural 'Monelec Alumni News' - may its existence be lively and controversial.

It was interesting and not a little nostalgic to see the potent name 'Monelec' again appear in the Monash Electrical Engineering context.

Some of your esteemed readers may be unaware of the colourful history of that highly esteemed establishment 'Monelec Motors' in the period before it restructured itself into a boutique stockbroking house after the '87 crash (car crash that is).

The year was 1970, long before Ellistronics, Rod Irving or even Dick Smith. The only decent places you could buy bits were at McGraths and pay full retail price, or Radio Parts where you could get 'trade' on production of a company order. That was the era when 2N3055's were over $2.00 and the new Fairchild uA709's were about the same. (You need to know that the fortunate ones among us were on a Commonwealth PGA worth $45/week at the time).

It was decided to create a trading company that ostensibly consumed all the items that impecunious EE students needed to buy cheaply (ie. electronic bits and car parts) and the 'Monelec Motors specialising in Auto electronics' was born, although in retrospect 'Monelec Brewery Motors specialising in Anything Else a Young Engineer's Mind Turns To Except It Was Too Long To Fit On The Masthead' may have been a more comprehensive business plan. (Oh yes, it was the era before 'Business Plans' as well. How did we get on without them?)

The stakeholders put money in the pot to have 2 phoney order books printed each, in the name of the above company. Memory is hazy about the exact identities but the names Armstrong, Bradley, Coles, Elias, Gliddon, Keogh, Schultz, Watt, Wells and Wynn would not be dissimilar to those involved.

The aura of impropriety surrounding the whole exercise was palpable on the day the books were picked up from the printer - "You don't want a receipt for these do you?"

We didn't!

Geoff Watt (BE'68, MEngSc'72)


John Bennett has returned from his sojourn at the DSTO establishment in Salisbury, SA and is once again up to his neck in academic activities. We can expect big things from his collaboration with Peter Dyson (Latrobe) in the years ahead.

Binh is part of the Monash push for links with Vietnam and has been again away in that country to drum up business. The Vice Chancellor is indebted to Binh for his indefatigable efforts in finding the right people to negotiate with, the right places to visit etc.

Peter Darvall, who also visits Vietnam, will be leaving the Faculty at the end of June to take up the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development). He has made an enormous contribution in his six years as Dean of Engineering and will be sorely missed. Bill Melbourne will be Dean for an interim period until a new Dean is appointed.

Bill Brown has been Associate Dean for some years. His most significant task in this role was the reading of 300 names at the Graduation Ceremony held on March 30 this year!

Kishor Dabke won the prestigious Faculty Teaching Award for 1993. It was presented by the 'Clayton's Dean' at the Faculty Christmas Party last December. Everyone agrees that Kishor is our best teacher and that the award is richly deserved.

Lindy Dekker (BE'82) and James Wiles (BE'84) may be found in Building 1. They are working on contract with Siemens on the Video Coding project.

Russell Lang (engaged to be married next year) has also joined the Video Coding Group. (Does he intend to spend his whole life in the Department?)

King Ngan has resigned his senior lectureship after two years in the Department and has taken up a post at the University of Western Australia. He supported Khee Pang very well in the Video Coding Group and took an enormous load during Khee's illness in 1992.

Fred Ninio's appointment at Monash is now 50% in our Department and 50% still in Physics. He is lecturing in level three circuit theory and is involved in a number of other activities.

Kemal Ajay, PhD candidate and now project leader of Kim Ng's Shape Management Project, and wife Sally recently became parents to a third daughter - the first of a number of babies expected within the department over the next few months.


Victor Koss (BSc/BE'92) and Wang Xinhua (PhD'92) have been awarded the prestigious Electrical College Prizes of the IEAust in Victoria. Undergraduate and Graduate awards are available to students completing their respective Electrical Engineering degrees in the previous year.

The Category A (Undergraduate) award went to Victor Koss, the top student in the BE in 1992 and winner of the Graham Beard Prize. The judges were particularly impressed with his academic achievements, his thesis project on a PC based Voice Messaging system, and his professional outlook. The award carries prize money of $1000. Victor is now working for Booze-Allan.

The Category B (Postgraduate) award went to Wang Xinhua, whose PhD thesis "Finite Element Methods for Nonlinear Optical Waveguides" was supervised by Greg Cambrell. In addition to his outstanding academic achievements, the judging panel particularly noted the contribution made by Dr Wang to the field of optical waveguides in a number of papers published subsequently. He is currently a research fellow at the University of Melbourne. His award carries a prize of $2000. This completes a double for Xinhua who was awarded the second Douglas Lampard Electrical Engineering Research Medal in 1993.

4TH YEAR PHOTOGRAPHS: '82, '85, '87

Bill Brown is missing copies of the above class photographs from his otherwise complete collection. If any graduate from those years has a copy he would like to borrow it for copying and return.


William Alexander Brown


William James Bonwick

(Sir John Monash Chair of Electrical Power Engi.)

Raymond Austin Jarvis

(Director, Intelligent Robotics Research Centre).

Frederick John Walter Symons

(Telecom Chair of Telecommunications and Information Engineering)


John Atkinson Bennett

David Lloyd Morgan

Khok Khee Pang


Thomas Ian Henry Brown

(Director, Centre for Biomedical Engineering)

Edward Moore Cherry

Robin Andrew Russell

Wladyslaw Mielczarski


Clive Samuel Berger

Le Nguyen Binh

Gregory Keith Cambrell

Michael Conlon

Kishor Pandharinath Dabke

Donald Grahame Holmes

Donald Bryan Keogh

Lindsay Kleeman

Bhaskaran Radha Krishnan

Kim Chew Ng

Freddie Ninio

Qi Su

David Suter

Liren Zhang


Serdar Boztas

Peter Freere

Mohammed Easin Khan


Arthur Marinakis


The rules for this award have now been approved by the Academic Board and Council. The first awards were made last year to Rick Alexander (PhD '90) and Wang Xinhua (PhD '92). The prize is a cheque for $1000 and the medal, an interesting design including a diagram from Professor Lampard's capacitance theorem paper. The prize is being funded by donations from alumni. Those who have agreed to contribute will receive notification with this newsletter. But any donations to the fund would be most welcome. Cheques should be made payable to Monash University. All donations are tax deductible.


David Atkinson (BE '76), after a stint as Lecturer at Swinburne and experience with several multinational companies, is now the managing director of STEP Electronics in Bayswater. The company specialises in design of equipment for communications including terrestial and satellite modems and interfaces.

Michael Bruce (BE '84) is currently working as a development engineer in Philips Telecommunications Industries in Nuremberg, Germany. He is working in the field of high speed optical fibre transmission equipment as a System Integration Engineer on a 3 year contract which will finish next year, and he will then return to Australia.

Art Coolidge (BE '80) keeps busy in Oregon, looking after 3 dozen sheep and nearly that many lambs, working as a volunteer firefighter at a small rural fire station near his home, and riding his bike.

Adam Crow (BE '86) and wife are now parents with the birth of Jennifer Elizabeth. 'Keystrokes', a radio show about computers that airs on 3RRR, is put on by Adam and J J Clyne (BE '85).

Bob de Boer (BE '71) is employed by Telecom to lead the Jindalee (over the horizon radar) project.

Norm Gale (BE '69) is now the Director of Marketing for the Magellan Network Systems Division of Nortel. After many years with Telecom (including some time at the Universiti Sains Malaysia), he helped to form JTEC before moving to his current position.

Peter Gerrand (MEngSc '70), long time employee of Telecom, is now Director of the Collaborative Information Technology Research Institute (CITRI) (a joint venture of Melbourne University and RMIT) and Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Ed Hawthorn (BE '86) has often thought of coming back to Monash but has been enjoying his job at Telecom. He feels he has always been at the frontiers of engineering design, AXE rural exchange, basic rate ISDN and transmission and (now) switching alarm collection and performance monitoring systems. He's presently leading a development team putting the OSI 7-layer (although they only use 5 layers) model into practical use for collecting alarms and performance information from the Telecom network. (Ed: yes - he's the one who got a P2 in 4th year Communications).

Ken Hird (BE '71) is a radio engineer in the Navigational Services Department of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra. Bill Brown bumped into him in a fish and chip shop in Lakes Entrance in January.

Michael Jarvis (BE '91) (son of Ray) recently married Sophie Salpingidis (another Monash graduate). Michael is with Telecom.

Stephen Lam (PhD '82) is the Manager of International Equities within Commonwealth Funds Management Limited in Canberra. He visited the Department in February on the occasion of the enrolment of his daughter, Esther, as a science student at Monash.

Lewei Li (PhD '92) is a Research Scientist in the EE Dept of the National University of Singapore, with research interests in microstrip antennas and applications, waves and fields in waveguides and waveguide antennas, and theoretical and experimental studies on rainfall attenuation in the tropical environment.

Alan Lipton (BE '91) is pursuing a PhD in the Department and is just back from two months in Japan where he was working collaboratively with the University of Tokyo Department of Mechano-Informatics on vision-based robot navigation algorithms.

Gary Lyons (BE '78) is the R&D Product Manager for Email Electronics. The company is a strong supporter of the Faculty's Industry Scholarship Scheme.

Keith Murray (BE '84) and his wife Cheryl now have a baby daughter, Elizabeth. Keith's father Noel retired fom the chair of Structural Engineering at the end of 1993. Keith is with Telecom and is working on AUSTPAC.

David Scambler (BE '73) has been appointed manager of Corporate Planning for the Royal Melbourne Hospital. David worked at Hospitals Computer Service from 1976 until taking up his new appointment. His interest in the "new" computers led to his becoming a programmer at HCS in 1976, and he progressed from programmer to program manager to their manager of corporate planning before taking up his current position.

Barry Tritt (MEngSc '72) left the Australian Road Research Board a year or two back and now has his own company, Industrial Process Controls.

Correction: In the last newsletter, we stated that Alan Wells was 'still with Ford'. We were wrong. He is with the CSIRO Division of Manufacturing Technology in Adelaide.

Society of Monash Electrical Engineering Alumni


and Annual General Meeting

Friday 22nd July, 7:00pm for 7:30pm

Monash University Club, Clayton Campus

Cost: $25 per person

Guest Speaker: Ian Wright (BE '65, PhD '71)

Chief Engineer, AMECON

Ian will tell us about the building of frigates

for the Australian and NZ Navies.

Please reply to: Bill Brown

Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering

Monash University

Clayton 3168

FAX: 905 3454

by 1 July enclosing payment (Cheques payable to SMEEA).

I wish to attend the Alumni dinner on Friday 22 July


Number Attending:

Contact Phone:

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