Newsletter of the Society of Monash Electrical Engineering Alumni

Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Clayton Campus, Monash University
Issue 4

Editor : Bill Brown 9905 3504 e-mail:

May 1995

The Department is continuing at a high level of activity this year. We have just gained access to three laboratory areas in a new building that will soon be completed. (It is Building 69 and is at the eastern end of Building 36). The first of these has a large floor area and is being used by Ray Jarvis' robotics group. The second houses the laboratory and offices of Ian Brown's Centre for Biomedical Engineering and the third the Power Electronics and Distribution laboratories and some offices of Bill Bonwick's Centre for Electrical Power Engineering.

We are in process of adding the BE/BA, BE/BCom and BE/LLB combined degrees to our repertoire of BE, BSc/BE and BCSE degrees. Kim Ng has done a magnificent job of putting together the structure and details of these programs and has received high praise for his efforts.

At the Faculty level the big news is the appointment of our new Dean, Mike Brisk. Mike is a chemical engineer and comes to us after years of experience at Sydney University and with ICI. He has before him the substantial task of raising the attractiveness of engineering to school students and of maintaining the strong links we have with industry.

It is always a delight to run into graduates from the Department. I met Baden Berry (BE 76) in a queue at a Bank of Melbourne recently and Dirk Schnerring (BE 89) on a tennis court. Victor Koss (BE 92 and winner of the Graham Beard Prize that year) has been in touch a few times recently to get my assistance for him to enrol for an MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Chris Leckie (BE 87) came to the Department recently to donate an RLC bridge that had been used in his father's business for many years. (Chris also has lent me a photo of his final year - the only one I am missing now is the '86 photo).

These are examples of the many contacts we are able to maintain from time to time. All staff have similar stories to tell. A great occasion for keeping in touch is the Annual Alumni Dinner, which is being held this year on 7 July. Further details are given below. Hope you can come.

Bill Brown


Kim Ng was promoted to Associate Professor from the beginning of 1995. Congratulations Kim! Andy Russell returned from a year at the University of Waterloo with some interesting experiences to relate. Ed Cherry returned from a year with Tektronix in Oregon, where he was engaged in the work he enjoys most, namely designing amplifiers. These ones were 1 GHZ integrated circuit amplifiers! Fred Symons is still on an Outside Studies Program delving into the different ways in which engineering students learn. David Morgan (with wife Sue and children) is again in Boston furthering his studies in muscle physiology.

Unfortunately in January we said farewell to Krishnan, Liren Zhang and Serdar Boztas. A Telecom contract was not renewed as expected and we will have to reduce our activities in the telecommunications area. Krishnan took up a position with NEC in Mulgrave, Liren with the Department of Robotics and Digital Technology here on the Clayton Campus, and Serdar with RMIT. We are very sorry to lose them.


The Annual Dinner and Annual General Meeting of SMEEA will be held on Friday 7 July 1995 at 7 p.m. for 7.30 in the Monash University Club, Clayton Campus.

The guest speaker will be Steve Blanch (BE 69, MEngSc 73) Managing Director of Eastern Energy, one of the distribution companies formed with the break-up of the SEC. Steve will bring us an up-to-date report on the activities of Eastern Energy as of July1995.

Please make every effort to come. Try to persuade another graduate to join you. Spouses welcome.

If you are able to come please fill in the form below and mail or Fax it to the following address. Alternatively a telephone or e-mail booking can be made.

Bill Brown
Department of E & C S Engineering
Monash University, Clayton 3168
Fax: 9905 3454 Tel: 9905 3504

Please book by 23 June (cheques of $27 per person payable to SMEEA).


I wish to attend the Alumni dinner on Friday 7 July 1995

Name: _______________________________

Number attending: __________

Contact phone: ____________________


A professorial position at the Caulfield Division of the Department has recently been advertised. The closing date is 30th June and further details are available from the Department. Whilst the Caulfield Division has developed considerably in the five years since the merger a professorial appointment is long overdue and should help the Division to raise its profile even further.

At the merger the Chisholm Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering became a Division of the Monash Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering. Thus the Department is now made up of the Clayton Division and the Caulfield Division, although the two operate somewhat independently with two separate BE courses. At meetings in 1994 it was agreed that the Clayton Division should continue to concentrate on the areas of telecommunications, computer systems and electrical power, whilst the Caulfield Division should seek to concentrate more on electronics, control and/or bioengineering.

The outcome of the chair appointment process will have an important bearing on the future of the Caulfield Division and indeed on the Clayton Division. The continuing existence of two separate BE programs in the one Department is seen by many to be anomalous and there is pressure to alter the offerings and structure of the Department. The debate continues! The Gippsland School of Engineering also offers a separate BE in the electrical area, but pressure to rationalize is not as great because of the distance of the Gippsland campus from the metropolitan area.


Steve Redman (PhD 67 and past member of staff) has been commissioned by the Australian Academy of Sciences to prepare a biography of Doug, who died in September last year. He kept very good records of his scientific work and of his extensive correspondence with many of the notable academic and professional scientific, engineering and medical people of his day. Interesting details of the early years at Monash as the Department was established have come to light.

The Department has commissioned a portrait of Doug to be painted by a professional artist from photographs. It is planned to place the portrait in the western entrance foyer to the main departmental building (Building 35). That area is currently being lined with timber and refurbished to improve its appearance. In addition to Doug's portrait and directory boards it will continue to be the location for the board listing the names of the Graham Beard Prizewinners and we will add a board with the names of the Douglas Lampard Medal Winners.


The winner of the Douglas Lampard Electrical Engineering Research Prize and Medal for 1994 is Tan Thiow Keng (BE 89, PhD 94). He worked with Khee Pang in the video coding group and his thesis was entitled "Efficient frequency scalable coders". He returned to Malaysia after finishing his PhD and is now working with Asia Matsushita Electric in Singapore. Tan Thiow Keng (1994) is the third winner of the medal, the other two being Rick Alexander (1990) and Wang Xinhua (1992).

A full size copy of the medal is shown below. Many alumni will recognize the diagram on the reverse side as being from an early paper on the Lampard capacitance theorem. The medal is finished in "antique gold" and has a very fine appearance.

The prize and medal are funded from donations from past research students. Many have agreed to make donations on an annual basis. If you have not yet contributed and wish to do so please send a cheque to the Department made out to "Monash University", indicating that it is a donation to the Medal Fund. You will receive a receipt and will be able to claim the donation as a tax deduction .

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Last updated 6 June 1996

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