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

Clayton Campus, Monash University

Issue 5

Editor : Sue Morgan 9905 3467

May 1996


We start 1996 again with a range of challenges and opportunities ahead of us. The Faculty has commenced a major review into how we may best set our Directions for the Future. Those who have made contributions in the past have placed us in good stead to deal with these and you as our Alumni may well be asked to contribute in due course.

While the number of students choosing to study engineering continues to fall across Australia our programs remain popular with entry scores rising at both the Clayton and Caulfield Divisions. Our research programs go from strength to strength with the recent addition of the eMERGE Cooperative Multimedia Centre bolstering the activities of the Centre for Telecommunications and Information Engineering being just one example. Professor Fred Symons and Professor Bill Bonwick, who have both made invaluable contributions to the Department, retire in 1996 and will prove, I am sure, to be tough acts to follow.

It may come as a surprise that approximately 50% of the Department's direct budget comes from its research activities. Its direct budget is in turn almost doubled through its research grants. A major challenge is to consolidate and extend these activities with a continuing increase in postgraduate enrolments to compensate for falling undergraduate demand. You will probably be aware of the major expansion in the number of new universities being built in our neighbouring countries. The Department anticipates a significant growth in the number of staff from these universities visiting under research collaborations and to pursue postgraduate studies.

It is appropriate to thank Bill Brown for his work as Head over the last few years in a period of rapid and still accelerating change. Bill retired as Head this year and is currently enjoying a sabbatical overseas. I am sure he anticipates exploring his research interests and role as the departmental historian with some vigour when he returns.

Finally let me invite you to explore our World Wide Web Home Page from time to time and certainly add its address ( to your browser bookmarks. Sue Morgan, our Webmaster, would welcome your comments on these pages which have become a major plank in our administrative processes and, of course, publicity.

Professor Greg Egan
Head of Department


Friday 14 June 1996

West Banquet Room Union Building 6.30 pm for 7.00

"My Glorious Moment in Engineering"

Reserve the date, tell your friends, and send in the response form at end of this newsletter


On a balmy summer's evening last December in the lush Engineering Courtyard 80 people gathered to view a painting of Doug Lampard that had been commissioned by the Department. Peter Darvall, Past Dean of Engineering and now Deputy Vice Chancellor spoke on behalf of the Vice Chancellor about Doug's great contribution to the establishment of the University in the early sixties and of his leadership of the Department of Electrical Engineering over many years. Roslyn Lampard, Doug's widow, performed the unveiling and expressed her gratitude to the Department for commemorating Doug's contributions in this way. Doug and Roslyn's two daughters, Debbie and Mandy were also present, together with their husbands.

The portrait is in oils and shows Doug in his Cambridge PhD gown and wearing his favoured IEE tie. Behind him is a selection of the wide range of books that he loved and that reflected his lifelong interests.

The portrait hangs in the entrance foyer at the western end of the main departmental building (Building 35) as a memorial to a great scholar and a reminder of the origins of the Department.

The inscription reads:


Born: May 4, 1927 Died: September 1, 1994

Appointed Foundation Professor of Electrical Engineering
at Monash University in 1962. Retired 1990.

Beside the portrait is the new honour board for the recipients of the Doug Lampard Medal, awarded on a yearly basis for the best research thesis in the Department.

Some idea of the portrait may be gained from the (rather inadequate) reproduction shown above. To see the real thing (and the new honour board) you should pay a visit to the Department some time.

The portrait was painted by Jane Majkut, a painter and illustrator who lives with her family in Endeavour Hills. She trained in a number of schools (including Monash University) and with a number of individuals. She has worked in a variety of media using her artistic talent in a diverse range of areas (including electronic drafting work). In her spare time she paints for pleasure! In her portrait of Doug Lampard, painted from photographs, she has captured the essence of a man of high achievement and strong personality.


Jennifer Beck, Director of the University Alumni Office, recently asked Departments to submit the names of notable graduates. We submitted the following list, which we do not claim to be exhaustive:

Peter Annal, BE(Hons) 1965, MEngSc 1969 Director, Monash University Computer Centre

Jonathan Billington, BE(Hons) 1975, MEngSc 1978 Professor of Computer Systems Engineering, University of South Australia

Stephen Blanch, BE(Hons) 1970, MEngSc 1973, Managing Director, Eastern Energy

Bill Bonwick, PhD 1973 Sir John Monash Professor of Electrical Power Engineering, Monash University

Alan Bradley, MEngSc 1972 Professor of Communications Engineering, RMIT

Allen Conduit, BE(Hons) 1976 Managing Director, Fibernet PtyLtd

Tharam Dillon, BE(Hons) 1968, PhD 1974 Professor of Computer Science, Latrobe University

Alan Finkel, BE(Hons) 1976, PhD 1981 Director, Axon Research Pty Ltd

Ross Gawler, BE(Hons) 1972, PhD 1979 Managing Consultant A T Kearney

Peter Gerrand, MEngSc 1970 CEO, CITRI

Peter Gregory, BE(Hons) 1975, MEngSc 1978 National Sales Director, Telspec Pty Ltd

Peter Harrison, BE(Hons) 1974 General Manager, Network Products, Telstra

Lee Poh Aun, PhD 1967 Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Universiti Malaya

Nhan Levan, PhD 1966 Professor of Systems Science, UCLA

Gary Lyons, BE(Hons) 1979 Operations Manager, Email Electronics

Bob Masterman, PhD 1970 Director, Industrial Systems Pty Ltd, Sydney

Anthony Merry, BE 1984 Managing Director, Haliplex Pty Ltd

Jim Park, BE(Hons) 1972, MEngSc 1974 Manager of Telecommunications Networks, Siemens Ltd

Alex Proudfoot, MEngSc 1972 Principal Medical Advisor, Therapeutic Goods Administrative Staff, Department of Human Services and Health, Canberra

Geoff Ramadan, BE 1982 Managing Director, Unique Micro Design Pty Ltd

Steve Redman, PhD 1967 Professor of Neurosciences, John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU

Barry Tritt, MEngSc 1972 Director, Industrial Process Control Ltd

Ian Wright, BE(Hons) 1966, PhD 1971 Deputy General Manager, Shipbuilding Systems Project, Transfield Defence Systems Ltd

Katsuhiko Yamashita, MEngSc 1975 Head, Industrial and Public Facilities Control Systems Department, Toshiba Corporation, Japan

This list is incomplete and we need your input (don't be too modest) about yourself and other people to expand it.

If your name is on the list please be assured it will not be used for publicity or other purposes without your prior permission.


A SMEEA dinner, incorporating the AGM, was held on Friday evening 7 July. In addition to a lively and boisterous flow of reminiscences during the dinner the guests were honoured with a presentation by Steve Blanch (BE 69, MEngSc 73), Managing Director of Eastern Energy. Steve started as a cadet with the SECV at the age of 15, then went on to gain a Diploma before coming to Monash. He went back to the SECV, rose to senior management levels and then spent a few years as a senior manager in New Zealand and Australia before taking up his current position.

Steve gave the background to the corporatisation and imminent privatisation of the SECV and passionately argued about the benefits of these in terms of 'better value for money', 'private enterprise', 'improved services' etc. He related his current views to his experiences as a 15 year old cadet when he was advised to adjust his productivity downwards in order to fit in with the values of the day. He talked about downsizing the company but upgrading the motivation and enjoyment of the remaining employees. He expected the privatised company to compete successfully in the international arena to win contracts overseas.

The assembled professionals ranging in age between 25 and 62 listened with interest to Steve's description of the bright new privatised future of the power industry. However, there was close and occasionally sceptical questioning of the benefits outlined.

The AGM of SMEEA took place between the first and second courses of the dinner and lasted a very short time. It was agreed that Bill Brown should continue as President, Kishor Dabke as Secretary, Greg Cambrell as Treasurer and Ian Taylor and Nigel Aylott as the other committee members.


The class of 1976 met in Jells Park on Sunday 17 March 1996 over a barbecue to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their final year. This was a class with particularly high and cohesive spirit which is still sufficiently sticky to hold them together. Many of them meet regularly and otherwise keep in touch.

The following people attended the barbecue: Allen Conduit, Guy Goodman, Peter Hart, C.H. Khong, Steven Mutabazi and Steven Winnal. Allen Conduit and Guy Goodman run their own businesses in optical fibre and computer areas respectively. Peter Hart has become a consultant with particular interest in electromagnetic fields; C.H. Khong and Steven Mutabazi are with Telstra although Steven had a short fling with a successful software business. Steven Winnal is working with ICI in Deer Park. The people who are or have been in businesses of their own had some interesting tales of the 'really real (financial) world' and would be willing to share their hard-earned wisdom with any aspiring business tycoons from among the alumni. Kishor Dabke from the staff attended the lunch and was very impressed with how much wiser all the alumni looked compared to their appearance in 1976!


Bill Brown completed almost seven years as Head of Department at the end of 1995. He was presented with a commemorative plaque and two bottles of expensive wine at a departmental Christmas Dinner on 1 December to mark this period in the history of the Department. Bill Bonwick, who said he had known Bill Brown for longer than anyone else at the gathering, made the presentation speech, full of humour, good-will and appreciation. Greg Egan took over the Headship at the beginning of 1996.

Fred Symons took early retirement. He was here from 1988 to 1996 after being Deputy Director of the Telcom Research Labs. He built up a large and high quality telecommunications teaching and research activity including the Video Codec project led by Khee Pang and ANSPAG headed at Monash by Bruce Tonkin. Thirty four people besides Mary and Fred Symons attended the farewell lunch on 20 Apr 96. Fred was in full regression mode and recounted many amusing stories about his undergrad days as a student of Prof. Willoughby in Adelaide. Fred was a very active person while at Monash so he was presented with a set of Bouelle steel balls to help him pass his time in retirement.

Dallas Homewood retired from the University in early December and was replaced with Mark Noonan. Dallas had served in the Electronics Workshop for thirty years.

Arthur Marinakis resigned from the position of Senior Tutor in the power area in August and was replaced with Madhu Chetty, who comes from Melbourne University.

Clive Berger and Le Nguyen Binh were promoted to Reader at the beginning of 1996.

David and Sue Morgan have returned, with their three daughters, from a year in Boston, although David returned briefly to the USA for a conference presentation.


As in past years, several graduates and SMEEA members are helping to bring a realistic perspective of applying for a job and going through an interview to the undergraduate students doing the management 1s couse. The recruitment strategies which our undergraduate students experience span a wide range of employment areas - CSIRO, BHP, Australian Road Research Board, Public Transport Corporation, Unique Micro Design and others. This semester, Alex Gas of PTC and Geoff Ramadan of Unique Micro Design are helping the department. If you would like to help in this and similar ways please let us know.


Matthew Ha (BE'85) is with Hewlett-Packard in Hong Kong, where his focus is in business engineering and engineering training.

Haggen So (BE'94) is working as an Assistant Engineer with Express Engineering Ltd in Hong Kong, involved in maintenance.

Daniel Tan Hong Koon (BE'93) is working with Robert Bosch in Penang as a software engineer, developing software for car radios.

David Kershaw (BSc(Hons)BE '89) was awarded Ph.D. in May 95 for his thesis entitled 'Adapative Waveform Selection for Tracking Systems" jointly supervised by Professors Alan Bradley (RMIT) and Rob Evans (EE, Univ of Melb.). Since leaving Monash, David has been with DSTO and is currently in the Melbourne end of the Maritime Operations Division.

Sonja Ahrens and James Kershaw (both BScBE'92) returned to Australia to continue working with Siemens Ltd. and studying at Monash (respectively), after twelve months working at Siemens AG in Munich, Germany. They were both involved in the Public Networks Division (SDH and ATM) while with Siemens AG, and enjoyed their time in Europe immensely.

Kathy Meyer (nee` Fischer) (BE'88) is now a proud mother and after a stretch of maternity leave, has returned to Siemens where she is involved in the telecommunications area.

Peter Gregory (BE'75 MEngSc'78) spent two years in Darmstadt, Germany setting up the Telspec company office there to service a large contract for Australian designed telecommunications equipment to be used by the privatised Deutsche Telekom (German Telecommunications). He has returned home as the National Sales Manager of Telspec.


The December 1995 issue of MOSAIC contains articles on the New Performing Arts Centre at the Clayton Campus, the launch of the Monash Alumni Association (President Rob Gerrand - a man who once passed through our hands!), the likely influence of information technology and telecommunications on campus life etc.

The latest alumni news is available on the internet at URL: Hotspots include Monash Alumni Diary Dates, Alumni 'In the news and on the move', the Monash Alumni Business Directory, Contact Column, the JUMBANA-L email list and the Alumni Registration Form.

If you would like further information by mail then write to the Alumni Office, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168.

The annual cost of membership in the Alumni Association is $25. You get a membership card which entitles you to many privileges and concessions.

Tell us about yourself! - I welcome all contributions to this newsletter, especially details on what you and your fellow graduates may now be doing. Your help in making this newsletter 'newsy' is eagerly sought. - Sue (email:



"My Glorious Moment in Engineering"

Friday 14 June 1996

West Banquet Room Union Building

6.30 for 7.00 p.m.

A great opportunity to get together, talk about the old (or not so old) times and make some useful contacts.

Our after-dinner speeches will have a novel approach this year. Ian Taylor (1972) will talk about "Electrical Engineering in the Antarctic" based on his experience of two years there.

This will be followed by several short (2-3 minutes) accounts of some weird and wonderful episodes about how you personally/singlehandedly or with your troops saved the computer/section/world etc. We already have several starters from the class of 1976 but there are bound to be equally good stories from other years. If you wish to speak, please mark your dinner registration form accordingly. This year make sure you bring at least one person who has not been to the SMEEA dinner recently.

It is expected that there will be a presentation of the 1995 Douglas Lampard Electrical Engineering Research Medal and Prize at the dinner.

RVSP 7 June Please return the form below to Dr Kishor Dabke,
c/o this department,
or email


FRIDAY 14 JUNE 1996 West Banquet Room Union Building 6.30 pm for 7.00

Please reserve _____________ places at the dinner for me @ $30 per head. I enclose a cheque for $_______________ drawn in favour of SMEEA.

My contact details:





I would like to talk about "My Glorious Moment in Engineering"

I can't come to the dinner but enclose my SMEEA membership application

I am interested in joining Monash Alumni the University Alumni organisation

Electrical & Computer Systems | Faculty of Engineering | Monash University
Authorised by Head of Department of Electrical & Computer Systems Engineering
Last updated 6 June 1996

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