Newsletter of Alumni of the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems
Clayton Campus, Monash University
Editor : Sue Morgan 9905 3467 email@example.com
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF SMEEA
Greetings, fellow alumni from Clayton and Caulfield. In line with the move
to a single department without separate divisions we are combining the alumni
activities of the former Clayton and Caulfield departments. At Caulfield,
these have been at a low ebb in recent years so that we are having difficulty
in establishing a decent address list and getting together a reasonable
number of graduates. Because of this there is very little in this newsletter
specifically for Caulfield alumni, although there is an article entitled
"The Merged Department" and we are hoping that graduates from
the former Chisholm or Caulfield will take part in SMEEA activities from
now on. Of course there are a number of people who have been associated
with both of the former departments (including myself) and these should
help to keep the reminiscences flowing. Our alumni representative from the
Caulfield Campus is Malcolm Reid [Tel. (03) 9903 2286, Fax (03) 9903
2906, email: firstname.lastname@example.org].
Many of the pages of this issue are taken up with a biography of Doug
Lampard, the man who was appointed to the first chair of electrical
engineering at Monash in 1962. It is written by Steve Redman, a student
and then close colleague of Doug's over many years in the department. Steve
is now a Professor of Neuroscience at the Australian National University.
The article appeared in the journal Historical Records of Australian
Science in December 1996. The journal is published by the Australian
Academy of Science and the article is re-printed here with permission.
For those of us who studied under Doug or worked closely with him the biography
will bring back many memories. For those who didn't know him it will provide
a fascinating insight into a remarkable life.
Most of this newsletter has been written by Kishor Dabke and me.
A name appears after an item only if we haven't written it. I wrote the
items that include Kishor's name.
FROM THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT
I am looking forward to meeting you all at the annual dinner. In the meantime,
I am maintaining an academic focus on the extended Department's activities
under extreme budgetary challenges. Unlike other universities, we are not
yet applying vacuum cleaners to alumni wallets but we would welcome your
advice and suggestions on industry linkages. Of course, you are always welcome
to consider a postgraduate degree for a touch of intellectual excitement
or professional update; David Morgan would welcome your call on (03)
9905 3483 or fax on (03) 9905 3454 or email on email@example.com.
SMEEA DINNER 1997
Some of you are only interested in this! So here is the date: Friday
27 June 1997 (registration by Friday 20 June 97 using the form
on page 3) in the West Banquet Room, 1st floor Union Building, Clayton Campus
at 7.00 for 7.30pm. Please mark it in your diary, round up several people
who haven't been for a year or two (or ever) and organise them to come.
Last year we had many fresh graduates who are a great pleasure to talk to
if you are beginning to feel old. And for fresh graduates it is a great
opportunity to build up an "old person" network which can be so
Last year Ian Taylor of CSIRO talked on the topic of "Mining
for water in antarctica" giving us some fascinating insights into some
cold engineering problems he tackled during his two years down at the bottom
of the world. This year also there will be an interesting speaker
but delicacy dictates that the name be not revealed yet!
Last year we also launched the series "My glorious moment in engineering"
to which several people contributed with short speeches of up to five minutes.
Some very witty and some serious descriptions were offered. There is one
unfinished story about two women in a lesbian relationship who nearly bankrupted
a company. How the clever SMEEA member solved the problem will be revealed
this year. So come along to hear this and let us know (on the dinner registration
form) whether you will be offering something to top last year's stories.
Who said they had to the true? Were all your observations in lab reports
THE MERGED DEPARTMENT
With the merger of Monash University and the former Chisholm Institute of
Technology in 1990 a new Faculty of Engineering was formed with the existing
departments at Clayton and divisions of these in a School of Applied Engineering
at Caulfield. (A few years later the Gippsland School of Engineering also
joined the faculty.)
For some years after the merger the Clayton and Caulfield activities of
the combined Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (the
current name) remained fairly separate. The two bachelor degree programs
remained quite separate and there was no cross-campus teaching. However
at the postgraduate level there was (and still is) a single set of regulations
for higher degrees, although postgraduate students were attached to one
campus or the other. (The postgraduate numbers at Caulfield have grown dramatically
since the merger.)
At the time of the merger, Jeff Hanson, who had been Head of Electrical
and Electronic Engineering of the Chisholm Institute of Technology, became
Head of the Caulfield Division of the Department of Electrical and Computer
Systems Engineering. He retired at the end of 1991 and Paul Voumard
took over this role until his retirement at the end of 1996. Currently the
most senior person at Caulfield is Irena Cosic, who is a Deputy
Head of the whole department, but with special responsibilities at Caulfield.
With reduced funding levels and falling student numbers in engineering (across
Australia) there are plans in hand in the faculty for a common entry, common
first year and common courses in the various fields of engineering across
the two campuses (with some effects also at Gippsland). Thus there will
eventually be a single degree in electrical and computer systems engineering
at Monash. It will be sad to see the distinctive nature of the two courses,
each with their own proud history, disappear, but the exigencies of current
government policies and management attitudes are forcing this to happen.
On the credit side, however, these changes should enable the department
to face existing and new challenges with greater strength.
The department is large by Australian standards. Some idea of its size can
be gauged by looking at a listing of the current full-time academic staff,
Greg Egan (Head) Clay
Ray Jarvis Clay
John Bennett Clay
Clive Berger Clay
Le Nguyen Binh Clay
David Morgan Clay
Khee Pang Clay
Ian Brown Clay
Bill Brown Clay
Ed Cherry Clay
Irena Cosic (Deputy Head) Caul
Wlad Mielczarski Clay
Kim Ng Clay
Andy Russell (Deputy Head) Clay
Hamid Abachi Caul
Mohammed Atiquzzaman Clay
Greg Cambrell Clay
Michael Conlon Clay
Francesco Crusca Caul
Barrie Harding Caul
Grahame Holmes Clay
Stewart Jenvey Caul
Don Keogh Clay
Easin Khan Clay
Lindsay Kleeman Clay
Robin Lisner Caul
Brian Lithgow Caul
Nallasamy Mani Caul & Clay
Qi Su Clay
David Suter Clay
Bruce Tonkin Clay
Madhu Chetty Clay
Tadeusz Czaszejko Caul
Peter Freere Clay
Ian Kaminskyj Caul
Ming Liu Caul
Sajal Palit Caul
Malcolm Reid Caul
Ahmad Zahedi Caul
John Zakis Caulssssss
THE DOUGLAS LAMPARD ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH
PRIZE AND MEDAL
Some congratulations are in order. The winner of this prestigious prize
for 1996 is Justin Lipton (supervisor Kishor Dabke and later
Jeff Alison of the Faculty of Medicine) for a thesis entitled "Frequency
spectra of chaotic systems - theory and applications". The prize of
$1,000 and the medal will be presented by Roslyn Lampard at the SMEEA
Justin came to Monash from Greythorn High School in North Balwyn and completed
his BSc in maths/physics in 1991 and BE in electrical and computer systems
engineering in 1993. During his undergraduate studies he was awarded the
SECV Undergraduate Scholarship and won the Sir Willis Connolly Prize for
excellence in electrical engineering studies. His final year thesis was
on the topic of chaotic systems supervised by Kishor Dabke.
Justin completed his PhD thesis in a remarkably short time. The thesis investigates
the spectral properties of time series which arise in a number of physical
and biological systems to determine if they are chaotic. The usual power
spectrum as well as the higher order spectrum called bispectrum and its
normalised version called the bicoherence spectrum are used for this purpose.
It is important to determine if a time series is chaotic because in physical
and engineering systems it may represent an undesirable and unpredictable
mode of operation whereas in biomedical signals such as ECG it may represent
a "normal" or healthy state. The spectral methods were used to
(1) reconstruct state spaces for the purpose of short term forecasting and
to identify nonlinear responses, (2) analyse deliberately chaotic digital
signals as carriers for secure communications and (3) distinguish between
various ECG responses which appear similar in the time domain but which
can lead to wrong and possibly fatal treatment if misdiagnosed.
The work resulted in several publications in international journals and
conference proceedings before it was submitted for final examination.
The Douglas Lampard Prize is funded by donations from higher degree graduates
of the department. If you wish to contribute please get in touch with Bill
Brown. All donations are tax-deductible.
THE TELSTRA MENGSC PRIZE 1996
The first winner of the $400 Telstra MEngSc Prize is Tan Soon Hie
for a thesis entitled "Video coding based on human perceptual model".
In any year the prize is awarded by the Telstra Research Laboratories for
the best MEngSc thesis in the telecommunications area. Soon Hie started
her work with King Ngan, but when he left Khee Pang took over
her supervision. The following is from her thesis abstract:
In order to increase data compression in video signals a perceptual coder
has been designed with human visual system (HVS) properties incorporated
into its coding algorithms. This coder employs a perceptual classification
which dynamically adapts the quantizer's step size according to the local
image content as it would be perceived by the HVS. With this class information,
smooth areas are well preserved and high activity areas are exploited to
reduce bit usage.
Soon Hie published a number of papers jointly with her supervisors during
her time at Monash. She returned to Singapore at the completion of her work.
Her husband, Chua Chin Seng, completed his PhD in the department
The department is pleased to announce the appointment of Bob Morrison
of Staffordshire University, UK to the Sir John Monash Chair of Electrical
Power Engineering and as Director of the Centre for Electrical Power Engineering
(CEPE). Bob is expected to take up the position at the end of August 1997.
His research interests are in the areas of electrical supply for traction
systems and quality of supply. Bob also has had considerable experience
in the development of short courses for industry. In the interm period,
Michael Conlon will be Acting Director of CEPE.
The John Monash Chair and the Director's position were held for five years
by Bill Bonwick who retired at the end of February. In a career spanning
43 years he influenced and inspired hundreds of students and built excellent
bridges with the power industry. His great contributions were honoured at
a dinner held in November at which the University and industry paid tribute
to his great work and to Bill as a person. He is still supervising a large
EPRI (USA) funded research project.
Paul Voumard ended his time as Head of the Caulfield Division of
the department at the end of December. His five years in that role marked
a period of great change, through which Paul always fought strongly for
the Caulfield staff and programs. Although he is officially retired he is
still involved in research activities in the department. It was with sadness
that we learnt of the death of his wife Laura in February.
Kishor Dabke took early retirement in December after thirty years
in the department. He has had a tremendous impact on students over the years,
as well as on many departmental activities. His retirement is also a "Clayton's"
one and we will still see much of him.
These retirees look outwardly happy with big smiles on their faces but these
are just masks to hide their intense deprivation at not being able to attend
meetings, mark lab reports, set exam papers etc!
The Department has thriving research in the areas of power, telecommunications,
biomedical engineering, robotics, multimedia and wave propagation. One interesting
project has to do with digitising and improving the image quality of old
films held by the State Film Centre and offering these as video on demand.
A notable achievement in 1996 was the Engineering Excellence Award (Highly
Commended) won by Kim Ng and his team including Lindsay Kleeman, Kemal Ajay,
Margaret Lech, Neil Smith and others. This award was given by the Institution
of Engineers Victoria Division and was for the "Non-contact measurement
of 3 dimensional objects". They achieve this by using computer generated
projection of stripes on objects whose shapes can be deduced. The system
has been sold to a number of research institutes and industry for a range
of applications including the breastfeeding habits of babies. Recently the
system was launched world-wide by a local firm MOSS (McDonnell Optical Scanning
Systems) who has the commercial licence for the system.
The ANSPAG (Advanced Network Systems Performance and Applications Group)
team won the "Best communications application" award at the international
communications conference held in Sydney in November 1996.
The department has a flourishing international exchange program among both
students and staff. Exchange students (undergrad and postgrad) have recently
come from the USA, Brazil, Germany and Denmark and staff exchanges are working
with Malaysia (Peter Freere visited again recently) and Sweden (Sven
Molin is teaching here and Ed Cherry will go there in September
and Kim Ng later on).
DEATHS OF DAVID GIESNER AND CLIFF BELLAMY
The department and many friends in Monash and elsewhere were saddened to
learn of the deaths of two people. David Giesner died on 31 Dec 96
following complications from a bypass operation. He had retired from the
department at Clayton in 1992 after 21 years as a Senior Lecturer in high
voltage engineering. He was active in the department up to the time of his
operation and was enjoying his retirement. We all thought he had many years
ahead of him but it was not to be.
Many of our alumni will remember Cliff Bellamy, who was the Director
of the Computer Centre at Clayton for many years before becoming Dean of
the newly formed Faculty of Computing and Information Technology at the
time of the merger in 1990. He taught in a number of subjects in our Clayton
course during the 80's. Unfortunately he died on 14 Jan 97 after a long
battle with cancer. He had lived through many interesting phases in the
development of computing technology and indeed had himself contributed much
to push forward the use of computers in a university environment and elsewhere.
His death was untimely and he will be sadly missed. A memorial service to
honour his life was held in the Religious Centre on the Clayton campus on
SMEEA DINNER 1997 REGISTRATION
Friday 27 June 1997 West Banquet Room, 1st floor, Union Building
7.00 pm for 7.30
register by Friday 20 June 1997
No. of people attending ___________ (base 10 please)
I would like a copy of the directory @ $10 per copy yes no (circle
Cheque: Bank __________________ No.______________ Amount $ ________
(Make the cheque payable to "SMEEA" @ $30 per head + directory
Tel. No. Fax No.
Speaking on "My Glorious Moment in Engineering" yes no
Dept of E & CS Eng., Monash University, Clayton VIC 3168
Phone (03) 9905 3507 (03) 9905 3486 Fax: (03) 9905 3454 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer Systems | Faculty
of Engineering | Monash University
Authorised by Head of Department of Electrical & Computer Systems
Last updated May 1997
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