Fashion designer Carla Zampatti one of three honorary doctorate recipients

The next generation of leaders in business and engineering will celebrate the end of their academic studies this week during summer graduation ceremonies at the University of Wollongong (UOW).

Undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences and the Faculty of Business will be honoured in five ceremonies held across three days, from Wednesday 12 December to Friday 14 December.

The ceremonies will recognise the outstanding achievements and personal triumphs of students from a range of academic disciplines, including commerce, business, physics, mathematics, information technology, and engineering.

Hundreds of students will don their blue caps and gowns for the graduation celebrations, held at UOW’s University Hall.

Iconic fashion designer Carla Zampatti will be recognised with Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) during Thursday’s morning ceremony. Ms Zampatti, who established her eponymous label in the 1960s, is a legend of the Australian fashion industry and a champion for women in business.

“She inspires students to follow their dreams. She also inspires women to become entrepreneurs and leaders in their fields,” said UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE.

On Wednesday 12 December, Professor Max Lu, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, will receive a Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) for his contribution to research and higher education at an international level.

Professor Lu, an expert in the fields of chemical engineering and nanotechnology, has a long relationship with UOW through his work with the Australian Institute of Innovative Materials, based at Innovation Campus.

On Friday 14 December, UOW will honour Professor Sarah Springman, Rector of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

A civil engineer and esteemed academic, Professor Springman will receive an Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) for her contribution to engineering and higher education.

She is a champion for gender equity in engineering and has inspired many young women to pursue a career in this field.

The University has also announced the recipient of the Robert Hope Memorial Prize, the most prestigious student prize at UOW. Jessica Kiekebosh-Fitt, who graduated with a double degree, Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce, received the award this year.

She was recognised for her academic excellent and volunteer work for social justice causes.

The University’s postgraduate research will be in the spotlight this week.

Dr Emily Ryan, from the Faculty of Business, has been juggling her Doctor of Philosophy, which examined the potential for a sustainable building industry in the Illawarra, with her work on Team UOW’s award-winning 2018 Solar Decathlon entry, Desert Rose.

Dr Jacob Donley, from the Faculty of Engineering, will receive his PhD for his research into how to create personal sound zones in public spaces. His research has led to a role at Facebook Reality Labs, in Seattle, Washington.

Among the undergraduate cohort, Samar Obeid who graduated on Friday 14 December with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours). Originally from Lebanon, Samar arrived in Australia at the age of 14 and has been an outstanding academic performer during her time at UOW.

Benjamin Filippi will be the third generation of his family to complete his studies at UOW when he graduates with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), majoring in Mechatronics.

Benjamin’s grandfather graduated from UOW, then part of the University of New South Wales, in 1965, followed by Benjamin’s mother in 1991.

Since its foundation, UOW has awarded more than 140,000 degrees and diplomas.