On 25 October 2018, Part IV students and staff gathered at Old Government House to celebrate the culmination of four years of hard work and the end of their undergraduate degree. It was an extremely happy evening, kicked off with a hilariously true-to-form speech by Head of Department, Assoc Prof Ashvin Thambyah.

The evening was also a particularly special occasion as it provided the opportunity to thank Prof Brent Young for his years of service as Head of Department. This involved a standing ovation [pictured above], and special thanks from the class in the form of a personalised Yoda themed mug.

Others who received an individually designed mug to thank them for their service in leadership positions over the past 3 years include Prof John Chen, Adjunct Prof Robert Kirkpatrick, Assoc Prof Peng Cao, Assoc Prof Ashvin Thambyah and Lynette Carter.

There were two award categories presented during the evening, and these were for the best oral presentations for the Final Year Project 2018. The Society of Materials New Zealand Incorporated (SMNZI) together with the department sponsored awards in the ‘Materials Research’ category, while the Institute of Chemical Engineers, New Zealand Chapter, sponsored the ‘Chemical and Process Research’ category. Ellie McBurney, Suet Ying Cheng, and Nat O’Neill won 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Materials Research Category. The Chemical and Processing category recognised Nadia Schroeder in 1st place, Adam Cameron in 2nd place and Christina Zhao in 3rd place.

The evening was a huge success with a lot of laughter and good memories both cherished and created. Special thanks go to Ashvin and the Department for their support, without which the evening would not have gone ahead. Further thanks to Tim Biggs at OGH, as well as Jean Marie-Francis, Robyn Phillips and Kerryn Levy for their significant and greatly appreciated organisational assistance to the class reps.

by Ellie McBurney (Chemmat Part IV  student, 2018)

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