PORTLAND resident and local engineer Vic Catchpoole was awarded a prestigious university medal, as well as receiving first class honours, at a recent University of Technology, Sydney graduation ceremony.
Vic graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Diploma in Engineering Practice.
“I was surprised and honoured to receive a prestigious university medal, and pleased I had done the hard work in meeting the standards to receive first class honours,” Vic said.
A select few candidates are recognised with a university medal by the university each year for outstanding merit.
“This is clearly an outstanding accomplishment for Vic and so well-deserved,” Acting Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning in the UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT, Rob Garman said.
“UTS is proud to offer these awards for such dedication and high level achievement.”
Associate Professor David Dorrell of the Faculty said Vic’s diligence and application to his studies together with his genuine enthusiasm for wanting to understand and work things out, is a credit to all.
Vic said he didn’t start university studies until his children had completed their schooling and were more independent, allowing him time to focus on studies outside of work.
Once he began, he was determined to succeed.
“I needed an in-depth understanding of engineering principles involved in power station operations.
“Research skills developed helped me find solutions to problems and continue to expand my knowledge.
“My achievements would not have been possible without the help and support of my lecturers, work colleagues, family and friends,” Vic said.
“My employer Delta Electricity (which operates the Mt Piper and Wallerawang power stations), my manager, our engineers, my peers who swapped shifts with me when necessary, and other staff who helped ensure work was completed when I could not be at work, all supported me to complete my studies and reach this level of achievement,” he said.
“I liken the university medal to winning the Tour de France.
“I might have been the person who crossed the finish line first, but it was the support I received from the rest of the team that got me there,” Vic said.
As a mature-age student facing the challenges of family commitments, working full-time and commuting over the Blue Mountains to attend classes Vic said completing a university degree while working full-time is demanding but the pursuit of knowledge is very rewarding if you can afford the time.
“I also enjoyed mixing with younger students who are motivated by their dreams and ambitions.”
Vic celebrated with family and friends aboard the Sydney Showboat for a harbour cruise and cabaret following graduation.
Relatives travelled from as far as Perth and Brisbane for the special occasion.