- Database of Resources
- Important Themes
- Guides for Lecturers
- Events and Workshops
- Teaching Development Projects
- Materials Awareness Projects
Professor Sir Graeme Davies FREng is probably unique in having been Vice-Chancellor of three universities - Liverpool, Glasgow and, currently, the University of London.
He is a New Zealander who has made a huge contribution to the development of Universities in the UK. During a distinguished academic career, in addition to leading three universities, he has taught metallurgy at the Universities of Auckland, Cambridge and Sheffield and acted as Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) which provides the funding for all English universities. His many international distinctions include visiting professorships in Brazil, Israel, Argentina and China.
B.Eng in Aeronautical Engineering
Ph.D in Materials Science
In New Zealand we did the equivalent of Scottish Highers and I studied Maths, Additional Maths, Physics, Chemistry and English.
It was a subject studied in 3 of the 4 B.Eng years and this stimulated me to pursue it at doctoral level.
It was a multi-faceted discipline which required skills and understanding in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and new areas such as Crystallography.
As a subject it taught me to think broadly and to be prepared to bring together knowledge from a range of related disciplines – it built upon the requirement to be able to think synthetically that was at the core of studying engineering – there was a need to be able to absorb multiple inputs and synthesize them into an integrated output.
The breadth of Materials Science ensures that you have a broadly based and open approach to pursuing knowledge. After completing my Ph.D my first post was as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow.
Do not specialise too early in your studies.
Yes – because of the value of breadth in thinking and the ability to synthesise that studying materials science inculcates.
Well organised and committed to succeeding but with a wide range of extra-curricular interests especially sport.
On the academic front getting a first in finals despite spending almost all my third year (of four) in hospital following a motor cycle accident – on the non-academic front winning a NZ Universities ‘Blue’ for football.
Undoubtedly inspirational teachers from intermediate and secondary school through to University but especially my mentor and Ph.D. supervisor.
Keep your options open but seek to build your career strategically gaining early experience in the best (and probably the larger) companies or universities but being ready to make moves into positions where you can gain leadership experience.
There is no single outcome that comes to mind although continued progress in improving health and environmental matters especially in the third world.
The satisfaction of successful experiments in chemistry and physics in my early years at secondary school.
The development of computers at all levels and their ubiquitous role in all professional and research discplines.
The need to develop conceptual frameworks and the value of being mathematically competent.