Graduation review: Friday 14 July 2017



Graduands posing with large letters spelling out "LJMU"

It was the turn of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology to celebrate on Friday 14 July, with graduating students from the Departments of Civil Engineering, the Built Environment plus the Astrophysics Research Institute processing during the morning ceremony.

In the afternoon, the Faculty continued its celebrations, with students from four departments - Maritime and Mechanical Engineering, Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Applied Mathematics – plus the Engineering and Technology Research Institute graduating in Liverpool Cathedral.

Morning ceremony

Image of Daniel Teebay

Daniel Tebay graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying. Daniel is part of the first group of students to complete a degree apprenticeship at LJMU. This means that he combined studying part-time for his degree while continuing to work in industry, and having his tuition fees paid by his employer, who also received support via targeted government funding. 

“The degree apprenticeship enabled me to continue earning while obtaining a degree qualification,” says Daniel, who is expecting his first child later summer. “This was massively beneficial and it was a really good experience.”


Anmar Dulaimi received a PhD in Civil Engineering for his research entitled, Development of a Cold Binder Coarse Bituminous Emulsion Mixture. Dr Dulaimi’s outstanding work has already been recognised through numerous awards, including the 2017 Iraqi Cultural Attaché Prize for best PhD Achievement and an Honourable Mention Award by the Association of British Turkish Academics (ABTA) in the engineering category of the 2017 Doctoral Researcher Awards competition. He also won the Dean’s Prize for the Best Thesis 2017 in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. His success as a researcher seems assured, as he has already published 35 papers and articles in numerous respected journals in addition to delivering 27 conference papers addressing issues around sustainability and using innovative technology for reducing industrial waste.

Dr Dulaimi was joined at graduation by his wife and family. He dedicated his PhD to his mother, saying that it was his way of saying ‘thank you’ to a remarkable and cherished woman who had such a positive influence on his life.


Ivan Cabrera Ziri Castro received a PhD in Astrophysics for his research entitled, Constraining the origin of multiple stellar populations in stellar clusters. This autumn, he will be heading to the USA to start a three year fellowship at Harvard College Observatory. Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma'a, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, described this Fellowship as “arguably the top independent astronomical fellowship in the world”, adding that it was “a very rare achievement for UK students coming directly out of their PhD” to secure such a prestigious position.

“I’ll be studying special kinds of star clusters that host some of the oldest known stars,” explained Dr Castro. “These mysterious systems are called globular clusters and their origin is poorly understood. By studying the chemistry of their stars, my research aims to explain the origin of globular clusters and its possible connection with the early formation of the Milky Way halo and elliptical galaxies.”


Image of Diane Marsh

Dianne Marsh received her PhD from the Department of the Built Environment for her research entitled, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the UK Quantity Surveying Organisation: A Framework for Value Creation. Dr Marsh is also a member of staff in the Department, where she works full-time as the Programme Leader for Quantity Surveying programme.

Dr Marsh said that completing her PhD means she can empathise more with students working on their dissertations. She is keen to continue her research with a number of papers already in the pipeline. “I never thought it mattered about having a PhD but it does,” she says. “I was confident before but now I have even more confidence in myself. Getting a PhD means I’m a member of the club and it's a good feeling.”


Image of Aseel Hussein

Dr Marsh’s colleague Aseel Hussien also graduated with a PhD for her research exploring the use of virtualisation to overcome the limitations of Building Information Modelling (BIM) entitled, Argile: A conceptual framework for combining augmented reality with agile philosophy for the UK construction industry. Dr Hussien, a Senior lecturer in Architectural Technology, also completed her PhD while working full-time and bringing up her young family. She now plans to carry on her research alongside teaching at LJMU.


Image of Christine Unterhitzenberger

Originally from Germany, Christine Unterhitzenberger is now a Senior Lecturer in LJMU’s Liverpool Business School, mainly teaching postgraduate students on MBA and DBA programmes. Her PhD though comes from the Department of the Built Environment for her research entitled Organisational Justice and its impact on project performance: An explanatory framework in the context of the construction industry.

Dr Unterhitzenberger started her PhD after working for over 10 years in the construction industry. Her work was recently recognised by the International Journal of Operations and Production Management, which presented her with the Highly Commended Award in the Operations and Production Management category of the 2016 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards. Furthermore, along with Professor David Bryde, she won a Horizon2020 bid valued at Euro348,500 for a project entitled Being lean and seen: Meeting the challenges of delivering projects successfully in the 21st century.


During the morning ceremony, the University presented a Corporate Award to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. The Award was presented by LJMU in recognition of the Cathedral’s outstanding contribution to faith and community in Liverpool.

Father Tony O’Brien accepted the Corporate Award, saying: “I am delighted to receive this honour on behalf of the Metropolitan Cathedral and I am grateful to the University for recognising the two pillars of faith and community as important in our daily life. I extend my congratulations to all graduating today, I wish you well and success in your future careers and I would encourage you to play an active part of the community in which you live and work.”

Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Metropolitan Cathedral is the major Catholic Cathedral in the north of England and as well as being a centre of Catholic worship, it welcomes more than 350,000 visitors a year. The Cathedral plays an important role in the civic life of the city and the wider region and over the years has worked closely with other faith partners, charities and cultural organisations engaging in all aspects of community life.

You can read the full oration for the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King here


Afternoon ceremony

Image of Gareth Jones and Keith Wright

Gareth Jones and Keith Wright both graduate with First Class Honours in their MEng Mechanical Engineering degrees and are about to embark on really exciting careers.

Gareth is moving up to Aberdeen to work for BP as a Graduate Mechanical Engineer in their upstream exploration sector and hopes to become a Chartered Engineer within the next 5 years. “I have enjoyed my time at LJMU,” he said. “Overall the course was challenging and rewarding at the same time.”

Keith first joined LJMU as an apprentice and was then offered the chance to continue his  development by undertaking a degree. From September, Keith will be working for Balfour Beatty Rail Division as a Graduate Mechanical Engineer. “My time at LJMU has been a thoroughly positive experience”, he commented. “I have gained the best qualification possible while also developing personally, being involved in the LJMU Formula Student team and applying my engineering knowledge, and also being able to play in the LJMU American Football team.”


Image of Rhian Griffiths and Lewis Cooke

Fellow MEng Mechanical Engineering students, Rhian Griffiths and Lewis Cooke also graduate with First Class Honours and are due to start work for Aerospace, Defence, Technology and Security (ADST) and JCB respectively.

“I chose LJMU because I wanted to gain my degree at a university where practical and hands-on work was a key part of the course,” explained Rhian. “During my time at University many opportunities were made available, such as Formula Student, student advocates, Camp Leaders, volleyball and IMeche Young Members’ network. All of the extracurricular activities really did enhance my student experience allowed me to make the best of friends, see the world and really boost my CV."

She continued: “The past five years have been exceptional, there is so much I have achieved within my degree and outside of it thanks to LJMU and the engineering staff. I completed my year in industry as the Formula Student manager in 2014-2015 and it was the most difficult and most rewarding year of my life so far.”


Image of Tabia Mohammed

Tabia Mohammed graduates with a PhD from the Engineering and Technology Research Institute for her research entitled, Evaluating the effects of acoustic stimulation on fibroblast ceel migration and muscle formation. Put more simply, Dr Mohammed’s research looks at how sound can be used in wound healing, and this novel research could be applied to help people with diabetes or other wound disorders. “My confidence has grown a lot following my experiences in the Engineering and Technology Research Institute,” she says. “I can now stand up for who I am.”

Dr Mohammed is now working for LJMU as part of the LCR4.0 initiative, which designed to boost innovation, productivity and competitiveness within the Liverpool City Region.


Image of Cameron Snook

Cameron Snook graduates with First Class Honours in BSc (Hons) IT and Multimedia. Asked what it was like studying at the University, he said: “My time at LJMU has been hugely rewarding and proof that if you have the right ideas, and the right tutors, you can do anything! Studying in Liverpool has been the best university experience I could have asked for.”

During his degree, Cameron developed a new website for OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), who had hits in the 1980s with songs including Enola Gay, and who are still releasing music and performing today.


Two Honorary Fellowships were conferred during the afternoon ceremony. Lou McGrath OBE received his Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding achievements in campaigning for the clearance of landmines and unexploded munitions. David Carter received his Fellowship for his outstanding contributions to supporting homeless people and charitable services in Liverpool.


Image of Lou McGrath

Lou McGrath is the co-founder of the UK charity, Mines Advisory Group (MAG)that conducts humanitarian clearance of landmines and unexploded munitions. He was a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines which received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. Born in Liverpool, Lou has dedicated his life to improving the lives of those living in regions blighted by war, since founding MAG in 1989. His work has saved the lives of countless inhabitants of war zones worldwide. He received the OBE in 2007 for his work in landmine clearance.

On accepting his Fellowship, Lou McGrath said: “I am so honoured to receive this award, especially as  I was born here in the city of Liverpool. LJMU has done the city proud and I often hear its experts comment in the media or hear about its outstanding research.”

He added that he wanted to particularly “pay tribute to my wife Beverley and sons, Tom and James, who are here today, for supporting me.”

He concluded with some words of advice for the assembled graduands, saying: “I would advise graduates to take the knowledge you have gained and use it to benefit your fellow men and women, and most of all, those that will inherit the world after you.”

You can read the full oration for Lou McGrath here


Image of David Carter

David Carter is the Chief Executive of the Whitechapel Centre, which has supported rough sleepers, people living in temporary accommodation and those at risk of becoming homeless for 20 years. The Centre was awarded the Freedom of the City in 2016 and is currently one of LJMU's corporate charities.

In his acceptance speech, David said: “I am absolutely delighted  and thrilled with this honour. I was fortunate as a student to be able to explore the link between homelessness and crime though a work placement that not only helped my decision to work for the homeless but also gave me a career pathway.

“I am proud of the partnership that exists between the Whitechapel Centre and LJMU,” he added. “LJMU staff chose us as their corporate charity. LJMU should be proud, as this raises awareness, not just locally and nationally but globally, and places homelessness at the centre of everything we do.”

He wished graduates luck for the future, saying : “I hope graduation will lead you to a rewarding career and wish you luck in your journey.”

You can read the full oration for David Carter here


For more student stories and photos visit the LJMU Facebook page



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