Graduation review: Friday 12 July 2019


As graduation week ended, the final graduands of July 2019 arrived at Liverpool Cathedral with their friends and families to receive their awards. During the morning ceremony, the sun may have failed to make the appearance we enjoyed earlier in the week, but the celebration was no less dazzling as we welcomed staff and graduands from the Department of Maritime & Mechanical Engineering/Engineering and Technology Institute, Astrophysics Research Institute, Department of Computer Science and Department of Applied Mathematics.

We congratulated Face Lab Project Manager Jessica Liu on receiving her Doctor of Philosophy today. Jessica's PhD work explored facial identification from online images for use in the prevention of child trafficking and exploitation.

This was a continuation of Jessica’s academic journey that started with a degree in Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Facial Identification.

jessica"I was fascinated by the topics and decided to do further research in the field of facial identification. I joined Face Lab in 2015 as a PhD student, finished in 2018, and started as the Project Manager of Face Lab in 2019. Professor Caroline Wilkinson has been my mentor and teacher since my undergraduate degree, it is an honour to work as part of the Face Lab team, exploring research between art and science.

"This has been an incredible journey, as an international student who has moved around since a young age, Liverpool is a beautiful city."

Joining Jessica in this morning’s ceremony was graduand Jeyageethan Mahendran, who today received his degree; Bachelor of Science with Honours in Multimedia JeyComputing. Jey has been a volunteer Course Rep for JMSU during his time as a student and, while this was sometimes challenging, he found it extremely satisfying when he was able to influence change to benefit his course mates.

Bringing what has been an outstanding week to a close, this afternoon’s ceremony saw graduands from the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Built Environment collect their awards.

Receiving the final Honorary Fellowship of the week, alumnus Mike Houghton, Managing Director of Siemens, was recognised for his remarkable passion for research on the industrial challenges of the digital revolution.

Twenty-nine years after he sat at his LJMU graduation ceremony, Mike reflected on what lies ahead for today’s graduates. He spoke about the exciting digital age that is powering a new productivity revolution, including the opportunities presented by Artificial Intelligence and autonomous vehicles.

GraduationHe urged the new graduates to keep their curiosity and harness the great creativity that can only be developed by teams; diverse teams, embracing difference.

National Scholarship recipient, Michael Greensmith, was one of our final graduates of the week. Michael graduated this afternoon with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Civil Engineering.

“I chose Civil Engineering as I have always had an interest with design and construction. It is a discipline that offers a significant sense of achievement and was something that I felt I could make a difference by pursuing. I always liked the idea of walking around the city, seeing past and present projects, and being able to say that I had a part to play in the construction of that project.”

Echoing the comments of many graduands this week, Michael says, “The most memorable part of my LJMU experience was the people that I have met along the way. I know that I have made some friends for life.”

All graduating students are invited to stay connected with their ‘friends for life’ by joining the official LJMU alumni network at


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