MORE than five years of research into shallow-water vessel wake waves was celebrated by Alex Robbins and his family yesterday as University of Tasmania students graduated in Launceston.
Dr Robbins was among 203 of the university's Launceston mid-year graduates recognised at Albert Hall.
Dr Robbins received his Ph.D in hydrodynamics for his work with the Australian Maritime College.
``Basically it's hazard identification of vessels in shallow water,'' Dr Robbins said.
Dr Robbins' job as DMS Maritime engineering manager sees him steering a $300 million vessel acquisition program for the Commonwealth.
Among his purchases are auxillary navy ships, tug-boats and tanker ships.
``They're built in Asia to European design,'' Dr Robbins said.
The Sydney-based man said the support of the Australian Maritime College had been paramount to his success.
``I was high-risk, but they were really flexible and supportive'' Dr Robbins said.
Landcare chief executive Tessa Jakszewicz delivered the occasional address to the graduates and their support crews.
Ms Jakszewicz drew on personal experience and the words of Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly to inspire the audience.
``This is your day, this is the start of your life,'' she said.