The graduating class of the University of Tasmania College of Sciences and Engineering, including the Australian Maritime College and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Science, took one giant leap towards their futures on Saturday.
One of those graduates was Uddish Singh, who was the winner of the coveted Australian Maritime College University Medal.
He is humble about his award, the highest honour for a student academically at the college.
“I’m not actually too sure how I got it,” he laughed.
“It was a big team effort, with a lot of support from the university.”
Mr Singh, 22, will now go on to a job as a marine structures engineer at Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec in Adelaide.
His longterm aim is to continue the work in ocean conservation and renewable energy that he has been studying at AMC.
“The ocean is a passion,” the engineering graduate said.
“I’m pretty sure most of the people here will tell you the same thing.
“It’s why we like it and why we chose to do the degree. We all love it. I love diving, I love getting under the water and seeing what’s there, and a lot of the other guys love their ships.
“We’ve all got a passion for waves and water, anything to do with the ocean.”
He grew up in New Zealand, where he began his studies, and he said the famously picturesque landscape contributed to his love for the environment.
“No matter where you are, you’re pretty close to the beach,” he said.
“I used to love seeing all the little shrimps and crabs in the rock pools … you just want to preserve it.”
Mr Singh’s mother Rani Singh said her son had gone “above and beyond” their expectations.
Rani, husband Neresh, and Uddish’s brother Khushaal flew in from Auckland to attend the graduation ceremony on December 15.
“We’re so proud of him,” she said.
“But it’s no surprise, he’s worked really, really hard throughout the year.”
Fellow AMC graduate Supun Randeni specialised in Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) during his PhD.
He will now go on to further post-doctoral study at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.
His area of expertise – AUVs – are fully-automated submarines, and his mission is to develop reliable tracking technology for them.
He describes his work as similar to developing a GPS that works underwater.
“They are able to reach places underwater that humans can’t reach,” he said.
“I always wanted to work with submarines, that’s why I started studying naval architecture.
“Unfortunately in Sri Lanka, where I’m from, we don’t have submarines. So that’s why I studied here.”
He said that despite Tasmania being so far from his home, he misses it when he goes away.
After eight years, he has grown very fond of the island, all of his friends, and Australian culture.
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