Dr Lidia Auret “suprised” to receive SU Chancellor’s Medal
Shortly after Dr Lidia Auret received her PhD degree in Metallurgical Engineering, she was also awarded the sought-after Stellenbosch University Chancellors Medal for 2010.
“I am very surprised – I don’t think it has fully registered yet,” she said after the ceremony. Altogether 500 students from the Faculties of AgriSciences and Engineering graduated during the fourth ceremony of the SU’s December graduation on Tuesday morning.
Prof Magda Fourie, Vice Rector: Teaching, presented Dr Auret’s commendatio and said: “Dr Auret excelled at science while still at school and continued with this excellent performance at SU. In 2007 she became one of only a handful of students who have obtained their undergraduate qualification in Chemical Engineering summa cum laude. She passed three of her subjects, including engineering mathematics, with final marks of 100%.
“In 2008 she registered for a Master’s degree, but this was converted to a PhD in Metallurgical Engineering a year ago, and it is this degree that was conferred on her today after obtaining an average of 87,8% over all her years of study. What makes her achievement even more impressive is that she only studied part time this year. She has been appointed as a postdoctoral research fellow by the Claude Leon Foundation for 2011 and 2012.
“Dr Auret’s achievements not only attest to her exceptional academic abilities, but also to the fact that she is a student with compassion for her fellow human beings and with a lively interest in a variety of subjects – from South African history and human rights to data mining and comics. She is an inspiration to others and an example of how the University cultivates expertise that can serve the community by emphasising student success.”
Dr Auret was appointed the student with the best thesis by the Department of Process Engineering, yesterday. “I knew in gr.10 already that I wanted to finish my PhD, and now I enjoy the academia tremendously – it is very exciting.”
She hopes to do another post-doctorate after the one she will be doing for the next two years, “hopefully in a country where the people speak French,” in order to put her French studies to good use and practice her French even more.
Another student, Jan Greyling, current chairman of the Student Representative Council, received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture cum laude in absentia.
Prof Julian Smith, Vice Rector: Community Interaction and Personnel, reminded the graduates that today need not be the end of their connection with the University and invited them to stay in contact. “I invite you all to stay involved and to make a contribution to your community and surroundings by using what you have learnt as a Matie to the benefit of society.”
For a short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pzq2PBuMdM