Retirements and farewells in 2015

23 Dec 2015
From left to right: Yao-ban Chan, Head of School Joe Grotowski, Cathy Holmes, Bevan Thompson, and Head of Maths Discipline Tony Roberts.

Three long-serving staff members from SMP's mathematics discipline are retiring from UQ at the end of December 2015. Each of them has over 25 years of dedication to teaching, learning, research, and mentorship at UQ:

  • Associate Professor Bevan Thompson, Reader
  • Dr Richard Wilson, Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Cathy Holmes, Senior Lecturer

They were farewelled by staff with tales of memories from former staff members John Belward, Helen McGillvray and current Head of the Maths Discipline, Tony Roberts.

In the 1960s, one Maths student, Bevan Thompson, would witness the University’s growth over the next 50 years as a student and staff member. Bevan began his university life as a UQ Honours student in the 1960s, completing his PhD in 1972. After spending time at Flinders University, he was appointed to UQ’s teaching staff in 1974 initially teaching analysis courses, and later helping the financial mathematics masters programs become a feature in the School’s postgraduate education. Not only has Bevan helped generations of students succeed in their chosen fields outside the university sector, but he would teach and supervise students who would later become the next generation of lecturers both in Australia and around the world. Bevan leaves this year after an extraordinary service of 41 years to mathematics at UQ. 

Richard Wilson (image on the right) joined the Maths department in 1983 and pioneered web-based tutorials to develop statistical skills of students long before on-line teaching became fashionable. Richard has played a key role in statistics and applied statistics programs, and like Bevan, supervised numerous PhD students and published widely in their respective fields.

Joining five years later in 1988, Cathy Holmes added her expertise in applied mathematics courses and introduced students to the remarkable properties of differential equations. Like Richard, she developed early online resources for students and worked collaboratively with physicists on current problems in nonlinear oscillators and her students will benefit from connections in these topical fields.

Another Maths staff member on the move is Dr Yao-ban Chan who has accepted an academic post at The University of Melbourne in January 2016.

Staff and students wish Bevan, Richard, Cathy and Yao-ban all the best in the years ahead.