Inaugural Professor Laurie Cahill award

Vibhor Patel has received the inaugural Professor Laurie Cahill Award at the 2021 Engineering and IT Showcase

The award was established in memory of Emeritus Professor Laurie Cahill (pictured), who passed away in 2020. He joined La Trobe in 1977 as a lecturer, bringing his expertise in optical engineering and communication systems developed at Telecom Research Labs.

Emeritus Professor Cahill was instrumental in establishing the Bachelor of Electronic Engineering degree in 1980. He served as Head of Communication Engineering, then Head of the former School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences from 1999-2002.

Remembered for his vision, hard work, understanding ear and determination to provide a supportive learning environment, Emeritus Professor Cahill was respected by staff and students.

Patel, a Master of Engineering (Manufacturing) student, received the 2021 Professor Laurie Cahill Award for his practical demonstration and high-quality capstone project titled ‘Design, assembly, and testing of a high-resolution micro Raman spectrometer for characterising carbon-based materials’.

The instrument Patel designed uses light to obtain detailed chemical information about materials without causing damage. The judging panel was also impressed by the optical element of the project – the lifelong research passion of Emeritus Professor Cahill.

“Laurie applauded his students and loved working with them,” says his family. “He valued mentoring connections made with generations of students, and the friendships with colleagues. His legacy is assured.”

Two other prizes were awarded at the 2021 Engineering and IT Showcase: the Best Civil Engineering Poster Presentation, won by Bethany Godde for her post presentation on alternative concrete; and the Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering Prize, awarded to Elise Hor for high quality implementation and presentation of her work on standardising AC unit prefabrication modules.

The Showcase was a virtual event is available online. Visit the 2021 Engineering and IT Showcase.

Find out more about the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences on the website.