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First Papua New Guinean Graduate with PhD in Electrical Engineering at University of Technology

Joseph Fisher, a career academic at the University of technology has become the first Papua New Guinean to graduate with a PhD in Electrical Engineering after his cutting edge research into the preventive measures of electric storms on aircraft.

Now officially addressed with the title Doctor, after graduating yesterday in the institution’s 50th graduation ceremony yesterday, Dr Fisher is from Kari Village in the Manus Province.

He completed undergraduate studies here at Unitech in 1989 and was awarded the Council Medal for his outstanding academic performance before attaining his Masters degree in Engineering Studies in Wollongong University, Australia in 1993.

He has over 28 years of teaching experience as a lecturer mostly here at Unitech and served 5 years as a Senior Lecturer within the Physics strand at University of Papua New Guinea.

As the first national to receive a PhD in Electrical Engineering, Dr John Fisher’s thesis investigates the electrostatic or pre-lightning strike and the electrodynamics or the actual lightning strike’s impact on aircrafts.

His achievements complimented the 50th graduation ceremony of the institution, regarded as the premier technological institution in the Pacific region.

A relieved Mr Fisher expressed that hard and perseverance paid off as it was a big challenge and a burden to him for taking full-time teaching load and doing PhD study at the same time but added that “there is a need for cutting edge research in Papua New Guinea in the fields of natural sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and social sciences.”

Dr Fisher said the government is not investing enough in research and suggested that all MPs to contribute 10 per cent of their District Services Improvement Program funds into research at universities as the fund will go a long way in promoting research and human resource development in PNG.

Dr Fisher also encouraged fellow researchers to always build and maintain effective working relationships with your supervisors, fellow researchers, and others and have an attitude of openness to constructive feedback from supervisors and progress review panels.

NBC News - Gabriel Lahoc

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