Published on 3 September 2013
A civil engineer who was Commanding Officer of the fourth Australian Task Force in Southern Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009 is studying a PhD at the University of the Sunshine Coast to expand his education and career options.
Stuart Yeaman, who was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2008 for his military service, is researching road pavement maintenance at USC.
“I’m studying how to develop and improve systems for pavement maintenance in Queensland, particularly in regional areas with huge, costly road networks,” he said. “I want to help governments look after their roads more cheaply.”
Mr Yeaman, 45, of Chapel Hill in Brisbane, said he was looking forward to spending more time on the Sunshine Coast where he has family.
He will be researching alongside his father, Dr John Yeaman, who is Professor of Civil Engineering Construction at USC.
A PhD is just one of the new opportunities Stuart Yeaman is pursuing since leaving the military recently after 26 years of service.
He is working as project manager on a $300 million contract for global company SKM (Sinclair Knight Merz) in Brisbane, which involves building facilities for new Defence vehicles.
He has written a book about his experiences in Afghanistan, including his unit’s activities during the combat season of 2008.
Called ‘Afghan Sun – Defence, Diplomacy, Development and the Taliban’, the book is being published by Boolarong Press and will be released on Thursday 5 September in Brisbane.
“A chap in my unit was a brilliant photographer and I started writing stories about his photos, to tell the story of what we did there,” Mr Yeaman said.
“Our deployment was successful in trialling the idea of bringing development to that province to improve people’s lives, to wean them from the Taliban.”
Mr Yeaman has also nominated as a Greens Senate candidate for Queensland in the upcoming election, arguing for greater investment in technology sectors related to climate change.
— Julie Schomberg