Internationally successful lecturer and UniSC alumnus returning to his roots | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Internationally successful lecturer and UniSC alumnus returning to his roots

Celebrating the success of graduates and seeing where they end up is such an incredible part of our job.

Take Dr Kenneth (Ken) Wasmund, a local boy from Woombye who completed his Bachelor of Science (microbial ecology), honours degree and a PhD at UniSC.

Now a lecturer in environmental microbiology at the University of Portsmouth in the UK, Ken made time this month to visit the uni and teachers who contributed to his success.

In a full-circle moment, Ken returned to UniSC's Sunshine Coast campus to see his former PhD supervisor, Associate Professor Ipek Kurtboke, who supported and played a major role in his achievements.

The strong relationship between academic and student decades later is a true success story. "He is one of our first graduates, and has made us very proud," Dr Kurtboke said.

Ken's field of study has taken him around the world, from postdoctoral research positions in Germany, Austria and Denmark, to the Arctic (Svalbard) and the Timor Sea where he conducted several field expeditions.

His experience lies in the study of microorganisms in environmental and biotechnological systems including the marine subsurface, wastewater treatment plants, and contaminated environments.

As an environmental microbiologist, Ken works to remove contaminants from the ocean and waterways, addressing 'Life Under Water', one of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's).

With UniSC ranked first in Queensland for 'Life Under Water' (2023 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings), we're incredibly proud of our alumni who are helping us achieve global sustainability impacts.

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