Academic to share polar adventures at public lecture

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Academic to share polar adventures at public lecture


Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering Dr Adrian McCallum on a research trip to the Arctic Ocean.

9 February 2017

An adventurous engineering academic from USC will share his tales of polar exploration at a special Royal Geographical Society of Queensland/USC lecture on campus on Tuesday 21 February at 7pm.

Students, staff and the wider community are invited to the public seminar, in which Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering Dr Adrian McCallum will discuss the scientific and engineering work that has taken him across Antarctica, Greenland, the Himalayas and the Arctic.

Before he started his academic career, Dr McCallum spent more than 20 years in the Australian Defence Force as a helicopter navigator, meteorologist and civil engineer.

Dr McCallum said his address, to be held at USC’s Lecture Theatre 2, would give the public an insight into the possibilities of careers in science, technology or engineering.

“I’m aiming to share some stories that are interesting both from an adventure travel point of view, and on an academic level,” he said.

“In recent years, I’ve witnessed first-hand some of the impacts of climate change on the polar regions, and that’s something that always motivates a lot of questions.
“The message I want to get across is that you don’t have to be in a white coat in a lab to be engaging in science or engineering – you can achieve whatever you want to in these fields.”

Associate Professor in Geography Jennifer Carter said the lecture would be ideal for anyone with an interest in geography, science, engineering or travel, as well as prospective students.

“Dr McCallum will open our eyes to what polar environments provide – their beauty, the way their environment functions, and the challenges they’ll face in the future,” she said.

“Geography studies how some extraordinary places could be affected by what’s going on in both the natural and social world, like climate change and globalisation. It informs a whole range of professions.

“We’d love to have as many Sunshine Coast residents as possible come onto campus for the lecture and find out a bit more about what we as geographers do.”

The lecture will include a question and answer session, followed by light refreshments. For more information, go to:

— Gen Kennedy

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