Flinders honours two of its best in arts and sciences

Edwards Gerlach
Honorary doctorate recipient Gale Edwards with Flinders Chancellor Mr Stephen Gerlach.

Flinders University will award honorary doctorates to two of its graduates – an internationally acclaimed theatre and opera director, and a leading Japanese nano-scientist – at its September graduation ceremonies today (September 30).

474 students will graduate at two ceremonies to be held in the Adelaide Town Hall.

The University will honour Professor Gale Edwards with a Doctor of Letters honoris causa. As one of Australia’s most acclaimed international directors of theatre and opera, she is among the most distinguished graduates of the University’s School of Humanities and Creative Arts.

Known nationally and internationally for her work directing drama, comedy, established classics and large-scale musicals as well as for the development of new Australian work, she was the first Australian, and the first woman, to direct on the main stage at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and to open a musical on both the West End and Broadway.

She has worked with Trevor Nunn on Les Miserables on Broadway, and oversaw its production in Australia. Shen also spent seven years as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s chief collaborator, directing productions of Whistle Down the Wind, Aspects of Love and the revival of Jesus Christ Superstar.

After graduating in 1974, Ms Edwards began her career at Adelaide youth theatre company Energy Connection. From 1986 to 1989 she was Associate Director to the State Theatre Company of South Australia followed by the Melbourne Theatre Company.

Over the past 25 years has worked for almost every other subsidised and commercial arts companies in the country including Opera Australia, for whom she has directed several operas, including the recent, highly acclaimed AIDA on Sydney Harbour. She has directed over 30 productions in Australia and numerous stage, operatic and musical theatre productions in the UK and the US.

She is also creator and director of China’s first international scale musical – in Mandarin. This production is currently touring to 44 Chinese cities.

Nanoscientist Professor Kohei Uosaki with Flinders Chancellor Mr Stephen Gerlach after receving his honorary docorate.

Since his graduation from Flinders with a PhD in 1977, Professor Kohei Uosaki has had a distinguished professional career in research and research management, recognised today with the award of a Doctor of Science honoris causa.

Currently a Fellow of the internationally renowned National Institute for Material Science (NIMS), Japan, he also serves as Director of Global Research Centre for Environment and Energy based on Nanomaterials Science (GREEN) at NIMS.

He serves on a number of key committees and is a Member of the Committee on Energy Strategy, a committee of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, and is an Associate Member of the Science Council of Japan, a representative organisation of the Japanese scientific community.

Kohei has developed his research interests in the area of nano-power and has been studying the structure and functions of novel material phases and electron transfer reactions at solid/liquid interfaces for more than 35 years. His main contribution is in the area of atomically/molecularly ordered interphases.

Kohei has led his field internationally, publishing over 130 papers in the last 10 years, including many highly cited publications. A key organiser of many international meetings and symposia, he is also an editor and editorial member of international journals.

In addition to his scientific achievements, his service to Flinders includes the establishment of the Finders Alumni Association in Japan in 2010, and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NIMS.

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