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You are here:   New College Village »  Media & Events »  News »  Research »  Words From A Visiting Fellow

Words from a Visiting Fellow

January 02, 2019
Posted by: Ash Braithwaite

I am semi-retired after nearly 50 years in academic life, and book writing is now my primary occupation. My first book came out exactly 25 years ago when I was on the staff of UNSW, from which I departed about a year later to return to the UK.

My 26th book came out in late 2017, having been written in temporary accommodation in the north of England which was a long way short of being lavish, and I firmly decided to take myself off to somewhere much nicer to write the 27th. I therefore approached Prof. Bill Peirson to apply for a Visiting Fellowship at New College. The application was successful, and I have made New College the base for writing the book, which is entitled ‘Numerical Examples in Fuel and Energy’. I could not possibly have made a better choice of venue! The book has now gone to the publisher and will be launched in England in February.

I also benefited from participating in the NCV Research Meetings, held on alternate Tuesday evenings and very ably co-ordinated by Matthew Bagg. I think that these are a very good idea. They provide a research student with the opportunity to present his or her work and obtain feedback on it, and that is a useful precursor to a subsequent more formal presentation in the student’s university department. I was very happy to accept an invitation from Matthew to give a talk myself at one of these meetings. Parts of my talk were little speculative and unconventional (often to be expected from a long-in-the-tooth presenter) and in one of the final slides I estimated the performance of a wind farm having 100,000 wind turbines each with a blade diameter numerically equal to the height of the Empire State Building.

What a pleasure it has been to reside at New College for these four months! It has been good to be at UNSW again, even though the campus has changed so much since I worked there. There is a quite delightful tradition whereby New College staff meet fairly formally each weekday for morning and afternoon tea, and this I have so enjoyed. It engenders almost a family spirit amongst those based here (and nobody makes tea and coffee like Vicki Vardaoulis). In this way I have got to know the College staff. Edwina Hine amazes me with her knowledge of the minutiae of New College practices and procedures. Other participants in the morning and afternoon teas have included Adela Davis (whose father used to be a colleague of mine), Ash Braithwaite, Jonathan Billingham, Sue Bazzana, Ian Sharpe and Arend Boog. Sue Bazzana is remarkably knowledgeable in matters relating to the Anglican Church of Australia.

From February 2019 my affiliation and location will be the University of Chester in England, a very different setting from Sydney and UNSW. I shall take there with me the good effects of a happy time at New College, and will recall the acquaintances made there with warmth and pleasure.

Clifford Jones.


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