WANTING his grandmother to attend his graduation and share in the joyful occasion, Dr Koh Yeow Leung chose to receive his PhD in Malaysia instead of Australia.
Unfortunately, for health reasons, Koh's 88-year-old grandmother could not make it to the Monash University convocation held in Kuala Lumpur last week.
I was disappointed at first but I'm more concerned about her health and I want to make sure she's okay. Even though things did not turn out as planned, at least she knows I did this for her, said Yeow Leung, 26, who was awarded a full scholarship by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation of Australia to pursue his PhD in Engineering.
Yeow Leung, who was the sole PhD recipient at the ceremony, also obtained double degrees in mechanical engineering and commerce (accounting) with First Class Honours in 1999.
While doing his PhD, Yeow Leung worked as a part-time engineering consultant in Melbourne.
It was personally enriching as it gave me experience of working with different people and interacting with them, he said.
His doctoral thesis In-situ Structural Health Monitoring of Composite Repair Patches looks at the possibility of having built-in sensors for early detection of damage on fighter aircrafts. The procedure is to constantly monitor the aircraft's wings to increase its safety, added Yeow Leung, who is currently attached to Shell Malaysia as a Front/End Engineer.