Honorary awards

John Kirkwood Curdie

The degree of Master of Engineering (honoris causa) was conferred upon John Kirkwood Curdie at the Engineering ceremony held at 11.30am on 31 March 1995.


Presented by the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor D J Anderson


I have the honour to present Mr John Kirkwood Curdie for admission to the degree of Master of Engineering (honoris causa).

He was awarded the Diploma in Town and Country Planning by the University of Sydney in 1967 and the Diploma in Environmental Studies by Macquarie University in 1974. Mr Curdie joined the Institution of Surveyors, Australia, in 1957 and became its President in 1989-90.

In many fields of study that are associated with particular occupations, the University has always relied on contributions from those outside academia. From 1962 until the present, Mr Curdie has been principal Associate Lecturer in surveying field work for the Civil Engineering courses at the University. This has entailed extensive part-time duties related to the day-long classes for third and fourth year students enrolled for the degree of Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering.

In addition, he has regularly been in residence for the annual two-week survey camp held at a country location. These duties increased between the appointment of full-time staff in this specialty. For 33 years, his professional and practical experience has benefited generations of trainee engineers, including, in some cases, the sons and daughters of his former students. The imparting of wisdom under conditions that are often less than ideal requires certain attributes of character.

Students, including today's graduands, have always spoken well of the "real surveyor", who came round to give them advice. Before Mr Curdie began his connection with the University, the same duties were undertaken for a decade or more by his father, the late James Curdie.

Furthermore, for one year Mr Curdie Senior took up the burden of the entire surveying teaching load for third and fourth year Civil Engineering, including survey camp, during the absence overseas of permanent members of the academic staff.

In conferring this degree, the University is expressing its gratitude for well over forty years of teaching service contributed by the Curdie family at the highest level of their profession.

Chancellor, I have the honour to present Mr John Curdie for admission to the degree of Master of Engineering (honoris causa).