AFTER studying through a pandemic, hundreds of university students are graduating from their La Trobe University Bendigo courses this week.
La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor Richard Speed said about 540 students will don the cap and gown for ceremonies this week with another 250 also graduating but unable to take part.
"It's great to see. You look at the students who are graduating today - they look fantastic and their parents are incredibly proud," he said. "Seventy per cent of our students are first-time (university graduates) in their family.
"So 70 per cent of those families have never done this before. You can see the pride on the parents faces."
Among the graduates this week was Chippy Mathew who was part of the first class to graduate with a Masters of Internet of Things.
The Internet of Things course was launched in 2019 and focus on how users can grow the capacity of the internet.
Ms Mathew was working as an IoT specialist at the Australian Turntable Company in Kangaroo Flat when she decided to further her knowledge.
"I was working there about for two years and gaining in depth knowledge about its importance and business application (and) I felt further inspired to explore the other areas of computer science," she said.
"I set about looking into courses that will complement my interest in new and emerging technology and I found the masters in the Internet of Things at La Trobe
"I'm very excited to graduate. My first day, it was the only day I had got the opportunity to sit in a classroom before everything shifted online, but at least we are having the graduation here."
Ms Mathew's work sees her working on developing sensors to provide real-time data to engineers and mechanics at the company.
"There are a lot of welding machines and if they suddenly stop working it can cause loss of productivity and loss of money," she said. "(We are working on) predicting the maintenance like what time it can run with how much current and without any breakage. The information we can get through the sensors can alert the welders (when) it's time to stop the machine.
"I did my bachelors in electronics and communication and during the campus placement there I got an opportunity to work (in areas) related to the computer programming. From there, I started learning different programming language and I was like 'this is what I want to do'."
La Trobe head of technology innovation Simon Egerton said it was exciting to see the first group of masters of internet of things graduating.
"It's really a really exciting moment. It's been quite a journey over the past two years," he said.
"We worked very hard on creating the course and to see the first batch of students come in two years ago, just before COVID was really nice to see and to see the students here today, graduating after after two years and doing so well is it's just really nice."
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