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Piers Lewis recognised for honours project (St Ann’s College Resident 2022-2023)

Piers Lewis, St Ann’s College resident 2022 – 2023, was recently awarded the top prize in Aerospace Engineering at University of Adelaide for his honours project. The prize is called the Nova Systems Prize for Aerospace Engineering and it is awarded to the Aerospace Engineering Honours student with the highest honours classification based on the grade.

His project was not explicitly an aerospace project, and was focused more on civil engineering principals. Piers looked at the development of materials suitable for constructing lunar bases with an emphasis on masonry products produced by melting and casting lunar soil.

Piers received the award at a ceremony on May 1st and was also awarded a University Medal at his graduation ceremony on May 2nd! “Graduation brings to an end a pretty significant period of my life,” Piers reflects, “but I’m excited about what comes next and wherever it may lead me.”

Whilst at university, Piers studied a double degree in Aerospace Engineering and Geology (with an additional major in Geophysics). He worked briefly as an Aerospace Engineer during the last couple of years of study but decided this year to pursue a career as an engineering geologist. Currently he works in Adelaide for a company called SMEC, mainly on dam projects.

During his time at St Ann’s, Piers became the inaugural Senior Academic Tutor, after becoming an Academic Tutor in his first year at St Ann’s. Piers reflects that tutoring perhaps bolstered some of his interpersonal skills. He said, “I think that serving as the SAT did contribute to my achievements in my honors year. Having a set of important problems to think about, work through, and solve outside of uni was a good way of encouraging me to manage my time effectively, and the problems that presented themselves were of a very different nature than those I’d find at uni and required different approaches to solve.”

He thinks this responsibility helped him to expand his approach to tackling challenges and built his teamworking abilities. “Tutoring was also a great way to get involved with the college and it forced me not to lock myself in a room to study!”

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