Friday, 9 December 2016

Stephen's Academic Family

Igor the Legend and me!
One of the great things about smaller and more focused conferences such as PPTR currently and my "home" conference of ICEE (International Conference on Environmental Ergonomics) is the real family reunion feel. They are great because they are <200 delegates, the conferences are relatively long at 4-5 days, and there are no parallel session such that everyone sees each other a lot. Also, the fact that the same folks show up time after time.

For me, it's a shock that I went to my first ICEE (held every 2 years) back in 1994 as a first year Ph.D. presenting my M.Sc. research, and now I'm not just one of the more senior members, but have been the Chair of the Executive Committee for 5 years since 2011. How does time fly like that?

The EEL crew: Gary, me, & my former Ph.D. student Andreas Flouris. Can't overstate how proud I was seeing Andreas present as a highly respected and established leader in our field.

Anyway, anytime I get together with my M.Sc. advisor Igor Mekjavić is always special, and even more so when his band of brothers Nigel Taylor (Australia) and Mike Tipton (UK) join in, which they did here at PPTR and which always happens at ICEE.

Four generations on the academic tree: my M.Sc. advisor Igor, me, my former student Andreas, and three of his own students!
I can't tell you what a wonderful and generous gift it is from these three in that they've known me since I was an academic baby, and they've since always just treated me as their equal and peer, to the point that I'm usually the 4th "constant" in the shenanigans and "outings." I've tried to pay it forward myself, always making sure I show students at conferences that they have strong contributions of their own.