Len Stevens: I was pressed by the Dean to see if I’d be patron for the 150th anniversary.
He put it to me that I be patron for a scholarship and I was somewhat reluctant to do that. I dislike approaching people and trying to persuade them to give up their money. There’s so many demands on charity these days.
But I thought by appealing to particularly individuals, past students, we would have a chance of achieving a reasonable amount of money for a scholarship. And the whole idea of that scholarship would be to enable gifted, and I make no excuse at aiming at gifted students, but to … so they can enrich their experience by doing something special. And we’ve seen already with the two that have been appointed that they have done something special and I’'ve think they’ve enriched their study experiences.
Eric Lambers: I remember the day that I found out that I was successfully in receiving the Len Stevens Scholarship. I was at work, and I got a call from Rosa, and I was quite … you know … anxious about if it was yes or no, and then she said that I was successfully and I remember I was pretty happy and I almost let out a big yell and disturbed everyone else in the office. (Laughs)
The scholarship enabled me to travel overseas and visit other universities and institutions who are professionals in shallow geothermal energy. And I was able to learn from them about best practice in industry, and how they go about installing shallow geothermal, and the struggles they have come through to get geothermal energy out there in the field, and in front of people’s faces, and to make sure they realise that it’s a proper source of energy for heating and cooling of buildings.
Len Stevens: I would never have been able to come to university without a scholarship. It was just out of reach of most people until the Commonwealth reconstruction scheme. I think scholarships are something which we need in universities to give a bit of spice, a bit of encouragement.
Eric Lambers: From the experience I’ve gained a lot of knowledge, I’ve learnt from professionals in the field and basically I’ve established a bit of a network. They’ve all said expressly that if I’ve got any questions they’d be happy to help and they’d want to read my research paper and help correct it for me. And so I’ve set up a strong support network, I guess, an international network of professionals in the industry. I wouldn’t have been able to do this and travel aboard and learn about shallow geothermal energy if the scholarship wasn’t there in place and so for me personally it’s career defining and, I guess, path changing.
Len Stevens: Well, to all the donors who have been so generous I really want to express my appreciation. Those donors in the most part have been people who have been known to me. They have been ex-students, they have gone through the school and they’ve taken away, I think, obviously a gratitude for what they went through and they want to make sure that future students, current students and future students, will be able to get that same opportunity so again, thank you so much, and I’ll treasure what you’ve done to enable the Len Stevens Scholarship to be there in perpetuity. Thanks.
Eric Lambers: Thank you.