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Canterbury alumni to receive honorary doctorates

27 January 2005

Two Canterbury alumni to receive honorary doctorates

Leading New Zealand printmaker Barry Cleavin and international computer researcher Professor Ian Foster are to receive honorary doctorates from the University of Canterbury this year.

Christchurch-based Mr Cleavin will receive an honorary LittD and Chicago-based Professor Foster will receive an honorary DSc. The degrees will be conferred at the University’s April graduation ceremonies.

For more than 40 years Mr Cleavin has been a leading practitioner and advocate for the print medium in New Zealand and is regarded as one of the country’s most inventive, forceful and prodigious artists.

His passion for printmaking dates back to when he was a student at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts. Since graduating with a Diploma in Fine Arts (First Class Honours) in 1966, Mr Cleavin has exhibited regularly in New Zealand and overseas and has held a number of artist residencies in New Zealand and Australia.

Mr Cleavin lectured at Canterbury’s School of Art from 1978 to 1990. As head of printmaking he forged important links between the department and leading New Zealand artists such as Ralph Hotere, whose first prints were created through a collaborative process initiated by Mr Cleavin.

He has been recipient of various awards including a Fulbright Fellowship in 1983 to work at the Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, University of New Mexico. In 2001 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit (NZOM) for services to the arts.

Professor Foster began his academic career at the University of Canterbury. He originally studied chemistry and mathematics but switched to computer science, gaining a BSc (First Class Honours) in 1979 after just two years of computer science study. He gained a PhD in computer science from Imperial College, University of London in 1988.

He is currently a professor of computer science at the University of Chicago and leads the Distributed Systems Laboratory at Argonne National Laboratory. He co-leads the Globus Project, a multi-institutional R&D project focused on the development and application of grid technologies.

Grid computing is the high-speed network equivalent of the electric power grid, providing computer power on demand, much the way a power grid provides electricity. Grid technologies seek to provide the protocols, services and software development kits needed to enable flexible, controlled resource sharing on a large scale.

Globus technologies are used by thousands of researchers worldwide and form the basis for several dozen national and international grid projects funded by the US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Union and the UK eScience Programme.

Professor Foster is liaising with researchers at the University of Canterbury and with the Canterbury Development Corporation in Christchurch, working on developing grid computing facilities for the University and Canterbury region.

Professor Foster has received numerous awards including the British Computer Society’s Lovelace Medal in 2002 and the R&D Magazine Innovator of the Year Award in 2003.


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