A prolific Griffith University engineering student has graduated with a trio of academic medals that has also seen her awarded with a unique, heart-warming accolade.

Robert Thwaites.

Jodi Gagner, a Bachelor of Engineering student who is currently interning with aerospace company Airbus, formally received the Robert Thwaites Memorial Prize at the School of Engineering and Built Environment Graduands dinner.

This award was established by the Faculty of Engineering in memory of Robert Thwaites, who was killed in the Bali bombing of 12th October 2002.

Robert was an outstanding student who in his final year was the recipient of: 

  • Engineering Medal 
  • Business Medal 
  • University Medal 

The Robert Thwaites Memorial Prize was first bestowed in 2003 and is awarded to the Griffith University final-year student studying on the Gold Coast Campus, who achieves the highest cumulative grade point average in the first three years of study in the Bachelor of Engineering.

Jodi Gagner.

Geoff and Syamsinar Thwaites, Robert’s parents, approached the then Faculty of Engineering at Griffith to help establish the award to celebrate students who emulated Robert’s high achievements.

“With 2022 being the 20th anniversary of the Bali bombings, we wanted to commemorate the occasion and invited all awardees from 2003-2023 to an informal but intimate celebration at the family home,” Geoff said.

“Robert achieved so much and it gives us immense pride to see his legacy live on in other talented Griffith Engineering students.”

Prize recipients also received a commemorative plaque and the School of Engineering and Built Environment would also be arranging an additional commemorative plaque to be displayed at Griffith’s the Gold Coast campus. 

This year’s recipient of the Robert Thwaites Memorial Prize and the prize’s 20th awardee, Jodi Gagner, said the honour meant a lot to her and echoed the support and generosity she experienced during her studies at Griffith that are now furthering her career success.

“Studying at Griffith definitely helped with being job-ready in a very wide-ranging discipline like engineering, so I’m really grateful for everything I learned,” Jodi said.