Lance Maschmedt interview, 15 August 2012

Dublin Core


Lance Maschmedt interview, 15 August 2012




Lance Maschmedt has worked as a Technician in the School of Physics at the University of Western Australia since 1965. He talks of his enthusiasm and keenness to work at the university following his schooling and of his feelings on coming to work at the university. He shares his opinion on how the university has changed in the last five decades and gives many passionate views on the operation and future direction of the University as he sees it today. His enthusiasm for his work is infectious and he has been keen to help several generations of students and staff. Included in the interview are his recollections of influential individuals from the department such as Professor Ian McArthur, Dave Greenhalgh, Bob Stanford and John Budge.
He has been involved in conducting workshops and outreach programs along side his work as a Chief Technician at the Undergraduate School of Physics at the University. Lance has been honoured for his work at the University holding an Honorary Fellowship, Carrick Institute Award and Chancellor’s Medal.


Maschmedt, Lance


University of Western Australia Historical Society


Copyright holder University of Western Australia


MP3 files


Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata


John Bannister


Lance Maschmedt


Nedlands, W.A.


Interview 1: 55 minutes, 53 seconds
Interview 2: 41 minutes, 50 seconds
Interview 3: 1 hour, 2 minutes, 35 seconds
Total: 2 hours, 40 minutes, 18 seconds

Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbs

Time Summary

Track 1
00:00:00 Born 21 April 1947. Memories of Perth flags and flowers in the air. Family. Como South Perth. Schooling at Kent Street High School. Starting to work at UWA 1965, memories of initial pay.
00:06:50 Interest in science. Coming to the University since the age of 8. Early University Open Days. Sid Arnold and his glass blowing demonstration. The Tesla coil. Antagonist to Edison. Science experimentation. Believe in stimulating the youth of Australia. Memories of the Chancellor Award. Honorary fellow.
00:14:15 Aspirations for academia. Relying on own ability. Furthering education. Career interests and personal decisions. Interest in science and getting a job at UWA in the Physics Department. Tony Platt rejects application. Convincing Tony Platt to reconsider. Memories of Tony Platt. Wray Wright.
00:21:26 Keen and enthusiastic to get to work at UWA. Early duties at the University. Strong segregation between academics and technical staff. The team at Physics dept. Memories of Geoff Marsh and Wray Wright.
00:28:10 Defining a university. Mentioning negatives at the university. Levels of education and staff cuts. Quality of education and fees. Contracts and the loyalties to the job. Impressions of the school and the department. The quality and standard of excellence. Interesting part of the job.
00:34:15 The pleasing aspect of scientific demonstrations. The importance of making impressions. The wealth in scientific toys. Lecturers of quality. Recollections of the atmosphere of the department when the students were in attendance. Funding.
00:38:54 Fun experiences of Dr Greenhalgh. The rapport between staff and students. Bob Stanford and medical physics course.
00:46:50 The popularity of lectures and technology. The downside of the digital era. DVD courses. The impressions of the grounds and the university. Memories of the Somerville Auditorium and George White. Winthrop Hall.

Track 2
00:00:00 Centenary work for UWA. Personal stories of special pride in Winthrop Hall. School of music. Memories of Dave Greenhalgh. Organising Dave’s show and lecture demonstrations. Academic staff attitudes. Dave Greenhalgh and viewing the planet Venus in broad daylight.
00:11:54 Performance of lectures lost. Rapport with staff and students. Spot surveys. Dave Greenhalgh. Discipline of physics and the lecture technology and performance.
00:18:55 The revolution of the closed circuit TV. Development of the macro TV system. The rectal temperature of the pregnant cockroach. Memories of the televising of the landing on the moon.
00:24:55 Closed circuit colour TV. Value of the demonstration. The Black and White minstrel show.
00:29:02 Physics Department’s standing throughout Australia and around the world. Memories of John Robbins. Writing of the history of the department. Memories of John Swan.
00:37:34 Personal thoughts and keenness to learn. Stories of personal learning at UWA. Anatomy lecture and memories of an aggressive snake.

Track 3
00:00:00 Learning at your place of work. The roof of the Physics building. The transit of Venus. A social practice at the Friday night rooftop symposium. Interaction and the sharing of knowledge. The hail storm of 2010.
00:08:30 Alan Robson. The destruction of Winthrop Hall. Graduations affected by the storm. The community spirit of University. Memories of the destruction.
00:12:59 The power of nature. Ian McArthur. Good and bad heads of department. Reporting on the school. Memories of Julius Sumner Miller. 1982 visit to the building. Memories of Dick Beilby.
00:23:20 Television and Dick Beilby. Memories of John Budge (‘Budgie’), a technical officer. Personal philosophy. Workshops and the core points of the outreach programs. Stimulating children to think laterally about the wonder of the world around them.
00:32:00 Speaking to all people at the public facility of UWA. Thoughts and memories of the University open day. Alan Robson and his hopes for the university. Current place of the university on a world Academic standing.
00:37:00 Memories of Alan Gorham. The peacocks and the New Fortune Theatre.
00:42:25 Benefits of working at the University. Negatives focus on career direction. Human Resources and staff recognition. Support of staff like Ian McArthur, Bob Stanford and others for his work.
00:49:22 Memories of the Gough Whitlam era. Talking about the workshop and the research facility at the Physics Department at UWA. The precision mechanical workshop. Research projects.
00:52:58 Jim Williams and the Atom Lab. Biophysics and Tim St Pierre and non-invasive diagnosis of Iron in the liver. Bill Macklin and the hail stone lab and the wind tunnel lab. Collecting and dissecting hailstones. Researching develops.
00:58:00 Retirement and awards for work and teaching learning excellence. Carrick Institute Award and Chancellors’ Award. Honorary Fellow. Personal commitment to work for free. Overall experience of pride working at UWA.



Maschmedt, Lance, “Lance Maschmedt interview, 15 August 2012,” UWA Historical Society: UWA Histories, accessed July 13, 2024,