Koloa: Passion, hard work key

Education

By EREBIRI ZURENUOC
GETTING a Doctor of Philosophy is not easy and is a long road that one has to take, says Cathy Koloa, the first female to graduate with a PhD in Geomatics.
Koloa, pictured, was one of the 780 graduates from the Papua New Guinea University of Technology to be conferred their PhDs, masters, degrees and diplomas, during the 51st graduation on Friday.
Koloa said getting the highest qualification was about how passionate a person is and how inspired he/she is around people.
“You have to be around people that will help you get to the top where you want to be,” she said
“It was a struggle but I had a lot of help from my family, friends and all those people who were there by my side up to this day.”
Geomatics is the study of land and sea using surveys, mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) to build highly accurate digital profile of an environment and used to make informed decision about the best place to build roads, bridges, buildings, offshore oil rigs and much more besides.
The 29-year-old from Rigo and Kairuku in Central wrote a thesis titled Hydro-Morphometric analysis and the hazard assessment of major river basins in PNG using remote sensing and GIS technology.
PNG has a lot of river systems in which can be used for hydro energy as well as agriculture.
Her study provides industries with what type of land use exists, what type of land cover exists in the area, and what hazards are prone within the area.
“So by carrying out a hazard assessment within the river basins, we can plan to determine which areas are good for agriculture and forestry or which areas need improvement in infrastructure and development, especially in those areas which are prone to floods.”
Koloa became the first national to attain a PhD in surveying and land studies and was the second female to attain a PhD as part of Unitech’s post graduate programme.
Graduating with the highest qualification also was Dr David Yalisimbi Timothy from the Applied Sciences Department.
His thesis was on “characterisation and biological applications
of phytosynthesised silver nanoparticles from selected medicinal plants”.
Acting vice-chancellor Dr Ora Renagi said Unitech was a knowledge hub of science and technology and must continue to build on that.
“Our professors and lecturers must have authority in science and technology, so we not only impart our knowledge to the graduates, but we can be consulted to provide solutions to the industry, to the community, and to the population that is around us,” he said.

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