Posted Sept 13 2018
Faculty: School of Creative Practice, Creative Industries Faculty
Year graduated: 2018
Thesis: Space, time, creativity, and the changing character of the recording studio: Spatiotemporal attitudes toward ‘DIY’ recording (PhD by Creative Works)
Career category: academic
Given your qualifications as an engineer, why did you choose to embark upon a PhD in QUT’s Creative Industries Faculty?
When I graduated from my undergraduate degree in 1991, I was unable to secure work as we had ‘the recession we needed to have’ (Keating, 1990). Most of my colleagues completed post-graduate studies and were employed the next year.
For myself, I followed my dream job of becoming a record producer. In an entrepreneurial manner, I toured with bands, recorded albums, won awards, and setup and ran a few studios. However, the volatile nature of the music industry made it not always possible to maintain a steady income for my family. I started tutoring in Music Production at QUT in 2012 as an industry expert.
In 2014, I decided to undertake a PhD to extend my knowledge of the recording studio and give me the qualifications to get a full-time teaching/research job. I still practice as an audio mixing engineer today, but in limited capacity.
Could you describe the work you currently do/ the position are you currently in?
I am currently the Head of Audio at JMC’s Brisbane campus. This position involves teaching, curriculum development, general managerial duties for the JMC sessional lecturers, and attending to the student’s needs. I am also the chair of the Learning and Teaching committee and a member of the Academic Board.
How has doing a PhD at QUT informed your current practice or position?
A PhD has prepared me for many things: Critical thinking, justifying thoughts and actions, writing, and researching. As part of QUT’s encouragement to present research in an international community, I attended 2 conferences which resulted in one paper publication and one nearing completion. I have just returned from another conference in the UK and I hope to have another paper published from this trip.
My current position involves developing curriculum for course reaccreditation next year. The PhD process greatly improved my writing skills, allowing me to justify my thoughts and research the course objectives meeting the expectations of the industry.
What is your current career goal?
I would like to continue in higher education, but I am seeking a position that includes research. I see the ability to research while engaging in practice as an opportunity that is not easily accomplished. I hope to see how current recording practice can be developed pedagogically in a meaningful way for young students looking to enter this exciting industry.
What is the most valuable piece of advice would you give to someone who has just completed their PhD at QUT?
Not unlike the challenges faced during post-graduate research, finding work will also present similar circumstances. Patience and persistence is a valuable skill learned from completing a PhD and these will continue to be tested when your PhD is finally over. Your career will be multi-faceted and you may not get your ideal job initially.