Meet some of our esteemed alumni who have made a significant impact in their field and learn what it takes to make your qualification count. If you’ve achieved excellence in your industry or specialist area find out how you can join this prestigious list.
Why I Chose Aerospace Engineering
I chose to study Aerospace Engineering as I have always been fascinated by aircraft and aviation. I felt that being in the aerospace industry would challenge me and afford me the opportunity to work on the latest innovations with cutting edge technologies. Safety is obviously a major factor in aviation and knowing that a high emphasis would be placed not only on output, but on quality as well also appealed to me. Working in the aerospace industry has also given me the freedom to travel all over the world and work in diverse fields of engineering.
How I Felt When I Was an Undergraduate
University was definitely a challenge! The theory dragged a little, but every subject has contributed to my knowledge and skill base which has lead me to where I am today. Obviously I don’t apply everything I learnt, every day, but it is immensely useful to have the broad knowledge base provided by this degree. The group work and assignments were valuable beyond my expectations in teaching me how to deal with people and achieve the best results possible.
I found the practical components of each subject to be very interesting and gained a lot from those experiences. Being involved in student led projects helped me to learn a lot and contributed greatly to my hands-on experience, while being fulfilling and enjoyable. The final year aerospace design project whilst challenging was ultimately an enjoyable and rewarding experience. The management skills of both the project and the team learnt over that year have been invaluable.
After completing my degree and a thesis in composite production processes, I was offered a role with Quickstep in Sydney. Being one of the first on the new site I was able to be involved with a lot of setup and non-recurring activities that go on, in establishing successful plants, production processes and indeed aircraft production programs.
I started out working on a 5th generation fighter project and very rapidly transitioned to a more involved role on an established military transport program. My day to day as a Production Engineer/ Technical Planner involves interrogating designs and interpreting specifications, in order to establish a process outlining how the design will be built. After the manufacturing process is established, I continue to be involved in troubleshooting, continuously improving the product and implementing cost and time reductions.
Since joining Quickstep I have undergone various training programs specifically tailored to the aerospace defence sector. I have also learnt a lot from my colleagues, who between them have centuries of experience building aircraft. Developing and furthering my professional skill set is a challenging but enjoyable part of my role, every day I learn something new to add to my technical or managerial skill set.
I hope to gain some more aerospace production experience, hopefully on new and different types of programs. With some luck this will involve travelling and working with other cultures in other parts of the world. In the medium term the aim is to transition into a composite design role and eventually progress to production/operations management.
Why I Chose Mechatronic Engineering
I chose Mechatronic Engineering because I saw it as the future. It was a discipline that can be used in a myriad of industries from production processes to product design to large scale works. As there is more and more interaction between software and hardware, it is the mechatronics engineer who builds the link.
In general, mechatronics combines several engineering disciplines and allows you to look at the big picture and understand the interactions between systems. I was always a big picture kind of guy, and so this fit in quite well.
To me the heart of Mechatronics is the taking in of information, processing it, and using that data to control or perform an action, the simple input-process-output flow. What traditionally required elaborate mechanical systems now just needs a simple microcontroller with associated sensors and actuators, and what you study in Mechatronics is the key to unlocking all this potential.
How I Felt When I Was an Undergraduate
Being an undergraduate was an interesting experience. Coming from high school, you are suddenly put into a group of like-minded people who share the same interests and passions. That was great, it made it really easy to get along with my classmates.
Joining student groups such as Formula SAE and MAVSTAR meant that I was able to apply my theoretical knowledge to practical applications and learn about the real life challenges of engineering. From there, I met new people, learned about organisations and played with some amazing equipment.
The academic workload in engineering was stressful at times. In those times I remember as a class, we would work together as a group to ensure we developed adequate levels of knowledge to pass the course. That was a great way to build relationships with classmates.
After leaving university, I still keep in touch with my classmates as we move into various industries. These people become great contacts for life.
When I left university, I joined Cochlear as a graduate engineer. During my graduate rotation program, I worked with various teams contributing to improving Cochlear's products and manufacturing processes. The Graduate program gave me exposure to all corners of the business, allowing me to build connections across a myriad of engineering disciplines.
Following my graduate program, I moved into the Systems Engineering team. In this role, I contribute to ensuring Cochlear's innovative products meet our recipients' needs by utilising system engineering practices including requirements engineering, system design and system integration. This is a highly collaborative role requiring interaction with various engineering design teams such as Mechanical, Electrical, Software and Firmware, as well as liaising with other business functions such as Marketing and Clinical. The mechatronics skills I developed in university allows me to engage with these teams to ensure that we are all on the right track. It is rewarding to be with our recipients to see first hand how our products impact the lives of so many people.
Being a big picture kind of guy, I would like to one day become a decision maker and be in charge of the strategic direction for a business. I see the conceptual nature of engineering (i.e. understanding the mechanics of things in general) as a foundation to reaching this goal.