“If you are interested in environmental challenges facing society or what the future economy of Australia looks like as we transition to net zero emissions – Mining is a space where you can explore and develop a deeper understanding of these topics.”
Taylor McDonald is a sixth-year student studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mining) and a Bachelor of Commerce at UNSW.
What attracted you to study Mining Engineering?
It has always been within my main academic interest of engineering and earth sciences but what made it stand above other options, were the job opportunities for mining engineering in Australia. It is a huge portion of our economy and Australia is a global force in the sector, so I knew there would be a variety of well-paying careers with the degree, whether that be in a more technical or financial role.
What would you say to current high school students looking to study Engineering at UNSW?
Try to gain high competence in software you learn at university as it will become an especially useful skill in the future. Also try keep up to date with the industry/markets related to your studies as that knowledge will come in handy.
How do you think your studies at UNSW will help in your career aspirations?
Professors with a variety of experiences and a range of projects that imitate real-life mining engineering helped me to develop a basis of knowledge across a spectrum of mining concepts. I was also able to access a lot of industry knowledge through seminars, guest lecturers, and project consultations. Currently I am an undergraduate mining engineer at RPMGlobal in the metals advisory team. In my current mining engineering job, I am confident in understanding the projects, we are covering, and I feel that I can approach most new mining engineering tasks independently.
Can you share something about the mining industry that might interest someone considering studies and a career in this industry?
Mining in Australia provides raw materials such as copper, lithium and nickel that are in extremely high demand for renewable energy technologies. If you are interested in environmental challenges facing society or what the future economy of Australia looks like as we transition to net zero emissions – Mining is a space where you can explore and develop a deeper understanding of these topics.
What was your pathway into UNSW?
I went straight to UNSW but started in a dual degree with commerce and design, then switched to commerce and mechanical engineering before finally landing on commerce and mining engineering. Pretty much, after talking to current mining engineering students and people in the industry, as well as doing my own research, I decided the career out of a mining engineering degree aligned with my interest and lifestyle I was pursuing for when I finished university.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about the benefits of your UNSW experience?
The MERE student cohort might not be too large, but it is vibrant and social with a lot of chances to network with the industry. Through immersing myself in the student societies within the MERE school, I have been able to find mentors and job opportunities, be a part of exciting field trips, and make life-long friends.