1. Why did you choose to study computer and biomedical engineering at UNSW?

I chose to study biomedical engineering as I have a love for both science and engineering concepts and in biomedical engineering, the two areas seemed to be strongly intertwined. I then chose my undergraduate degree in computer engineering - a degree which covered areas of both electrical and software engineering, as the idea of designing prosthetic devices based on the neurological functions of the body was greatly intriguing. 

UNSW was always my first choice, particularly after selecting engineering. UNSW is known to be a leading Australian institution for engineering with numerous options for specialisation. It also has well developed connections with industry leaders, making it an opportune launchpad for your career. In addition to this, UNSW is also known for its wide variety of extracurricular opportunities such as its clubs and societies, which enrich the student experience. In high school itself, I was involved in many extracurricular activities, and knew this would be significant to me going forward.

2.    What are some of the highlights of your degree and its career prospects?

Getting to learn deeply about the human body from a scientific perspective, and then seeing this understanding applied to areas of engineering was a highlight during my degree. After completing a physiology course which introduced bodily systems and functions such as the nervous system, cellular function, and the brain, I was able to apply and build on this knowledge through a course about bionic devices and neurostimulation. Furthermore, the course greatly contextualised our learning through the design of a simulated cochlear implant, which ultimately led to my first internship at Cochlear and inspired me to pursue my thesis in this area. 

Through my thesis project, I was also fortunate enough to be exposed to UNSW’s thriving research community and to learn about some of the opportunities offered by the research pathway. Many research projects at UNSW (which we as undergraduate students can become involved in such as through your Honours thesis or the Taste of Research program) are at the cutting edge of biomedical research and often involve collaboration with industry partners and external, sometimes international, research teams. Seeing the prospects of research at UNSW makes me feel incredibly inspired and excited for the opportunities to come!

3.    As the Women in Engineering Society president in 2022, how did that shape your uni experience and what kind of impact did it have?

As the president of the Women in Engineering Society, I had the opportunity to make many meaningful connections on both a professional and personal level. 

2022, the year I was president, was also the year student life returned fully to campus after COVID-19, and so our focus was on re-engaging the student and industry body in a greater capacity than had been possible for the two years prior. My greatest impact was in broadening and improving the sponsorship program in collaboration with the Engineering Society (EngSoc) and the previous executive team, which formed a foundation for new events and broader targeting of the student body through new industry partners. I was also proud to oversee the inaugural UNSW WIESoc x EngSoc Camp, which allowed us to better connect to young women in engineering, early on in their university career.

Overall, I was grateful for the opportunity to help improve the culture and community for women studying engineering at UNSW, and for the young women considering it as a future pathway. I was also lucky to be a part of the formation of strong relationships between our community and numerous industry partners, which I hope paves the way for these companies to become more involved and invested in young women studying engineering, but also helps these young engineers to better understand the opportunities and pathways available to them.

On a personal note, I was incredibly grateful for the strong friendships I formed in all my years within the society. I’ve made many lifelong friends over the years, and my close work with some industry representatives has also allowed me to find mentors, inspiring role models and reliable connections for my professional and personal future, and to in turn return the favour by taking part in programs such as peer mentoring and the UNSW WIE school outreach program. 

4.   What are your most memorable moments as an engineering student at UNSW?

Staying up in first year in one of the computer labs to finish an assignment with a friend I had made a few weeks before during a maths lecture, surrounded by hundreds of other students in the same situation, will always be one of my most iconic memories. Afterwards, we went out for some cheap ramen before heading home, and five years later we are still close friends. 

My first time being involved in an experiment for my thesis is also memorable, as it was something I had seen in movies, books and even published research papers, but didn’t consider possible for me as an undergraduate engineering student. The experiments were really interesting to observe and added an incredible dimension to all the theoretical knowledge I had learned during my degree.

5.   Do you have any words of wisdom or tips for young women who are about to embark on their own engineering journey?

Get involved in the UNSW Young Women in Engineering Program, even if you just follow them on social media! They share information about different engineering pathways and student experiences from current students and professional engineers, so it’s a fantastic way to learn more about what you can achieve and may be interested in within engineering. Events such as information nights can also be a fantastic way to learn more about engineering at UNSW specifically, and what you can do during high school if you want to begin that journey right now.

Find out more about the UNSW Young Women in Engineering Program and follow them on Instagram.