Graduating with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in mathematics and physics, Catherine Barnsley’s studies have given her a solid foundation in which to begin her career with the Royal Australian Air Force.

“I have always enjoyed studying science. I believe that it is important to have an appreciation of how things work and to develop the ability to think analytically,” Catherine said.

“As a pilot candidate, having an understanding of maths and physics will help me in my future training.”

Catherine said the advanced physics topics at the end of her third year were among the highlights of her studies.

“It involved writing a research report with the guidance of a supervisor,” she said.  

“It was an excellent culmination of my physics major. I also enjoyed learning about coding and mathematical modelling throughout my maths major.”

She believes motivation is the key to success at ADFA in both academic and military studies.

“If you lack motivation, things become a lot harder than they need to be,” Catherine said.

“Sometimes the military workload is quite heavy, such as when we have activities over leave or the weekend. This just means you have to plan your study beforehand and stay proactive. At the end of the day, what we do is usually very rewarding and worth the hard work.”

The hard work has paid off. Catherine is one of the 678 students graduating from UNSW Canberra this year.

In 2020 she will be posted to RAAF Base Williamtown near Newcastle for an interim posting before commencing her pilot course.

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