In 2016, UNSW Canberra welcomed its first cohort of civilian undergraduate students. This week, we bid them farewell as they graduate with engineering degrees.

For aeronautical engineering student Ethan Beaumont, the University’s decision to open its doors to civilian undergraduates came at the perfect time.

“I chose to study at UNSW Canberra because it allowed me to study the degree I wanted without having to move to Sydney or Melbourne, which I could not have afforded,” Ethan said.

“I also successfully applied for the Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship scholarship, which further encouraged me to choose UNSW Canberra.”

Ethan said his time at UNSW Canberra provided a range of unique experiences that will prove valuable in his engineering career.

Ethan and his teammates at the 2017 Warman competition.


“Some of the highlights of my studies included participating in the 2017 Warman robotics competition, designing an aircraft that we 3D printed and tested in the wind tunnel on campus, and predicting satellite positions with the aid of a telescope and computer code,” he said.

“Outside of academics, I spent three months on work experience learning about how to practically apply my degree - knowledge that has helped me find a job and move into the workforce.”

As one of UNSW Canberra’s first civilian undergraduates, he said there were lots of advantages of studying alongside trainee offers.

“The trainee officers were all friendly and easy to work with. They are students just like the civilians, studying the same course for the same reasons. It was valuable to learn alongside them, as there is a strong chance I will end up working alongside them in the Defence industry in the future,” Ethan said.

“I'd advise those thinking of studying at UNSW Canberra not to be turned off by the military side of things - it's not a problem at all. I have enjoyed my time here immensely, and those seeking a university where they can excel academically will too.”

Next year Ethan will join Saab Australia’s graduate program in Adelaide.

“After this two-year program, to learn about the business and the role of the engineer in it, I will take up a full-time position with Saab,” he said.

“Beyond that, who knows? I might decide to work towards becoming a chartered engineer, or find a field to specialise in. I might even return for further education!”

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