How do you help people in the UNSW Engineering Makerspace and what do you specialise in?

When people come to us in the Makerspaces, they’re usually wanting something to be made. I try to help them find the easiest way or change their design to be able to be manufactured easier. If there’s something we can’t do in the Makerspaces, I try to at least give them some direction of where else to look for help so they aren’t stranded without options!

I like to be the jack of all trades, knowing enough to help with 95% of the situations, and being able to point you to the correct specialist for the remaining 5%.

To summarise my role in a somewhat overused quote:
“a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

What has been the most fun thing you have made at UNSW?

It is a two-way tie between 2019 Mardi Gras Float and the 2019 Vivid Installation – Celestial Pancake (2019 was a good year for big projects!)

The most fun thing is never about the actual project, but the people in the projects and the challenges they overcome to achieve something vastly different! It is always great to work with new teams and learn something new.

What have you made recently?

I am constantly working on new projects but recently I have made 3D Printed Go Pro Mounts. The Makerspace has also just created a new online system for anyone across the uni to get in touch so we can try and broaden the groups of people who we help.

How did you get into this (super fun) job?

I studied Mechatronics Engineering at UNSW from 2013 – 2017. In that time, the first Makerspace on campus was built in the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre around 2015! This was the centre of technology and had a super friendly and relaxed vibe so I started volunteering there and continued to become a casual and now a full-time staff member.

In 2018 we expanded the Makerspaces to be more education focused rather than entrepreneurship and created the first engineering Makerspace in Willis Annex, which is now the James Kirby Makerspace. Over the years we have created more specialised Makerspaces such as our electrical and SPREE Makerspace.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

If things are going wrong, take a step back to compose yourself before rushing in while flustered. No matter the urgency, take a second to take a deep breath!

2019 Vivid Installation – Celestial Pancake 2019 Vivid Installation – Celestial Pancake, UNSW Photographer
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