Congratulations to College alumna Rebecca Watts (BE (Hons) '15, BComm '15) who was awarded 2016 ANU Undergraduate Student of the Year.
Whether it's in Canberra or Cambodia, Rebecca Watts is always helping people with a smile on her face. Her significant contributions to engineering and the role of females in the sector have garnered high praise from academics and charity organisations alike.
She said that studying at ANU has given her the skills to thrive in the world of engineering.
“ANU provided opportunities for me to apply technical engineering skills to develop a sustainable solution to a complex and real-world problem that has had meaningful and lasting change.”
While studying a double degree of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in finance, at ANU, Rebecca became one of the first College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) students to participate in the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Design Summit in Cambodia, with the help of the New Colombo Plan.
Upon returning, Rebecca devised her honours thesis on the experience and represented ANU at a second design summit in June 2015. As a mentor, Rebecca facilitated workshops, organised in-country logistics and a visit to a rural community for 39 undergraduate engineering students.
Due to her strong contribution, Rebecca started a 20-month placement as Project Facilitator for EWB's Appropriate Technology initiative in Cambodia in November 2015. In this role, Rebecca works in a team of engineers and professionals creating innovative, appropriate and sustainable projects and programs with local Cambodian partners. This includes the installation of solar panels on homes in rural areas.
Away from EWB, Rebecca represented ANU as a delegate at the International Student Energy Summit in Bali last year and shared her experiences through her role as a CECS ambassador.
Before she graduated in December 2015, she was active in campus life, was a member of Griffin Hall and participated in the charity Civic2Surf Canberra-to-Bondi run for youth mental health awareness.
Rebecca was awarded the 2016 ANU Undergraduate Student of the Year.