From a small town in India to BHP Billiton in Western Australia, Bachelor of Engineering (R&D) graduate Sriraj Gowthaman Srilakshmi reflects on his time at the Australian National University.
“I visited ANU once while I was still in school and quite quickly decided I wanted to go to university here! It has definitely been one of the best decisions in my life and I grew up immensely as a person during my time at ANU.”
Sriraj lived on campus at Burton and Garran and made the most of his time at university. “Living in the university’s B&G Hall meant I was in the midst of an active community and could get involved in happenings across campus easily. Living on campus also gave access to a variety of clubs and societies where I have made some great friends for life!”
Studying the Bachelor of Engineering (R&D) degree opened up a variety of research opportunities for Sriraj. “I was particularly attracted to the R&D degree at ANU as it gave an opportunity to extend my problem solving skills practically while providing exposure to the forefront of knowledge and technology… The various projects I was involved in at ANU have been my most enriching experiences…”
“Systems Engineering helped me understand and approach engineering from a more holistic viewpoint... Structuring my approach starting from customer needs and integrating viewpoints from multiple disciplines helps to understand and develop a holistic solution for users. While people can always learn a new technical skill anytime, systems engineering ensures I definitely know how to approach any type of problem.”
Sriraj is currently working just outside of Perth with BHP Billiton in their graduate program. “I have been working as a control systems engineer to support mine operations in my technical role while developing my interpersonal skills and learning extensively about how a multi-national organisation works. I see this experience as a great opportunity to learn how global industries and businesses work, so that engineering can be effectively applied to support them.”
Sriraj continues to stay in contact with graduates, current students and researchers at ANU and shares some advice to those considering studying engineering, “The skills you learn from engineering will hold you in good stead for any type of role you may want to take up in the future – be it technical, entrepreneurial, strategic or political... Go for it, find out what you enjoy and make a difference!”