Ellen is a keen problem solver who enjoys the challenge of finding out how things work. She choose to study at ANU so she could tackle one of Australia’s most unique engineering degree which allows students to participate in research projects and advanced courses.
“ANU is a prestigious university that had the degree I wanted and opportunities not offered anywhere else. The Bachelor of Engineering Research and Development (R&D) provides the remarkable opportunity to perform research as an undergraduate and to major in very interesting and expanding fields of engineering.”
While engineering students may partake in electives, Ellen will begin a research project supervised by an academic.
“I will be working with Dr Vanessa Robins on the geometry and modeling of crystalline structures in both experimental and computer- generated capacities. This came about as I have a keen interest in chemistry and materials science and had a desire to learn more about the current research applications.”
“In an average week, I will have at least twenty contact hours of lectures, labs, tutorials, seminars and group meetings, which may include extra seminars for R&D students. On top of this I complete over ten hours of study at home. This year I will increase this load to incorporate time spent in the lab as well as documenting this research and writing literature reviews."
Ellen’s favorite part of her student experience is the people.
“There is such a diverse range of students, academics and staff who are united in striving for the very best. In particular, the females in engineering are my favourite part of my experience so far, as they are a fantastic group of people and since there is less of us, we are a close knit group."
At ANU there is a passion for ensuring that more females consider STEM related courses and careers. This is not only led by staff, but dedicated students who have recently established Fifty/50, an initiative focussed on equality an opportunities for women in the field.
“I believe women should consider a career in engineering just as they should consider a career in any other field. If you enjoy solving problems and making a difference, engineering might be for you. Don’t let stigma or sex get in the way of what you want to do and achieve.”
The unique R&D degree is something Ellen believes will benefit her in the workforce.
“It will set me apart from my peers and provide me with skills that mean I can tackle any problem. These skills include resilience, time management, creativity, independence, confidence in your work, emotional intelligence, knowledge of conducting research and persistence. You must work in groups and individually in R&D as well as in the workforce, so it allows you to hone your interpersonal skills as well as research skills and the mindset associated with research.”
“As a result of my ANU experiences, my career goals include performing research to help people and to work overseas. This could be achieved through helping Australia become more heavily invested in efficient renewables or engineering biomedical practices and solutions, or something not yet thought of.”