Meet engineering Research and Development (R&D) student Emily Rees, who has big dreams of making a real difference to people’s lives.
“I chose to study at ANU because it offers unique undergraduate research degrees that are not available at other universities, and provides the opportunity to get involved in research and innovation almost straight away. Having participated in programs such as the National Youth Science Forum I had also seen the benefits of living on campus and was keen to experience college and be a little bit more independent.”
Emily who is originally from Perth, started her ANU degree in February 2015 and has already reaped the benefits of our R&D degree.
“I will be undertaking my own research project, and with the strong focus on research the main difficulty was in choosing between different areas of interest for my project. I decided to work with semiconductors and build them through Metal-Organic Chemical Vapour Deposition, a technique for depositing thin layers of atoms onto a semiconductor wafer.”
“A large part of the engineering course is focused on developing the skills that will be required in our future careers, whether this is group work, report writing or leadership. It’s been really good being able to develop those skills in the context of applying the theory we’ve been learning in class.”
At ANU, engineering students aren’t required to select a major until their second year, meaning that you can explore what’s available first and make an informed decision. For Emily, this was an important feature of the degree.
“I wasn’t really sure about what specific area of engineering I was interested in but knowing that engineering at ANU had a general first year and I would only have to pick a major in second year was a large factor in my decision to study at ANU. Not only will I have an in depth knowledge and understanding of a specific discipline, but I will also understand how the disciplines interact. Systems engineering gives you the skills to manage a large number of interacting engineering systems”
Emily believes the R&D degree will give her a competitive edge when applying for jobs. “I will have all the skills and knowledge gained from an engineering degree but with additional research experience and also industry and academic connections. The process of conducting research teaches a lot of skills that are difficult to gain in a classroom environment, and these will be helpful in achieving my career goals.”
“Engineering can be whatever you want it to be – it can be super creative and innovative or it can be very standard and straightforward. Basically there is huge scope in engineering to carve out your own niche and do what you love. What is particularly great is that engineering has tangible real-world impacts and this can be incredibly rewarding. There is a massive lack of women in STEM fields which means we’re missing out on having a say on the future and the technology we will be using. Engineers, and particularly female engineers, are in high-demand in Australia and globally, so this is certainly a career that can provide travel opportunities, and lots of opportunities in general."