Francesca made the big move from Darwin to Canberra for one reason - the unique engineering degree that gave her more time to select her major. Now though, she's experience the strong research environment, working on projects that instruct the brain to reproduce damaged brain cells.
"My interest in engineering began when I was in high school. I was always good at maths and physics, and engineering seemed like the logical choice. But the opportunities I have had at ANU and the exposure to many researchers, has ensured the continuation of my interest in the field."
Due to the interdisciplinary approach of the systems engineering degree, all engineering students complete the same core courses in their first year and a half at ANU. This was something that was attractive to Francesca. "I wasn’t sure what sort of engineering I wanted to do, so this offered me flexibility within my degree which was appealing."
"What I like most about my time at ANU so far though is the interaction I have had with students and staff across the university. Group projects and labs are part of courses and they provide you with a really good opportunity to meet other people and easily communicate with your lecturers and tutors. ANU has also provided me with the ability to create strong networks, not only with other engineering students, but also with research and professional staff in the College."
Francesca has made the most out of the Universities research strengths, having completed a number of research projects throughout her degree. During the last two years of her undergraduate degree, Francesca was immeresed in nanofibre research, which aims to allow the brain to regenerate damaged brain cells. Research like this could assist degenerative brain conditions such as Parkinson's disease.
For many students, moving from home to a new city and university seems a daunting step, but being an intimate and vibrant campus, Francesca found the transition much better than she expected. "I found it very easy, you quickly feel comfortable in Canberra and at ANU, that you forget that it was scary in the first place! Living in Canberra also has all the perks of a big city, like shopping, without being as overwhelming as bigger cities such as Sydney or Melbourne. Everything is really easy to find, and if you do feel like going to a bigger city, they aren’t that far away!"
Having had a great deal of exposure to the University research environment, Francesca decided to undertake a PhD upon graduation in 2013. Francesca has now completed her first year of research, and with her commitment to biomedical engineering, we expect to see great things to come from this tech girl.