Meet fifth year engineering student Shaw: an all-rounder who has managed to pack a lot into his time at ANU.
“My interest in engineering was really ignited when I travelled overseas on my gap year after year 12. I remember being amazed by the architecture and technology in Europe and Japan and wanting to know how it was all possible. I love that with engineering I’m always discovering new things and solving real world problems.”
“I chose ANU over other universities because ANU has an excellent engineering and Asia-Pacific studies department with an international profile.
“The systems engineering degree was attractive to me as I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to specialise in at first, I was able to study several different disciplines within engineering before deciding what I wanted to specialise in. This also gave me a deeper understanding of the core concepts within engineering and to be able to take a holistic approach to solving technical problems.”
“Systems engineering trains you to look at the wider picture of a problem and break it down into smaller components, making the initial problem simpler. The systematic and logical approach to problem solving that is required in systems engineering can be applied to wired range of problems. No matter what career I choose, I strongly believe that systems engineering will be useful.”
ANU provides a wide range of global opportunities including International internships, design summits and student exchange and Shaw is one of the many students to take advantage of these.
“In 2013 I spent a year on exchange at Kyoto University in Japan through the Year in Asia program. Through the exchange program, I was able to strengthen my Japanese fluency and meet people from all over the world. This was an unforgettable experience that definitely changed my perspective in many ways. ANU has many different global programs, and I'd really recommend researching what’s available and taking advantage of those opportunities.”
There is never a dull moment on the ANU campus, you can get involved in a huge variety of events and activities. With an extensive list or student clubs, associations and societies you are sure to meet a group of students who share your interests, for Shaw this was important part of the university experience.
“As a student I have been involved in the Engineering Students Association (ESA), ANU Japan club and 180 Degrees Consulting. Each of these societies gave me the opportunity to meet like-minded students and take part in various social events and projects. I definitely recommend getting involved in as many clubs and societies as you can to seek out exciting opportunities and meet people across the university.”
Engineering students at ANU are exposed to industry practice through 60 days of work experience and many students also choose to complete an internship for course credit.
“Towards the end of my degree, I worked as a project officer in the ICT industry. It was a great opportunity to apply some of the systems engineering principles gained in the earlier years of the degree in real-world projects. There's an abundance of opportunities available for part-time and full-time work in Canberra to check out.
“Engineering is an extremely broad discipline that applies scientific knowledge to invent and design things. It’s an exciting opportunity to be innovative and be creative with the solutions to extremely complex problems as there are really no boundaries.”
“My advice to prospective students considering the ANU is to come with an open mind and expect the unexpected. ANU is full of surprises. It’s really a time when you discover new passions and interests, and my advice would be to explore them. I never thought I’d enjoy writing essays or learning to code.”
Canberra has recently been named one of the top 20 Best Student Cities in the world. Our campus is located next to the city centre which means that students have the convenience of being central to everything they need including shopping centres, cafes, sporting facilities and bars.
“For student friendly prices you can’t go past Burmese Curry House, Yarralumla Pide House and Brodburger, I always miss the coffee when I leave Canberra so one thing to definitely do is to check out the various cafes around the city. Lonsdale Street is a good start.”
“Buy a bicycle as the city is cyclist-friendly, and if you are looking for a share house then look at the inner north. Everything you need is accessible on a bike. Though in Spring watch out for swooping magpie birds.”
Producing the most employable graduates in the nation*, many ANU students are offered jobs before they’ve even graduated. Shaw, like other engineering graduates has chosen to work as a specialist mechanical engineer.
“After graduation I'll be moving to Melbourne to work as a graduate mechanical engineer at Arup. I am really excited about learning more about engineering in the built environment with a strong focus on sustainability. Until then, I am working as a research assistant for my thesis supervisor on a project analysing the impact of solar ramp events on Canberra's grid.”
* Global Employability University Rankings 2016