Thomas Larkin

Bachelor of Engineering (R&D) (Hons) / Bachelor of Arts '19

As a young child Thomas was a budding engineer constructing buildings out of Lego and improving them with various renovations and extensions. When it came time to select a university Thomas was drawn to ANU as it offered an elite engineering Research and Development (R&D) degree, that would allow him to take advanced classes and undertake research in an area of interest in world-class labs.

“The strong research focus of ANU has allowed me to work alongside academics in their respective fields and has given me learning opportunities within the lab which would normally never be available to undergraduate students.”

“In my opinion, the core R&D skillset are time-management, problem-solving and critical thinking. Time-management will be useful in industry since all industry projects work on strict timeframes. Being able to allocate project goals and meet these goals over long timeframes will undoubtedly be a benefit to any company. Problem-solving will be useful in industry in order to ensure efficiency and productivity. Having the skills to avoid complications before they occur and rectify these problems quickly when they do occur is an invaluable skill. Finally, critical thinking will be useful in industry to continue to push the boundaries of innovation in engineering.”

“In my first semester of second year, I worked for six months on a project which investigated the experimental parameters affecting fibre alignment and morphology for polymer based electrospun nanofibers. This work was completed as part of a larger research group investigating regenerative medicine within the Central Nervous System. Currently, I am working on a more materials based project which involves the fabrication of novel graphene reinforced carbon-fibre composites for use in automobile and aerospace applications.”

“So far, the R&D degree has given me a very rounded view of what it is like to work in large collaborative teams. I have learnt that without effective communication and a clear project focus; progress can be slow and inefficient. The R&D degree has also given me a great opportunity to develop independent learning skills over long time period (6-12 months); skills which I think will find great use in the workforce.”

Thomas balances his time between studying and participating in a variety of activities that are available on our vibrant campus. “From early mornings rowing on Lake Burley Griffin, to examining nanofibers using Scanning Electron Microscopes, ANU has given me the broadest possible taste of what university life should be about. I believe that university is the ideal time in life to try new and exciting things and from these experiences, develop an understanding of what really inspires and motivates you. The student-experience that ANU offers is so varied that all those who get involved are most likely to develop new ‘passions’ and expand upon existing ones.

“My advice to prospective students considering the ANU is do not choose your degree purely on the degree itself, but consider all other aspects of the university such as location, campus facilities, reputation, accessibility and student-lifestyle. ANU has an extremely vibrant student lifestyle, consisting of clubs and societies which cater towards all interests, and I have found that it is through this student-lifestyle that I have made some of my best friends and memories.”

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing