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As the end of University draws closer (ugh exams!), many students will be starting part time work or if lucky, beginning a vacation placement in an engineering related workplace.

Stephanie Somerville, Manager, Career Services interviewed Eve Smolinska, a current Engineers Australia Student Ambassador about how she gained practical experience in the engineering field this year.

Eve is currently studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure) (Honours) at RMIT University.

Q. Why do you love engineering?

I have always regarded engineering as a noble profession. Growing up in Europe provided me with an opportunity of having incredible structures at my fingertips and ultimately led me to choose Civil Engineering. To me, the beauty of engineering does not only lie in the physical elements that get constructed but in its usefulness to the general population. To put it in perspective, thanks to engineering we are able to construct a high rise structure, which consists of numerous small parts, each having their own design and serving their own specific purpose. Together, they make up the skyline we see each day, providing space for the increasing population and raising the comfort of living.

Q. Tell us how you got your vacation/work placement?

At the beginning of the year, I attended an event titled “Elevation”, hosted by Engineers Australia. During networking time at the company stalls, I talked to a John Holland representative about their projects and about company culture. Due to my volunteering involvement at the Civil Engineering Student Association (CESA) at University, we also discussed the upcoming Industry Night, to which John Holland accepted an invitation to. Later in the week I also sent my resume and cover letter to HR and I got a call a few weeks later. Now, I have been working at John Holland as an Undergraduate Site Engineer for the past 6 months and couldn’t think of a better place to start my career.

Q. What was the best thing about the practical experience?

As my practical experience is in the construction industry I have numerous opportunities to go out to site and see design come to life. Every work day I am a part of either a concrete pour, reinforcement fixing, shield install or asphalt paving, depending on the day and activities taking place. This part-time work in the industry enabled me to more clearly see the relevance of the material covered at University and has provided me with a more in-depth understanding of all aspects of project delivery.

Q. What advice would you give another student about to start their summer vacation placement?

Be curious and always ask questions. Throughout any task ask yourself things such as: why are we doing it this way? Is it more cost effective? Is it safer? Is it a legal requirement? Industry placement is an incredible opportunity to learn every day as you are surrounded by experienced industry professionals – take advantage of it.

For more advice from those that have been where you are, watch the latest Engineers Australia Career Webinar on Gaining Practical Experience.

Scholarship Award Program 2018

The Women In Engineering Scholarship Program is an initiative of Engineers Australia WIE Sydney

The Women in Engineering Sydney (WIES) Student Scholarship provides recipients the opportunity to act as a student ambassador on the WIE Sydney committee for one year.
What will you get out of it?

• You will become the face and contact for WIES in universities.
• Liaise with Engineers Australia (EA) and the WIES executive committee.
• Help promote and retain female engineers within the industry.
• Support fellow female engineering students.
• Gain industry contact and work in collaboration with both government and private engineering companies

Three scholarships are to be awarded, each with a prize of $500.
Who should apply?

• Current second year (or above) female full-time engineering students at a NSW university.
• Undergraduate students only. Postgraduate students are ineligible to apply.
• Must be an enrolled student at a NSW university for all of 2019.
• Must be a student member of Engineers Australia (Student membership is free! Sign up now if you have not done so already)
• Must be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident.

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LEGO Masters


Endemol Shine Australia, the company that brings us the TV binging series MasterChef and Ninja Warrior are currently casting for a new series called LEGO Masters. They are searching ALL of Australia for the BEST and most creative LEGO Builders

They are looking for bright engineering minds, who love LEGO and building with Legos to compete in teams of two to take part in this new television series.

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The field of robotics is accelerating at an increasingly rapid rate and is showing no signs of slowing down. But there remain some significant robotics challenges standing between us and real progress.
Recently, a team from the journal Science Robotics conducted an open online survey to better understand some of the major unsolved robotics challenges – aka what keeps roboticists up at night?

Following the survey, they created a panel of 10 experts who shortlisted the 30 most important topics and research directions. These were then grouped into 10 major robotics challenges that “might have major breakthroughs, significant research, and/or socioeconomic impact in the next five to 10 years”.

Many of these challenges build on each other and require collaboration and innovation to solve them. But the benefits are manifold, as these challenges – and resulting solutions – will transform almost every facet of our lives in the decade, from medical care to exploration to offices.

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A group of university students has brought us one step closer to a cure for HIV by developing an innovative DNA scaffold to study the virus at close range.

A student-designed DNA scaffold that helps provide new insights into self-assembling biological systems has taken out the Grand Prize at Harvard University’s annual BIOMOD challenge.

The international competition invites teams of undergraduate students from around the world to develop new nanotechnologies using DNA, RNA and proteins.

Past winners have developed prototypes for nanotherapeutics and molecular robots. However, 2017’s winners – UNSW’s Capsid Constructors – had other ambitions.

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