Kate Varanyuwatana

'Engineering at UC is very well recognised in South East Asia and CAPE at UC has a very good reputation...'

  • Katethip varanyuwatana

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Chemical and Process Engineering with a minor in Bioprocess Engineering

Investment Analyst, Kasikorn Asset Management, Bangkok, Thailand

Kate’s passion for Chemical and Process Engineering (CAPE) started in high school after discovering her love for technology and the desire to build popular items in the market.

‘I had a fantastic Chemistry teacher in high school and I absolutely loved it when she related what we learnt in class to real life examples. I decided that CAPE would be the best degree for me to study, which combined my interest in design technology and chemistry.’

Kate says she has benefitted from travelling from Thailand to study at UC.

‘Engineering at UC is very well recognised in South East Asia and CAPE at UC has a very good reputation. Sometimes lecturers from other world-class universities would visit. I was lucky enough to have a lecturer from Cornell University (USA) as my group supervisor in my final year group project. It was a great chance for me to experience CAPE from different points of view.

‘It’s a degree which exposed me to a wide range of scientific knowledge that can help prepare myself for future professions in the real world.’

It was the financial side to Engineering that caught Kate’s interests, leading to master’s study in banking and finance at Monash University, Australia, and then a role as an investment analyst at Kasikorn Asset Management, Thailand’s largest asset management bank.

‘I was inspired to be an investor during my time at UC,’ she says. ‘The CAPE department clearly showed me that research engineers produce lots of products which develop the world, but the problem is that it’s difficult to find financial support. I decided that I wanted to bring those ideas from paper to the supermarket shelves.

‘At Kasikorn I specialise in the energy, petrochemical and real estate sectors. I strongly believe that part of the reason I got this job was my CAPE background, because in high finance you need to understand in depth the potential risk and return, which relies on degree-level process engineering knowledge.’

Kate believes that her time at UC helped her come out of her shell to embrace a wider community.

‘I have changed from a quiet girl into someone who is able to speak with anybody and become friends with them in seconds! I believe I have developed these people skills during my time at UC, from my CAPE classes and from my housemates in my accommodation.

‘I stayed at Ilam Apartments during my time at UC and I lived with different people each time. My flatmates came from Kenya, Sri Lanka, America and New Zealand. I found it to be “normal” when we sat around the table and had people from different backgrounds.’

As a result, Kate actively immersed herself at UC. During her studies, Kate was a member of Women in Engineering (WIE) and served as Treasurer in her final year, a role that involved speaking at schools to inspire more female students to become engineers. She also got involved in charity running, taking part in many events including the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) in which her team came second overall, and UC’s Half Marathon programme to train for the Christchurch Marathon. Her team in the Christchurch Marathon, raised just over $1,000 NZD for World Child Cancer, ‘about enough to financially support 14 children in Africa to fight their cancer.’

Kate says she is truly grateful for her time studying.

‘UC provided me with a safe place to fully discover myself and know exactly what I wanted for my career goals,’ she says. ‘Without my Engineering education at UC I would have never found myself today.’

Dennis Pau

Dennis Pau Su Wee

'It has allowed me to meet people from all over the world...'

George Donald

George Donald

'Mechanical Engineering is definitely the most wide-ranging engineering discipline and the course has prepared me extremely well...'