Will Austin

'You get a feeling of confidence and achievement...'

  • Will Austin

(Ngāti Raukawa)

Studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours

'My motivation to study Engineering comes from the technical challenge of the degree, and also the accomplishments of those who have earned one,’ says Will, who is working towards a BE(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering.

Will's special interest is in the aerospace industry, renowned for its history of technological achievement and the critical issue of safety, something Will wants to focus on.

'I take influence from those who design, build, test and operate aerospace equipment and machinery which, more often than not, is done using the skills they acquired through studying Engineering. Many engineers put their lives on the line so those who follow can do so safely. I admire their courage to do this, and hope to one day be a part of it.'

Will says the reputation of UC's College of Engineering made his decision on how to qualify as an engineer easy.

'Aside from being just up the road from where I live, I knew the College of Engineering was foremost in New Zealand. Plus, the engineering facilities are set to be revamped and a new department built, which means UC will have one of the most modern engineering campuses in the world, and that is something I want to be a part of.'

While looking forward to the state-of-the art facilities, Will says he also values the existing resources UC has for its Engineering students.

'The books in the Engineering and Physical Sciences library have been great when I've been stuck on problems or just curious to learn more on a topic, and the skills and technical knowledge each of the lecturers displays in their respective fields is both encouraging and engaging when you are learning new concepts.'

Although maths alone can’t solve every problem, it is an intrinsic component of engineering, and fortunately one of Will’s favourite aspects.

'I really enjoy the mathematical side of engineering when it comes to solving problems,' he says. 'The different problem solving techniques applied to situations can be intimidating, but once you successfully solve a problem and learn to do similar ones efficiently, you get a feeling of confidence and achievement.’

He took the opportunity to get a head start with his university studies by taking a STAR course while he was at high school in Lincoln.

'I completed the MATH 199 course in my last year at high school, which allowed me to take 200-level engineering mathematics courses during my intermediate year. I would highly recommend this to anyone who knows which direction they want to take in their studies of mathematics, engineering, science, or even if you just want to enjoy a higher level of mathematics. The more you can learn early on, the more confident you will be as you progress through your degree.'

The other benefit of the STAR programme is that it can help to make the transition to university much easier and quicker.

'When I started my first full year of study, I was already orientated and could get into a routine quickly, having already established relationships with lecturers and all the student services. This was invaluable and helped reassure me that this is where I want to be.'

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