'I had the opportunity to work closely with my client, teammates and technicians which enriched my university experience...'
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechanical Engineering
Product Development Engineer, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Auckland
Having a passion for maths and science, Stephanie says that it was ‘natural’ for her to take on Engineering studies at university. With her father as a mechanical engineer, she was also keen on following in his footsteps.
‘Since I was young, I have always been amazed by how much he knows when he explains to me about how things work, from car engines to air conditioners,’ she says.
Stephanie travelled from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after picking New Zealand as her university study destination.
‘I am confident in New Zealand’s high quality education with the degrees recognised around the world. Its reasonable tuition fees and cost of living also makes it one of the most affordable countries to study in.
‘New Zealand’s amazing scenery also means that there is always something to do, whether it is just a stroll along the beach, a walk in the park or even some adventurous activities.’
Settling on UC was an easy choice due to its reputation in Engineering, and being offered a UC College of Engineering Malaysia Scholarship for her high school results. Stephanie quickly excelled in Mechanical Engineering studies.
‘Canterbury provides a well-rounded Engineering degree as it also emphasises being practical and hands-on — one of the most important skills that employers are looking for. On top of that, Mechanical Engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines, therefore the wide range of skills acquired allow me to have a variety of career paths.
‘I took a variety of subjects, for example energy engineering, anatomy, mathematics and control systems, due to my interest and to open up more opportunities to different fields.’
Stephanie’s final year project was an opportunity to gain industry experience, focusing on resuscitation equipment for babies.
‘My role was to research, purchase and program the sensors used in the project, so I learned a lot of things that were outside of my studies, for example electronics and programming,’ she says. ‘I also had the opportunity to work closely with my client, teammates and technicians which enriched my university experience.’
One of her highlights was a field trip at Cass Field Station for energy engineering course ENME 405, carrying out energy audits.
‘It was interesting to put what we have learned into practice as we collected and analysed data. I would definitely recommend participating in field trips as it enhances students’ understanding of the topic. Studies aside, it was also an enjoyable experience to get to know some new friends.’
Stephanie was an active member of the Canterbury Malaysian Students’ Association, which helped connect her to fellow Malaysian students at UC.
‘There are many interesting multicultural and sports events for the Malaysians to mingle around, for example the Malaysian Night and Bersatu Games. People here are very friendly and welcoming, so I found it very easy to settle in. There are a lot of opportunities to meet people with different backgrounds through different clubs and events.’
Living at Ilam Apartments during her first year was also a good way to meet students from other cultures.
‘My flatmates consisted of a good mix of Kiwis, French, Americans and Germans. This was a really good chance to understand different cultures and make some lasting friendships,’ she says. ‘The student welfare was well taken care of, all enquires and problems were well attended to professionally. The staff also often organised some good activities for students to take some stress off studies.’
Before graduating, Stephanie landed a role with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare as a Product Development Engineer, where she will design specialist healthcare products for homes and hospitals.
With such a rewarding job so early in her career, Stephanie has big plans to contribute towards advances in medical technologies.
‘I believe engineering exists to improve human life, whether it is for the comfort, health or environment,’ she says. ‘Therefore, I look forward to utilising the knowledge and skills I have obtained during my degree to add value to the company I will be working for and also to society, while adding meaning and purpose to my career.’