Adinda Chaerany

Adinda is on scholarship at UC, studying a Master of Engineering Studies in Earthquake Engineering. She’s looking forward to taking her new skills back home to Indonesia.

I was working as a project manager in Jakarta when I learned more about the impact of earthquakes on built structures. At the moment, our national expertise in seismic retrofit is still very limited. I was advised by someone from the government to study overseas, acquire knowledge and bring it back home. I’m convinced that it’s a sensible idea to fill in such gap of expertise, so I applied to UC and here I am!

While she loves technical details, Adinda says people are at the heart of her passion for engineering.

The work of an engineer enables the opportunity to connect cities and islands – connecting the people, and giving the best chance for the country’s culture and economy to flourish. Being an engineer involves great responsibility as the people’s livelihood shall always be the core of your work. Resilient and sustainable infrastructure development is essential to enhance the people’s quality of living and so I’m excited to take part on it.

The fact that her learning at UC went far beyond the textbook was a welcome surprise for Adinda.

My learnings at UC had become so much more than pure technical perspectives. Our course also covers humanitarian and engineering management aspects of earthquake resilience. We’re encouraged to ask questions and discuss ideas in class. The learning style has broadened up my perspectives.

Adinda has also had the opportunity to gain experience in doing cutting edge research.

During my degree, I had the opportunity to assist a lecturer on a research project about the development of a sustainable seismic isolation foundation system. To my surprise, doing research was a liberating experience. With research, you have the freedom to explore different new approaches to solve problems, something that might be not as flexible in a corporate setting.

Although she came to New Zealand on her own, Adinda found a warm welcome at UC.

The support at UC is amazing. The lecturers are approachable and friendly. The students are very diverse - I've made lots of friends from many different nationalities. I enjoy learning about their cultures and sharing mine in return. I’ll definitely keep in touch with my new friends. Now I have an excuse to impulsively book tickets to lots of places on earth!

The relaxed environment has been a welcome respite for Adinda, who prefers the lifestyle of smaller cities.

The UC campus is beautiful, with plenty of trees and scenic nature to explore nearby, places where you can simply find pure joy. You’ll see snowcapped mountains come down to meet the blue ocean. Akaroa and Kaikoura are my favorites.

During her time at UC, Adinda was able to line up her ideal job doing seismic and structural assessments back in Indonesia.

A former colleague of mine connected me to a New Zealand based engineering consulting firm. I went for the interview and test here in Christchurch, but I’ll be based in their Indonesian office, mainly working on structural assessments and seismic retrofits. I’m so excited about it as I’ll get to do meaningful works suited to my passion while maintaining the link to New Zealand academia and industry.

Looking back on her year at UC, Adinda says that the experience far exceeded her expectations.

Apparently, one impulsive decision can lead into something very rewarding! My experience with UC was beyond an academic exercise, it has been humbling yet empowering. I’ve gained knowledge and skills, met so many amazing people and had the chance to pursue my passion. I'm so glad I decided to come here.