Published April 2022
Briefly describe yourself:
Hi! I'm Abby, a fourth-year electrical engineering student at UC. I will graduate at the end of 2022 with a minor in power engineering. I am a Christchurch local, and in my spare time, I love reading (mostly fiction), attending dance classes (ballet, contemporary), and doing escape rooms.
Why did you choose Electrical Engineering? How would you like to contribute to the electricity industry after completing your studies?
I am interested in power engineering due to the importance of electricity. Nowadays, electricity is a basic human need. We depend on electricity in the form of life-saving medical devices, home security systems, food preparation, and keeping ourselves warm. I believe that a career in the New Zealand power and energy sector is the best way for me to give back to my community. The developments that are required in the immediate future also excite me. The Climate Change Response (Zero-Carbon) Amendment Act means many New Zealanders and NZ businesses are now invested in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The craze around electric vehicles will result in larger loads and challenges around peak times, but maybe EVs can also be used to support the network! Greater loads mean the development of lesser occurring generation strategies such as wind and solar farms and distributed energy resources. I would love to be a part of designing for these developments.
What advice would you give students about studying engineering, or even electrical engineering?
My time at the University of Canterbury has been amazing. Looking back on my time, I am proud of the knowledge I have gained, the friends I have made, and the projects I have completed. If I could impart any advice to those looking to study engineering at UC, specifically electrical engineering, it would be not to let anything intimidate you. If everything now seems too daunting, or you think you can't do it, I promise you can. Before I got here, I had never soldered or performed power-flow calculations or programmed with C, but this didn't stop me. With all the support provided by UC, you CAN do it, and you will. University has been a challenge, but a rewarding and fun challenge. Plus, I know that my high school self would think my Wi-Fi controlled burglar alarm was pretty cool.
How you have benefited from the Aruhiko Power Engineering Excellence Trust (PEET) Scholarship?
I have had the privilege of being a PEET scholar since 2019. The scholarship has helped me make valuable industry connections and be a part of industry events, which have been vital for finding internships and graduate opportunities. I also attended the power field trip in 2021, which was an amazing opportunity to see the scale of the New Zealand power system. Over the summer of 2021/2022, I was a power system engineering intern at Transpower. It was an amazing opportunity to gain experience and a new perspective on the New Zealand power industry. I am also on the consumer advisory board for Orion as a youth representative, a role I found through my connection to PEET. These roles have solidified my interest in the industry and the work involved as a power engineer.
I am so thankful to the PEET members and the EPECentre for my scholarship and all the opportunities that have arisen from it. This scholarship has shaped my university experience and introduced me to my future career path, which I could not be more excited about.