Chris Dippie

  • Chris Dippie

EPECentre Undergraduate Scholar

Visit Chris on LinkedIn


Published October 2019

Briefly describe yourself

I'm an electrical engineering student from Nelson, New Zealand. 

Why did you choose to study at UC?

UC offered me some nice scholarships and has a good reputation for engineering. Christchurch also has a similar 'small city' atmosphere to Nelson.

Why engineering?

As a kid, I always enjoyed tinkering with electronics and computers. One day I realized that by studying a STEM degree, I could get to do that as a career. I initially wanted to go into pure math or software engineering, but I chose electrical because I enjoy working with and designing tangible devices. I also like the invisible and unpredictable nature of electricity. Electrical engineering forces you to learn and work around the laws of physics, which is a fun challenge.

How have you benefitted from the EPECentre scholarship?

It's a great motivator to work hard and keep my grades high. It's also helped with getting internships and work experience. Having the opportunity to easily meet and talk with people in the industry is also a cool benefit.

How would you like to contribute to the electricity industry after completing your studies?

My interests lie in embedded systems and signal processing. In the future I'd love to use these to explore more streamlined methods of power maintenance and distribution.

I think that with modern computer vision techniques and control systems, many dangerous jobs like high voltage line maintenance could be automated, saving time and money. That said, I'm only a first professional year student, so that's probably scraping the surface of what's out there to explore in power!

What advice would you give to students thinking about engineering?

If it interests you, give it a try! Studying engineering requires hard work more than anything  if you practice what you're learning and ask for help, I think anyone can be successful in it.

Electrical and Electronic Engineering is a great degree because it covers such a broad range of problems; it gives you the skills to make your own musical instruments, build robots, design a new computer chip, or even build a power grid for a city. There's also a small overlap with medical fields and neuroscience  your brain could be considered an electrical device! With the rate at which our modern world is progressing technologically, I can recommend electrical engineering as a rewarding and fun choice of study.

What have been your highlights of the year?

My group's end of year project was great  we built a full synthesizer, utilizing an old Yamaha sound chip. I also managed to do COSC261 as an additional elective, which I enjoyed. We were given a fictional programming language, and turned it into a real one by writing a compiler for it. This really stimulated my interest in programming language design. It's fascinating to think about how the tools you use to write software could be improved or changed, as well as how industry standard tools like C and Java work under the hood.