Hamish Allan

  • Hamish Allan

EPECentre Undergraduate Scholar

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Published February 2020

Briefly describe yourself

I'm currently a second professional year student at the University of Canterbury, studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering. I've lived in many places in NZ and the rest of the world, looking forwards to being able to explore new places again once I have finished my degree.

Why did you choose to study at UC?

It was a nexus between the availability of the qualification that I wanted, a location that I wanted to live in and the closeness of family members.

Why engineering?

Because I like to be able to solve problems for everyone, to make life easier, faster and safer. It's a career choice that enables you to see the tangible effect you have on the world around you, for now, and for everyone that follows you.

How have you benefitted from the EPECentre scholarship?

It has given me a view into an intriguing industry that I took for granted as part of modern life. I see a career path that can benefit those around me and an industry that's willing to spend time and effort into developing those coming into the fold.

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

I would like to work in either the generation or transmission areas of the NZ power sector, enabling the maintenance and overhaul of NZ's electricity assets or implementing load shaving technologies into the NZ power grid.

What advice would you give to students thinking about engineering?

When I had left high school, I had quite a bitter aftertaste from the experience, and I mistakenly thought that it was representative of higher education. University is a completely different experience to high school, so far I've enjoyed being challenged every day.

That said, it is a lot of work - time and effort is required on your part. If you truly want to do it, you'll make it through.

For the women thinking of entering engineering - I have found that for every given problem, there are many ways to solve it. Everyone has a different perspective, and all of them help us move toward better solutions. There is no reason why your gender should prevent you from contributing.

The university/industry would be better with you as part of it.

What have been your highlights at UC so far?

In the first set of holidays last year, I had the opportunity to go on the EPECentre field trip in the North Island, this was an extremely valuable insight into the electricity industry in New Zealand. I was able to understand the challenges, trends and culture of the workplaces I would like to be part of in the future.

First Pro, last year, was another step up in terms of workload but it's becoming more and more relevant to the work I would like to do in the future - this has helped me keep motivated in the long days at university.