Irene Clausse

  • Irene Clausse

PEET (EPECentre) Undergraduate Scholar

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Published March 2021

Briefly describe yourself

I am an Electrical Engineering student currently in my final year at the University of Canterbury. I enrolled as an adult student after having worked in the communications sector for 3 years. This led me to seek a career in the power industry.

Why did you choose to study at UC and why electrical/power engineering?

I chose UC for its reputation as the top university in NZ for Engineering. I was also swayed by the fact that UC has an HV lab and the EPECentre, focusing on the Power industry.

While working in communications I developed an interest in networks, energy generation, distribution and most importantly system protection. I realised then that I had been developing skills that are very valuable in reliability engineering and risk management.

How have you benefitted from the PEET (EPECEntre) scholarship?

Thanks to the PEET scholarship I have had plenty of networking opportunities, where I got to talk to people in different parts of the industry. This has given me a view of the possible career paths I can take when I finish my studies.

Being an PEET/EPECentre scholar creates a bond with both current and former scholars. You become part of a group of people with similar interests in the Power industry, who might one day become co-workers.

What excites you about the future of the electricity industry (challenges and opportunities!)? How would you like to contribute to that future?

I admire New Zealand's green initiative of switching to fully renewable energy sources and would very much like to be an active contributor of this future.

I am very interested in the focus decarbonisation is getting. There are some very interesting new technologies being researched and tested, and it will be exciting to see them implemented.

What have been your highlights while studying EEE?

It has been very rewarding seeing my progress and being able to reflect of my academic accomplishments. I really enjoyed having guest lecturers give talks on specific aspects of the industry.

What advice would you give to students thinking about studying engineering, and electrical engineering? Or why should they choose electrical/power engineering?

Engineers design systems used by the whole population, therefore the more diverse the engineering body is – it will represent the people they are designing for more accurately. My advice is don’t try to accommodate to a stereotype of what an engineer should be, but rather what you as an individual with your own experiences can contribute to the engineering industry.