Hanh Nguyen

'Both of my internships during the summer increased my interest and contributed a lot to my confidence...'

  • Hanh Nguyen

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Civil Engineering

Structural Engineer, Aurecon

Hanh’s appreciation for structures began with a degree in Architecture back home in Vietnam. Now graduated from UC, she is satisfied she made the right decision to further her studies and hopes to one day connect her two areas of expertise.

‘I love everything about buildings. I think the process behind any building being built up and in function is amazing and I want to be a part of it, either as an architect or an engineer.

‘My specified area is Structural Engineering. At UC I studied how to design concrete, steel and timber structures to ensure these are safe to live in and can sustain earthquake sequences. I also learnt how to analyse the structure using different analysing methods and became familiar with the New Zealand standards and codes.

‘I enjoy the quality of teaching here. In my department specifically, I am really happy that I was able to learn from very qualified lecturers and professors who were always willing to give me support with my study. As an international student I was given the same opportunities and treatment as domestic students here, however also had the chance to meet other international students from different countries at events which enabled us to share the experience together.’

Since graduating from UC, Hanh has been working as a graduate Structural Engineer at Aurecon in Christchurch, a role that she felt was a natural progression following her studies.

‘The time I spent working as an intern in an engineering firm during my study gave me good experience into what an actual engineering firm is like and the day-to-day work of engineers. Both of my internships during the summer also increased my interest in my studies and contributed a lot to my confidence.

‘As a graduate engineer, I have been involved in strengthening the design of existing structures to improve their performance in future earthquake events. The goal is to make buildings safer to live in and to meet the code requirements. I also work on the designs of new buildings such as the terraces, and apartment buildings, alongside more senior engineers. I get a lot of support from other engineers in the company which made my transition from university to work a lot easier.’

Hanh encourages others considering studying at UC to step out of their comfort zone and experience a new environment.

‘After studying here and comparing my experience with some of my friends studying in different regions of the world, I find that one advantage of being an international student at UC is that I had a better chance to merge into the culture and improve my English here. In New Zealand, there is a good mix between international students and domestic students, while in some other countries there are so many international students that many of my friends become trapped in their own communities instead of experiencing something new.

‘Aside from this, New Zealand is such a beautiful and peaceful country, I love how easy it is to take short trips to beautiful places in NZ over a couple of days. I have had many road trips with friends over the term breaks to amazing places like Hanmer Springs, Mount Cook, Tekapo and many more, and there is still so much more to see!’

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