'I enjoyed learning and understanding the concepts of how modern power system networks function…'
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, with a minor in Power Engineering
Graduate Electrical Engineer (Power), WSP Opus Christchurch
Originally from Singapore, Danny found New Zealand to be a perfect match to his hobbies and ambitions.
‘Given my love for outdoor sports and the potential to contribute to the power industry here, New Zealand was clearly the ideal place for me to study and eventually work in.’
Danny’s motivation to study Electrical Engineering started with a childhood fascination with electricity and how modern gadgets worked.
‘This led me to learn and experiment with electronics and basic programming. Eventually, I developed an interest in power generation, and how to do so without inflicting irreversible impacts on the environment,’ he says.
Having studied at high school in Singapore, Danny choose UC for its highly accredited Engineering degree.
‘UC has a good reputation and the Engineering degree offered is internationally recognised. Christchurch is also located within a maximum of a 2 hour drive from many outdoor activities. Hence, I chose to study at UC.’
Danny kick-started his study journey through UC International College (UCIC), the pathway provider to UC.
‘I did my intermediate year with UCIC through the University Transfer Program (UTP). It was good as I got to learn in a class that was not too big. It also provided an environment tailored towards helping international students succeed.’
Once he transferred to UC, his passion for electrical engineering was nurtured through his courses and practical field experiences.
‘I enjoyed learning and understanding the concepts of how modern power system networks function, and the fundamental building blocks on which modern technology is built on. The lecturers are very friendly and want their students to succeed. In my cohort, there is also a spirit of comradery amongst classmates. Hence, despite the challenges, I knew it was only a matter of time before we completed our degree.
‘The practical aspects of my degree also allowed me to understand the real world challenges involved in designing engineering solutions. It gave me a huge sense of satisfaction when projects that my team and I have been building come to fruition. The EPE Centre organises annual field trips to either the North or South Island to visit parts of the power industry. It provided me with valuable knowledge and insight to the industry early on in my studies.’
He advises future students that ‘an Engineering degree is challenging yet fulfilling at the same time. Engage with your classmates and lecturers as no one can pass an Engineering degree all on their own.
‘During my time at UC, I did my best to gain new experiences and did not give in to my fear of making mistakes.’
Danny ensured he made use of UC’s support services to progress in his study journey.
‘The UC Career Hub have got awesome consultants that advised me on how I should write my CV, and also proofread my Cover Letters when I applied for jobs.
‘Furthermore, I attended counselling at UC Health Centre that really supported my studies. Completing an Engineering degree is hard. Having someone to talk to in the face of disappointment helped me put things into better perspective.’
Life as an international student has been an enjoyable experience for Danny.
‘It’s been great! In the past four years, I have made many Kiwi friends and learned so much about the country’s culture, history, and potential of the power industry here. I also enjoyed immersing myself in traditionally popular activities such as tramping and snowboarding with my friends.’
As a successful UC graduate, Danny is now employed as a Graduate Electrical Engineer at WSP Opus in Christchurch.
‘WSP Opus is an international multi-disciplinary engineering consulting company. I work in the Power Team, where our main responsibility is to design robust engineering solutions for local and global power clients. My day-to-day activities in my job include meeting clients in the power industry to better understand their needs, and propose a customised solution unique to their business.’
Danny continues to work on his ambitions, remarking, ‘as a fresh graduate, my immediate career goals are to expand my horizons by working on a wide range of projects in the power industry, and seizing the opportunities that come my way. In particular, I aim to learn more about the potential and obstacles that come with large scale generation of power through renewable means.
‘Being an Engineering student at UC has taught me how to approach engineering problems, and to identify the relevant steps needed to find possible solutions.’