ENGINEER, IMAGINEER.

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Sarah. Engineering.

What inspired you to study computer engineering?

I always enjoyed science and maths so engineering was a natural choice for me. In first year I did some coding courses and realised that was what I like best. I love that you're given a problem and you can write this really short piece of script to solve it. It’s a different way of thinking that I hadn't encountered before.

Can you describe some of the projects you've worked on?

Last semester we had to create a helicopter control system. It was cool because we got to test our code on little helicopter rigs and see if it actually worked. Quite a few of them crashed! Another brief was to ‘make a musical instrument play weirdly’. We ended up using a colour sensor that turned colours into musical notes. We do lots of fun and out-of-the-box challenges.

It sounds like you've done some great internships too!

Last year I was at Tait Communications doing a battery life analysis project. Next up I'm going to Dynamic Controls where I'll be working on a debugging tool. It's awesome seeing your university skills at work in the workforce, and the experience will really help on my CV.

What are you up to outside your studies?

I've been very heavily involved in Women in Engineering, taking on the role of president for 2020. We throw social, industry and education events, and help the first years get to know each other. We do a really cool mentoring program as well where students get paired up with young professionals in the industry.

"If you need a break from studying you can go skiing, to the beach or to a local market. There’s heaps to discover."

What's it like being a woman in engineering?

I came from an all-girls school in Auckland so it was very different walking into a class with lots of boys. But you get used to it and everyone’s super welcoming. All the girls I know who do engineering really enjoy it. There are lots of female engineers out there doing amazing things.

What else have you enjoyed about UC?

Canterbury is a great place to study. The campus is a really happy environment and there are so many things you can do just around the corner. If you need a break from studying you can go skiing, to the beach or to a local market. There’s heaps to discover.

What you want to do when you graduate?

I'd love to get a job writing code for a company that has great values and ideally makes a difference in the world. I’m happy to start anywhere, but that’s my ultimate goal!