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Desire to solve problems

Sydney Morning Herald

Wednesday February 2, 2011

Keeli Cambourne

A young student's enthusiasm shows the future of the profession is bright. ERIN WILSON had no idea what an engineer did until she attended a year 9 science camp in Newcastle. And it was there that she fell in love with the profession."I went to two other engineering camps after that and it was through those that I found out all the things engineers do," she says."It struck a chord with me."So when she heard about the Honeywell Engineering Summer School towards the end of last year, Wilson was eager to participate.Now in year 12 at Gloucester High School on the NSW mid-north coast, Wilson was named student of the week at HESS 2010, an honour given to the pupil who shows the most promise and enthusiasm."I love the problem solving involved in engineering and after the summer school I have a real interest in following a career in environmental or biomedical engineering," she says."I want to do something to minimise our impact on the environment or do something that can help others."The Honeywell Engineering Summer School is held each December and brings together 100 year 11 students who are considering a career in the field.Students come from all over NSW and the ACT, including rural areas such as Broken Hill, Tumbarumba and Inverell.The program sees students introduced to five universities that offer engineering degrees, including the host university, the University of NSW, as well as the universities of Sydney, Western Sydney and Wollongong and the University of Technology Sydney.Students also go behind the scenes of some leading engineering companies and projects to see engineers at work.These visits allow students to learn about the role of engineers in society and the different disciplines available, including aeronautical, biomedical, chemical, civil, environmental, electrical, computer, mechanical, mining and even mechatronics.Engineering students from UNSW also act as mentors to the high school students and offer their own insights and a different perspective into university studies and programs."I am studying subjects for my Higher School Certificate that will hopefully help me get into an engineering degree - a lot of science and maths," Wilson says."I'm looking at applying to Sydney University but after visiting the nanotechnology department at Wollongong University, I am interested in that area as well."At Wollongong University we were shown the work engineers are doing on a memory-remembering wire, which returns to its original shape after it has been used."It is being developed to be used in things like surgery and medical procedures."That kind of research side of engineering really appeals to me."The Honeywell Engineering Summer School has been running for 12 years and is supported by Engineers Australia Sydney division, Honeywell, NSW engineering universities and participating Rotary districts.

© 2011 Sydney Morning Herald

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