Last year, we shared the learning journey of engineering students, academics and other staff as Summer Studios were developed, launched and established in the Faculty of Engineering and IT (FEIT). This series has been collaboratively written and edited by Beata Francis (FEIT) and Dimity Wehr (IML), and includes:
- How FEIT took flight on a 5-year learning journey
- The MIDAS touch: how Summer Studios were born
- Endless summer: 10 principles for engineering change
- Bright spots: success stories from FEIT summer studios
- FEITClubStudio conversations: the student experience
As we bring this series to a close, we profile just a few of the wonderful students who have benefited from their Summer Studio experiences. These individuals participated in our Student Panel Session at the annual FEIT T&L Retreat, sharing feedback on what they had learned, and how the studio process had impacted their personal and professional development.
6 student journeys through studios and beyond
There’s wonderful diversity to be seen in these stories; whilst some are still studying, others are combining work with study, and already well on the way to building creative, innovative and impactful career paths. Their journeys and backgrounds stretch from service design, cloud architecture and academia, to mechatronics and biomedical engineering. Enjoy!
1️⃣ Harry Kellick is currently in his final year of a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation after completing a Bachelor of Science in IT last year. Harry is involved in the faculty through the University Innovation Fellows program, which empowers students to become agents of change in higher education. He is also involved in UTS Startups, student societies and volunteering as a guide and mentor for incoming students. Outside university, Harry works in Service Design at Macquarie Group, helping the organisation view their products and services from a user-centric perspective.
2️⃣ Jet Hodgson is a 4th year mechanical engineering and BCII student. Last year as part of their role as a university innovation fellow they ran a series of workshops on the WEF top ten skills for 2025, which attracted around 100 students. They have also been involved in trying to encourage gender diversity without the gender binary with WEIT. Outside university they work as a design consultant for a management consultancy that focuses largely on leadership development.
3️⃣ Tony Le graduated from UTS as a mechatronics engineer in 2020 and is now a PhD student at the UTS Robotics Institute, researching on enabling effective human-robot collaboration with intuitive interaction design. He has been a Casual Academic at UTS since 2019, participating in teaching two core Mechatronics subjects: Industrial Robotics and as the head tutor in Introduction to Mechatronics Engineering, a first-year subject. Throughout Tony’s journey at UTS, he has been on both sides of the University’s novel institutional model of learning. This enables him to reflect and propagate good practices in his teaching roles.
4️⃣ Gurvinder Bhatia is a final year undergraduate mechanical and mechatronic engineering student. He is currently undertaking his capstone and internship working on robotics and health monitoring for applications in domestic and space exploration environments. Having started his degree in 2018, Gurvinder has seen the approach to education change in the Faculty of Engineering and IT and is motivated to take part in current initiatives to build students’ skills for a head start in industry.
5️⃣ Mariah Taleb is a final year Biomedical Engineering Honours and Diploma in Professional Engineering Practice student. During this time she has completed two 6-month internships, one with Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the other on scholarship with Canon Medical Systems, fixing and installing medical equipment. She is a student representative for the Faculty of Engineering and IT, has participated in outreach, led data arena demonstrations and represented students in teaching and learning meetings within the Biomedical Engineering school. She has also been a part of recreating core engineering subject outlines and received multiple awards including the UTS Accomplish Platinum Award, Zonta Award, Lucy Mentoring award and UTS SOUL Award.
6️⃣ Alastair Bate is a Cloud Architect in the professional services team at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and helps customers of all sizes achieve their business goals, including universities from across Australia who are moving to the Cloud. Prior to working at AWS, Alastair studied Electrical Engineering at UTS, graduating in 2020. He was heavily involved with the faculty and the broader university community, leading student societies, participating in outreach and studying Design Thinking, which led to him becoming one of the UTS University Innovation Fellows. Alastair helped bring the Innovation Hub to life and has taught Design Thinking in class and externally to thousands of students.
Three messages for 2023
Reflecting on this multi-year journey also means looking ahead to the next stages of development. As we consider the evolving curriculum, we also want students to have agency, to be able to identify their foundational skills and capabilities in first and second year, then to develop these in third year and continue to grow their pre-professional competencies on graduation so that they are work ready, able to secure their first job and flourish in their career.
We have three key messages to students for 2023 that may help them align their beliefs about learning with the structure of the curriculum and delivery pedagogies. We encourage students to pause and think about how to best spend their time over the next 3-5 years, to enhance both career and life prospects.
- Although academic challenges tend to focus on passing exams and assignments, your personal challenge is also to be career-ready, get your first great job and have a meaningful life.
- Employers are still looking for good grades, and they also want people who go beyond the technical requirements of their discipline. They particularly value those who can communicate effectively in different situations, work well with others, meet deadlines, are self-motivated and passionate to make improvements, change and innovate.
- Leadership is about taking action and doing things that are meaningful. At UTS, there are so many wonderful opportunities to explore leadership skills through the studio subjects, but also more broadly in activities such as student societies, UTS Startups, volunteering and initiatives like the University Innovation Fellows program. These are great ways to practice self-motivation, commitment, passion, and the communication skills you need to stand out as a professional engineer or information technologist.
We can’t wait to share the next stages of our work in FEIT, and invite you to share your own experiences and meaningful journeys in learning and teaching. There’s never been a more exciting time to be working with students and innovators of the future, and to help play our part in supporting fruitful and rewarding jobs, lives and careers.
If you would like to chat about any of the topics and posts in this blog series, please contact Beata.Francis@uts.edu.au. Thanks for reading!