Hillary WuEnvironmental Engineering
Hillary Wu is President of Female Engineers at Monash University (FEM), campus coordinator of Engineers Australia and was accepted by the Monash Industry Team Initiative (MITI) Program. As part of the MITI Program Hillary worked in a small multi-disciplinary team as an environmental engineer at a fishing village in the Philippines. The team was responsible for taking care of a clean water supply project. They visited the local hospital to look at data on waterborne diseases, discussed business models with the local community and worked with locals on their water sanitation skills. Hillary hopes to use her knowledge to help other communities in need, including the community in Myanmar where her sponsor child lives.
"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!"
◈ What did you / what are you studying at Monash?
I am a fourth year student currently pursuing my environmental engineering degree at Monash University
◈ How did you find yourself in this specialisation?
The environmental engineering course involves the study of wastewater management, air pollution control, recycling technologies, waste disposal, radiation protection, industrial hygiene, environmental sustainability, and public health issues, as well as environmental engineering law. I found that I have been even more enthusiastic about innovative sustainable design after studying this course. My heartbeat accelerated every time lecturers showed us innovative engineering technologies and designs.
◈ What is the most interesting thing that you have learnt so far?
We are required to apply sustainable designs to different engineering project scenarios, such as developing sustainable design for residential building projects and making environmental impact assessments for renewable power plants. I found this part of the course most interesting, as it showed me what I would possibly do when I graduate.
◈ What skills have you learnt from studying engineering that have helped you in problem-solving?
The most interesting and treasurable skill I have learnt in my course is mastering how to learn fast. In the past four years, I was well trained to be able to learn new knowledge or skills as soon as possible. Consequently, I am able to make the most out of my time. To solve a problem, a lot of research and development is required, and being able to learn fast has meant I can find solutions much faster and efficiently.
◈ If you could solve one problem that we face in our day to day lives today, what would it be?
Traffic jams! During rush hour, I waste a lot of time and petrol when I am driving home and to university. This has been a headache since I have got my car, as time is money and petrol is also money!
◈ What inspires you to keep on questioning?
I have always been a curious person. For example, when I first got an iPhone, I kept asking people around me and checking online forums about how to use it, until I was finally familiar with all of its functions. So I guess maybe questioning always helps me to satisfy my curiosity.
◈ What would you tell your 16 year old self?
Melbourne Cup winner in each year! Haha, just joking. If that happens, I will alert myself, never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game! You will never learn if you don’t make mistakes, and you will never gain confidence if you haven’t experienced any awkward moments. Cherish every opportunity presented to you and just take it. You have nothing to lose by trying all the opportunities at such a prime age.