A high school visit to a wind farm was enough to convince Griffith University School of Engineering student Alice Fleetwood about where her professional future lay.
“I grew up in northern NSW and we were off the electricity grid. Renewable energy was a part of daily life,” she recalls.
“I already knew how important renewable energy was, but visiting the Gunning Wind Farm outside Canberra really got me thinking about a career in the sector.
“And when I asked the best way to get a job, I was told the answer was in engineering.”
Now in the second year of a degree specialising in electronic and energy engineering, Alice is the recipient of an Australian Power Institute Bursary (API) that complements her studies by providing paid employment with member companies during three summer vacations.
API represents 35 major Australian power companies in addressing the skills gap in power engineering.
So far, Alice has completed work experience at Powerlink Queensland, which owns and operates the state’s high voltage electricity transmission network.
“It was a great experience and taught me a lot about what can be achieved through engineering in the energy sector,” says Alice.
“There is so much potential for increased energy saving, for better storage and distribution systems.
“When I started I was a little daunted by the electrical and electronic aspects of the degree because these were areas in which I hadn’t received much exposure during high school.
“However, as my Griffith course has progressed I have gained confidence, broadened my interests and capabilities and I’m now excited about continuing to the Honours component of my degree.”
Alice is also keen to encourage more young women to pursue careers in engineering.
“Engineering has always been a male-dominated area, but the field encompasses so much that it is an ideal career for women,” she says.
“In fact, I think it’s a great time to be a woman in engineering.”
Find out more about studying Engineering at Griffith <https://www.griffith.edu.au/