Studying Engineering at Flinders


My name is Lauren and I’m currently in my third year at Flinders University studying a double degree in Biomedical Engineering and Science (Physics). If you had told me this is what I’d be doing at the end of Year 11 or even the first half of Year 12, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you!

Throughout school I always preferred maths and science topics, yet still had little interest in any of the more “traditional” engineering degrees. It wasn’t until the beginning of Year 12 when I took an online careers quiz that I discovered the area of Biomedical Engineering. After my initial research into this field, I knew that this is what I was interested in, and I haven’t looked back since.

A lot of people say that they are put off engineering degrees because of the maths and physics… but there really is so much more to it. Whilst the lectures are sometimes pretty intense, the difference that I’ve found between university and school is that once you’ve learnt the theory, you then put it into practice. This can include determining how an ice cube will freeze through a mathematical equation based on temperatures, surface area and density; or investigating quantum physics which is at the basis of every particle in any possible object and being. Every day in my degree brings something new.

Computer programming and coding has become a big part of my study. During first year, an assignment consisted of creating a learning game for maths students with an interactive interface and soldering electrical boards. Since then, studying this degree has lead me to programming a television remote control with infrared sensors, creating a calculator, and programming a word game.

Outside of my classes there have been so many opportunities. A stand-out example was my research experience on the human spine. From this experience and others I have been exposed to preparing human cadaver specimens and then plotting them in the correct loading cups, and using a machine called a hexapod; a robot with six arms that can measure and move specimen to the micro (10-6) degree. This hexapod at Tonsley is the only one in the southern hemisphere, having been co-designed by a Flinders University Lecturer and Flinders students.

I’m looking forward over the next few years to gain more of these experiences through my study at Flinders. Next year I plan to undertake my placement in Singapore, and many of my fellow students are looking to go further abroad into Europe and beyond. Down the track I plan to apply for an internship with a company called Cochlear in Sydney. Cochlear designs hearing aids that use the bones within the ear to transmit sound to formally hearing impaired citizens.

I recommend Flinders to anyone considering study in the engineering or science fields. Flinders has the amazing purpose build Tonsley facilities, and there are so many opportunities and experiences to take on. The area is constantly developing, making it a super exciting industry to be a part of. For any girls reading this, don’t be put off by stereotypes or assumptions that these are “masculine” areas of study. There is a great need for young female engineering students, and I have found Flinders engineering to be a great match for my interests and skills.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you soon at Flinders Tonsley!


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