Profiles

The Department of Engineering is dedicated to championing women in engineering and promoting gender diversity so that we can harness a range of talents and perspectives to foster innovation.

Students

Emily Jean Goode (Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Honours)

Hold on to your goal, you deserve to be there as much as anyone else if you are willing to work and find support in your classmates.

Why did you chose to study Engineering at La Trobe?

I chose to study at La Trobe Bendigo because of the hands on teaching style and small class sizes.

Where would you like to be in the future?

I would like to be working in construction working to improve the functioning of society through innovative buildings and civil systems.

How is La Trobe helping you achieve your career goals?

La Trobe is giving me the skills, the support and contacts to make me work place ready for career in Civil Engineering.

Throughout your course so far, what has been the most challenging obstacle you have come across and how did you overcome it?

Dealing with the workload and teaching myself skills that I didn't learn earlier that were expected - soldering, screw types, car etc. I overcame this by working hard and studying these things in my spare time.

Teodora Raducan (Bachelor of Engineering, Honours)

I believe that both males and females already have skills that just need to be developed in order to become great engineers or scientists. Throughout history, there are so many examples of females who made amazing discoveries and helped humankind to take a big step in evolution.

What are you currently studying?

I am currently enrolled in Bachelor of Engineering (Honours). This is a multidisciplinary engineering degree that will allow me to gain the required knowledge in order to work on complex projects.

Why did you choose to study Engineering at La Trobe?

The engineering degree at La Trobe University is unique in Victoria. It is multidisciplinary, and with a strong industry focus. It was created in close collaboration with industry, to prepare students for the current and future industry requirements. Engineering is a rapidly changing environment, so engineers are now required to have a broad skillset and an excellent ability to adapt to new and challenging situations.

Where would you like to be in the future?

In the near future, I would like to work in a team of very well prepared engineers, and to contribute to improving people’s lives.

In the distant future, I would like to reach a management position, and to lead a strong team of professionals to make a difference in the world.

I am particularly interested in Artificial Intelligence, and this multidisciplinary degree is providing me with the required skills to achieve my goals.

How is La Trobe helping you achieve your career goals?

There are various ways in which La Trobe is helping me achieve my goals. First of all, the degree has a very good structure, which gives me both theoretical and practical aspects of engineering. Not only that, but we are also learning elements of innovation, entrepreneurship and business, which will be very useful when working in the industry.

Secondly, La Trobe helps me throughout the amazing academics in the Department of Engineering. They are very supportive and very good professionals. They go out of their way to help students understand and like the subjects.

Last but not least, the Engineering Department offers great facilities to improve the learning environment.

Throughout your course so far, what was the most challenging obstacle you have come across and how did you overcome it?

I didn’t have any major challenging obstacles throughout my course. I think that’s because the content of the subjects is very well structured and explained. I understood the topics and I did well in all my exams. Also, I am highly involved in volunteering activities within the Engineering Department, so that has kept me busy. I met many people and we ran very interesting activities. On the 16th of August 2017, we are running a Wearable Technology Fashion Show here at La Trobe, so I’m really excited about that. I had a beautiful experience so far, and I’m not looking forward to graduate, because I like being a student here.

Samra Hot (Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Honours)

Studying in a male dominated field can seem tough, however it is fundamental to stay focused, motivated and confident. By remaining assertive and poised it will ensure that your opinions and your voice is heard throughout the field. Additionally, taking risks and not being afraid to ask questions is an essential attribute to acquire as it will further your learning experience and open up diverse opportunities.

What are you currently studying?

Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours)

Why did you choose to study Engineering at La Trobe?

The concept of engineering has always been a key interest of mine growing up. I was fascinated by structures and the progression that the engineering industry had accomplished over many years. I knew that studying engineering at La Trobe University would allow me to expand my knowledge and allow me to enhance my learning experience. With the multiple options to explore such as industry placed projects and work integrated learning, I knew that studying at La Trobe would be a pivotal step to further my career and build my professional networks.

Where would you like to be in the future?

Being a female, I aim to become a role model and exemplar of succession and achievement throughout the Engineering industry. I would like to see myself succeed in the future and become a respected and prosperous individual with diverse experience to show for it. It has always been a pivotal goal of mine to flourish in the industry, and I hope this is what my future will hold.

How is La Trobe helping you achieve your career goals?

With the assistance of various programs and platforms available at La Trobe, I have been able to orientate myself in a position to consider my career and my future. Careers, for example, has been a pivotal stage in terms of preparation and starting the groundwork for my career. It aids in CV progression and preparation for interviews which is a fundamental step in every individual’s careers. Along with this, La Trobe has the resources and properties to further one’s careers by providing hands on teaching and various activities to ensure the learning environments are virtuous and successful.

Throughout your course so far, what was the most challenging obstacle you have come across and how did you overcome it?

One of the most challenging obstacles I have come across is slowly preparing for my future. Although this might not come across as a significant obstacle, it was a difficult task of enduring through various steps of this progression stage. By being organized and using diverse resources provided through La Trobe, I was able to gradually put myself in a steady position and thus prepare for my future opportunities.

Romina Carfi (Bachelor of Engineering, Honours)

Be brave and speak out, feel uncomfortable and do it anyway!  The rewards and opportunities and personal growth is so, so worth it. You will be in the minority and it will feel overwhelming; but you belong here; you are capable and you will succeed. Women are the largest minority in the world (approx. 52%), so why aren’t more of us here? The time for change is now, and the only way this will change is if we stand up, show up and do it! Plus it’s so, so much fun to create the future! Come along for the ride!

What are you currently studying?

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)

Why did you chose to study Engineering at La Trobe?

I never considered Engineering until I found out about the mechatronic applications in Engineering and that La Trobe was offering training  - suddenly it was as if a stadium of lights went on in my head and being a kid in a candy store all at once-  and I realised that this is exactly what I was looking for!

Where would you like to be in the future?

Running my own business and getting as many of my ideas and products out there to help as many people as possible. I’m already halfway there!

How is La Trobe helping you achieve your career goals?

The engineering department is full of the nicest, kindest and smartest people I have ever met. They absolutely want to see you do your best and will do everything they can to help you get there.

Throughout your course so far, what has been the most challenging obstacle you have come across and how did you overcome it?

The most challenging obstacle for me has not been the degree, but personal tragedies. There have been many moments when I have questioned whether I should be here studying, and every time I have come back to the conviction that this is what I want for my life, so I have continued. Finding and learning how to reach out to support networks have been a valuable lesson I have learnt.

Alumni

Sneha Kangralkar (Networks Technology Graduate at Telstra)

What I can say for sure is that, because I finally started working in the field of my passion because of my studies at La Trobe, I bring my A game every day at work. Mostly because it doesn’t feel like work, it feels like I’m having new and exciting experiences every day, and I’m getting paid for it. What better way is there to live? Thank You La Trobe!

What did you study?

I studied Master of Engineering in Telecommunications and Network Engineering.

Why did you chose to study Engineering at La Trobe?

Ever since I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering, I wanted to work in the telecom industry but lacked specialised skills and knowledge. Hence, I chose to pursue a Master’s degree to gain telco knowledge and as much hands on experience as I could. During the time of application, I received offers from 4 universities – Wollongong, Deakin, Swinburne and La Trobe University. I chose La Trobe as it was not only ranked well in Engineering, but also had an Optical Laboratory which fascinated me. The subjects offered by the Master’s course in Telecommunications & Network Engineering were varied and in depth in topics like mobile base station design, telecommunications systems engineering, radar and antenna systems, Optical networks, mobile & pervasive networks. I gained as much hands on experience as I could by choosing subjects with project work such as design and implementation of Yagi and LPDA antennas, design and simulation of 4G LTE mobile network and design of an android mobile app.

Throughout your course, what was the most challenging obstacle you have come across and how did you overcome it?

The challenges I faced were mainly around maintaining a balance between my uni life, paid work and volunteer work that I did. Apart from volunteering for a non-for-profit organization, I also volunteered on projects within the Electronic Engineering department, IEEE and under Dr. Eddie Custovic’s guidance on a Victorian Government Initiative which allowed a group of university students including me, to travel to rural Victorian schools to deliver engineering workshops. I mostly managed the balance by prioritizing tasks and working on weekends. I believe that while at university, we get plenty of opportunities to shine through and make our mark, and sometimes that requires working odd hours or on weekends. But this is the time when we should put in as much effort as we can, as it will shape the coming years of our life.

What have you been doing since you left La Trobe?

Since leaving La Trobe in December 2014, I took up a part-time role as a Consultant in a start-up company Bayesian Intelligence where I worked for about 6months after which I received a full-time role as a Technical Engineer for an e-finance company Interactive Data Corporation. I worked here for 8months providing support for their Linux based multicast network. I finally got the opportunity to work in the Telco domain through my role as a Networks Technology Graduate in Telstra Corporation Ltd. I have so far completed 8months of my program with varied work in wireless transport designing innovative end-to-end RAN solutions, 4G radio network design and optimization, electromagnetic energy testing and currently working with radio equipment hardware. The work in Telstra is very exciting and cutting edge and is an exact match to what I am aspiring to achieve.

How did La Trobe help you achieve your career goals?

Doing the many projects and gaining hands-on experience at La Trobe helped me get my telecommunication fundamentals right. Getting the basics right is something that is ignored, but having them right gave me the confidence and edge when I gave my Telstra interview. I spoke extensively about my antenna design and implementation and the 4G LTE base station design project. Work on those projects helped me showcase the skills and basic telco understanding that are needed in any telco job.

Also, the volunteering I did with Dr. Eddie Custovic and IEEE helped me network. My project work gave me confidence to start a conversation at networking events. Sometimes students are reluctant to speak to strangers, especially when the aim is to get them to notice your capabilities. But what better way to start a conversation than to talk about your work, project or voluntary! And it’s surprising to then find out that people respond really well to such conversations, than just those of the weather J. People remember you and your work, and that is a good way to network, which I only learnt at La Trobe.

How has your degree helped those around you?

I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer that. I can say however, that my younger brother has joined me in Australia. He chose to pursue his Master’s from La Trobe because my impressions of La Trobe University and its Electronic Engineering department are very good. My experience studying at La Trobe helped him choose La Trobe too and I am very proud that he is doing well.

Cagla Akalanli (Senior Biomedical Engineer)

The issues identified along the way improved my problem solving and troubleshooting skills and encouraged me to think “outside the square”.

What did you study?

Bachelor of Electronic Engineering/ Master of Biomedical Engineering

Why did you chose to study Engineering at La Trobe?

I chose to study Engineering at La Trobe University as it provided the opportunity to specialise in various fields of Engineering. The course structure offered a good balance of theory and practical classes which is important in a workplace.

Throughout your course, what was the most challenging obstacle you have come across and how did you overcome it?

The most challenging obstacle throughout my course was the completion of a design project in my final year. The project was an opportunity to design and develop electronics equipment with a real life application.

What have you been doing since you left La Trobe?

I continued onto postgraduate studies at La Trobe University and have now completed my PhD. I have also worked for international companies in the Biomedical Engineering field where I have gained extensive experience working on a range of medical equipment. My roles have involved travelling and working in a number of different hospitals and supervising engineering teams within Australia. I am currently working as a Senior Biomedical Engineer at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

How did La Trobe help you achieve your career goals?

La Trobe provided me with the right experience and tools to be successful in the workplace. The various projects and class work has helped develop and enhance my problem solving, communication and team work skills.

How has your degree helped those around you?

I have had the opportunity to see first-hand how the medical equipment I have worked on has assisted patients in hospitals.

Alice Beckett (Graduate Engineer at Telstra)

After a few too many late nights and rushed assignments I learnt the importance of balancing your commitments and really improved my time management.

What did you study?

Bachelor of Electronic Engineering (Honours)

Why did you chose to study Engineering at La Trobe?

I came in on open day a few times while I was at high school and I loved the campus and the general feel that the university had. When I looked at the Electronic Engineering degree being offered I found that it was very practical and that I would be spending a lot of time building things rather than just doing theoretical calculations and not applying it to a real project.

Throughout your course, what was the most challenging obstacle you have come across and how did you overcome it?

For me the hardest thing was the workload required for an engineering degree. There was a huge time commitment both in and out of class especially in the later years when trying to balance lectures, projects, entering competitions, work and a social life. After a few too many late nights and rushed assignments I learnt the importance of balancing your commitments and really improved my time management.

What have you been doing since you left La Trobe?

After finishing my degree mid year I spent the next semester teaching at the university and then went travelling around the USA before starting as a graduate engineer at Telstra. Since January I have been a part of an 18 month graduate program which I am due to finish in August, before I move into a permanent role. While at Telstra I worked in the Industry Solutions team - working on Intelligent Utility Networks; in the User Experience and Software Development team within Media - working on the Telstra TV; and in the Home team - working on Telstra Smart Home.

How did La Trobe help you achieve your career goals?

The staff were really supportive and always had time to chat. They gave me opportunities to try new things and find what sort of electronics I liked and what suited me. They encouraged me to get involved in different competitions while I was a student. As a result, some friends and I formed the La Trobe team for the Telstra University Challenge in 2013. We came first with our solution 'Home Guardian' which helped fast track me into my current position as a graduate engineer at Telstra.

How has your degree helped those around you?

My friends and family would say that the degree helps those around me as I can now fix their broken electronics. But on a more serious note, one of the key projects I worked on as a programmer was the Netball LIVE app for Telstra TV. Women's sports have been pushed to the sidelines for a long time. 2017 has been a big year for increasing their presence and the amount of air time that women's sports get with the new AFL Women's and Super Netball leagues. I've really enjoyed having just a small part in helping give women's sport the visibility it deserves.

Laura Trevenna (Graduate Engineer at Telstra)

I genuinely enjoyed all of my subjects so I never had any issues with motivation, however balancing an often heavy workload, part time work, sport and a social life was probably the most challenging aspect of completing my course! I overcame this by being super organised and prioritising tasks according to their importance.

What did you study?

Bachelor of Electronic Engineering + Master of Biomedical Engineering

Why did you chose to study Engineering at La Trobe?

La Trobe was very appealing for a number of reasons, including the large leafy campus, variety of sporting teams available to join, and location being out in the burbs! It was also the only University at the time offering an electronic/biomedical engineering double degree, which attracted me due to my love for maths, science and health.

What have you been doing since you left La Trobe?

Enjoying having my weekends back!!

On a more serious note, I worked for a year at Chemtronics Biomedical Engineering at the Northern Hospital, and now am 2 months off completing my 18 month graduate program at Telstra.

I enjoyed both jobs and gained invaluable experiences from each, however Telstra is more aligned to my career aspirations.

I've also continued to tick off items on my bucket list, which mainly involve travelling!

How did La Trobe help you achieve your career goals?

Apart from providing me with the required qualification to work as an Engineer, the course at La Trobe didn't focus purely on technical skills, which I think is extremely important. The course also equipped me with public speaking, project management and general life skills which have had a major influence on my success at work so far!

How has your degree helped those around you?

Whilst working at Chemtronics I was testing and repairing important medical equipment, including life sustaining equipment such as ventilators.

At Telstra, I've done a lot of work on a product called LANES - an advanced network for Emergency and Enterprise Services. It allows for prioritisation of critical data, ensuring sufficient bandwidth is allocated for those who need it most during times of network congestion.

I've also been able to do some 'shmick' soldering when required for my friends and family, including when wiring up my partner's 4WD!

Staff

Dr Song Wang (Senior Lecturer)

Engineering is an exciting and interesting course, which should not be male dominated. As long as female students who choose the Engineering course apply yourselves in study, you will do very well and become passionate about Engineering. Life is too short to go through it without a passion.

What lead you to the field of Engineering?

I don’t like rote learning and am interested in problem solving and data analysis. Engineering embraces creativity, innovation and rigor. So I decided to study Engineering at university and later it became my career path.

Where were you working before you came to La Trobe?

I worked as a design engineer at NEC Australia before coming to La Trobe.

What subjects do you teach/what is your research area?

I teach three subjects in Engineering: Signal Processing and Control, Communication Networks and Digital Control Theory.

What’s your favourite part about your job?

There is always excitement and enjoyment whenever I design a new algorithm or develop an effective method that turns out to show good performance. Working in engineering enables me to stay abreast of new technology.

Dr Bandita Mainali (Lecturer)

Engineering is not just about hard maths, but it is about being outdoors on excursions, and observing things and nature, playing with software, enhancing theoretical learning with associated lab classes, which is great fun. Engineering is a versatile field and as a graduate, you can choose from multiple career paths. So go for it!

What lead you to the field of Engineering?

The family environment at my house where we were had three kids, my two elder brothers and myself. Both elder brothers chose engineering as their career. Their definition of an engineer was “a problem solver”. Engineering is indeed a great outlet for the imagination; I love solving problems and managing things, hence thought that this is why I wanted to be “an engineer”. Further exploring about the sector, I found out that the engineering sector could provide you with multiple career paths. It is a challenging sector, yet very rewarding. Hence, I decided to be an engineer.

Where were you working before you came to La Trobe?

I was working as a part time researcher at University of Technology Sydney while continuing my PhD. Prior to that, I was working as a full-time lecturer in Civil Engineering at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Simultaneously, I was working as a consultant (civil engineer) in one of the engineering consulting companies (MEC Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.) in Nepal where I have had several opportunities to work in many mini and micro hydro projects supported by external funding agencies such as DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency) and NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation).

What subjects do you teach and what is your research area?

I have been teaching across a broad range of subjects related to Water Resources and Environmental Engineering. Hydraulics stream of civil engineering subjects and Sustainable Infrastructure are the major subjects that I have been teaching. I am supervising some higher degree research students as well. Currently, I am a co-supervisor of one PhD student and one master’s degree student at La Trobe.

My research interest is on the innovative and sustainable water and wastewater treatment and reuse technologies. Investigation of community’s perception on alternative water sources and community education on environmental issues is part of my research. My current research focuses on solid waste management and water sensitive urban design.

What’s your favourite part about your job?

Teaching is my passion. The feeling that I am assisting in production of future problem solvers, future generation engineers is my favourite part about my job. Getting to see your ex-students as very active professionals in their engineering field is another huge satisfaction that I relish from my job. In addition, outing with great colleagues, flexibility, variety, interesting challenges, and eagerness in hunting opportunities for career advancement are my favourite parts.