Student profile

Tom Payten

Course of study:
Bachelor of Nanotechnology / Bachelor of Science (Honours)

Currently working at Rio Tinto.

My course gave me many career opportunities. I am currently employed by Rio Tinto as a mineralogist, running multiple scanning electron microscopes and analysing data from sites around the world.

When thinking about undergraduate study, I knew I wanted to know more about science, and the nanotechnology degree promised to be a perfect introduction to the concepts and ideas that are going to shape the world in the future.

The best thing about the nanotechnology degree is the high quality of student and academic interaction and the regular guest speakers. This gives you a really good insight into science - beyond the lectures and coursework.

I completed an internship with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Coherent X-ray Science at the end of my second year. This was a really fantastic experience, and my first exposure to coding which has helped me immensely ever since. At the end of third year I completed a summer placement with Rio Tinto, which resulted in a job offer. During my fourth year, as part of the degree, I completed a six-week research project involving microfluidic design for point of care diagnostics, which was a great insight into a growing industry.

The nanotechnology degree offers an extremely practical and broad-ranging scientific education, that is great for both research and industry-based career paths.

If you’re thinking about uni, I suggest getting into the habit of doing work every night. Also, be willing to undertake extracurricular activities and be enthusiastic about broader opportunities on offer. It’s the extra things on your CV that stand out.