What Is? 2022

By Sarina Todd

Let me paint the scenario. You’ve picked your specialisation… 5 minutes before the deadline *phew*. Mechanical… or was it Mechatronics? No time to remember, there are window washer projects to wing and quizzes to do. Is this what your career is going to be like? Forever? What is even out there??

Lucky for you MECHA brought together a panel of industry experts for “What Is?”, an event to show you the world of opportunity out in the field of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and to reassure you that there are no weekly quizzes.

This year we had five amazing panellists from a range of different industry fields. They spoke about their experience and projects and answered some key questions like “What advice would you give to young professionals starting out?”. We really appreciated all the advice from our speakers and learnt a lot about what is out there and we hope you did too. However, if you couldn’t make the event fear not! Below is a video recording of the event and some recaps of our speakers and what engineering in their fields look like:

John Welford – Systems Engineer

John is a systems engineer and lead of the Rail Systems Engineering team at WSP. He has a background in a variety of industries, including Defence and Automotive. John explained that systems engineering is a field that adds an extra layer of rigour around typical engineering processes by looking at the big picture of the entire system and ensuring that all the individual engineering solutions are linked up into a cohesive whole.

Aathira Nair – Industrial Engineer

Aathira is a Mechanical Engineer working in the Beca Industrial team. She has worked on projects in a variety of industries including water, food, pulp and mining. “Like a normal engineer, but cooler” is the description that came to mind when she took us through what Industrial Engineering was all about. “Industrial engineering is concerned with the design, improvement and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, equipment and energy.”

Sian Phillips – Robotics Engineer

Sian is a Mechatronics Engineer with 8+ years of experience in the New Zealand robotics industry working in R&D for Crown Equipment. Robotics is all about taking sensors, actuators, software and computing units and combining all of them to create a robotic system. Her work mainly focuses on using robotic systems to implement automation processes for Crown’s fleet.

Mike Horrell - Sustainability Engineer

Mike has extensive experience in sustainability and product development engineering and currently works as a life cycle assessment specialist at Thinkstep-anz. Mike spoke about sustainability engineering and how there is a great focus on assessing the impacts of products and services engineers design through life cycle assessments and various other metrics to ensure that solutions are created with the bigger sustainability picture in mind.

Chad Wheeler – Process Engineer

Chad has worked at Fisher and Paykel Healthcare for 12 years, and is currently an engineering manager. He has machine design, manufacturing and project management experience. His current work is in managing a team of engineers developing the assembly processes necessary to create a humidifying chamber for F&P Healthcare, which has been especially important in the current pandemic.

You can watch the full What Is? here:


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