The world is full of opportunity and sometimes it’s hard to choose what career to go into. When I was in primary school, I wanted to be a teacher, like my Mum. When I reached year 10, I wanted to be an electrical engineer, like my Dad. By the time I reached University, I wanted to improve renewable energies and reduce the impact of global warming. I soon found out that I was very good at managing control systems and in the end, I became a Process and Control Systems Engineer. Now, I work for a company that produces hot rolled steel coils and I absolutely love what I am doing.
My role is to find ways to minimise carbon footprint by designing more efficient systems that produce better steel, using less electricity. I monitor and program the mill that BlueScope uses to produced hot rolled steel coils. This is essentially a very large rolling pin that uses a similar process to make steel as you would use to roll thin strips of pasta from dough. I use maths to model the profile of the steel so that I can calculate the geometry of the roll bite, where the steel meets the rolls, so that the forces in the system can be modelled and understood correctly. This is important as we need to understand how everything in the mill interacts, before improvements or changes can be made to the system.
When I am not working, I am conducting research. I am completing a PhD where I use computer vision and artificial intelligence to find new ways to detect lung cancer. I also run STEM workshops and teach students as young as seven coding basics, so that they are equipped with the skills of the future.
Life is a journey and can take you to all sorts of places. It’s okay to try different things and see where you want to take your career. My advice is to make sure you study maths and science at school, so you can shape your career path however you like. It keeps your options open, and then you can try many different things.