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Student spotlight: Claire Grainger

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Claire Grainger

Claire Grainger tells us about being inspired by wind farms, learning to weld, and how her degree is challenging her to think differently.

  • Degree: Bachelor of Engineering (Marine & Offshore Engineering - Co-operative Education)
  • Year of study: third

My Bachelor of Engineering, Marine and Offshore Systems degree is part of the Co-operative Education Program, which means I get to gain the skills and experience that will prepare me for work in industry.

The main reason I chose to study at AMC was the Co-operative Program, but the amount of practical work on offer throughout the entire degree was also appealing. There are also a good number of scholarships available, and one of these helped me with the costs of relocation in first year.

So far, I’ve done an eight-week metalwork course at TasTAFE. I learnt to machine and weld, and while it was hot and sometimes challenging, it was an excellent, hands-on opportunity.  

More recently, I’ve helped with experimental research at the AMC Model Test Basin; seeing the inner workings of the facilities and what goes on during post-graduate work was certainly an intriguing learning experience.

Despite the extensive time and effort required, the group projects and practical work have been the best bits of my time at AMC. They have been exceptional experiences that have provided opportunities for leadership, collaboration and fun.

I don't know where in the world I will be in ten years’ time, but I am confident my degree will be a valuable asset; an engineering degree doesn’t offer a set pathway, rather it challenges students like me to think differently and gain knowledge.

I don't know where in the world I will be in ten years’ time, but I am confident my degree will be a valuable asset; an engineering degree doesn’t offer a set pathway, rather it challenges students like me to think differently and gain knowledge.

That said, I’d love to work in the area of wind and water turbines, perhaps tending towards the structural aspects.

I grew up in Tasmania, so I’ve been quite exposed to renewable power generation; as a child, I visited Woolnorth wind farm in the far north-west of Tasmania and have found myself being unreasonably excited when I see a wind farm ever since. It must be something about their enormity and potential power - they're pretty spectacular structures.

I’ve really enjoyed living in Launceston and studying on the Newnham campus. It's easy to get around and the Cataract Gorge is a great spot for a quick getaway. I’m always looking for opportunities to go hiking and because of its location, Launceston is such a good place to start from.  

My advice for future students is: be prepared to work hard, take initiative, and be sure to allow yourself decent breaks. The time and effort you'll put in WILL be rewarding, if you choose to make it so.

Published on: 20 Mar 2017