Expert ‘bot builder
Helena’s interest in mechatronic engineering started in year 12 when she discovered engineering and robotics through an art project.
She was creating insects that were partially built out of actual exoskeletons. “My teacher said to me, ‘Can you make them move?’ And from that I just fell in love with programming and electronics and all the mechanics.”
She’s currently following her passion by pursuing a Mechatronic Engineering and Computer Science degree at the University of New South Wales.
“Mechatronic engineering is a bit of everything; a bit of computing, a bit of electrical engineering, a bit of mechanical engineering, and a lot of making those three things play nice together.”
From insects in year twelve she’s progressed to being part of the BlueSat, a student space society at UNSW Sydney, where they built a Mars rover.
As the president of BlueSat Helena had the opportunity to travel twice to Poland to compete in the European Rover Challenge.
“Being a part of a team where I can actually put the skills I learn into practice has been invaluable.”
Helena strongly advocates for other students to get involved at their university. Her own experience with BlueSat as well as being a computer science tutor at UNSW made her feel as though she was part of a community.
When she finishes her degree she plans to put her mechatronic engineering skills to good use. “I don’t know where the future will take me but I want to put my knowledge to use in ways that will help others.”
While she could get a job designing AI’s that are built for high frequency trading on the stock market, “it would pay well but it’s not what I want to do with my life.”
However daunting entering the workforce may be, Helena is keen to try out different things and see what she likes.
From constructing robotic insects in year twelve to being part of a team that built a Mars rover, Helena has had a range of experiences that have all enhanced her affinity for mechatronic engineering and computer science.
– Blaine Woolfson Jarvis
Author: Elise Roberts
Elise is a science, tech and business enthusiast, motivated to connect people with research that will propel their success. With over ten years’ experience working at the intersection of technology and communications across a wide range of industries, Elise enjoys jumping on the latest trends in digital media to share new knowledge with the Australian community.