Shane’s career choices are driven by his curiosity for how things work. “It interests me to try and explain things I don’t know,” says Shane, “And STEM explains things in the physical world.”
His interest in STEM led him to study a degree in civil engineering at the Uni of Adelaide, and then to work as a civil engineer for South Australia Water. He took the opportunity to rotate through six different roles with the company to continue exploring his interests. “During that time I really wanted to find what I loved to do,” says Shane. “If you do a degree in STEM you can transfer to other things quite easily, even while you are working.”
One of Shane’s roles involved planning water works for areas that needed development. “I found there was so much data that hadn’t been fully utilised,” says Shane. “So I built an algorithm that can look at how many customers are in an area, what’s the growth rate, and which metropolitan area is growing the fastest.”
This was the beginning of a passion for data for Shane. His project won Best Paper 2016 at the Australian Water Association, South Australian Branch Conference. Inspired by the possibilities of solving real-world problems with data, he went on to study a Graduate Diploma of Data Science at Monash University.
Shane now works to improve ‘Anna,’ an AI-powered data analyst developed by company Hyper Anna. Anna answers questions Siri-style to provide users with fast, easy and useful information about data. “To see customer’s expressions and feedback is really rewarding,” says Shane. “I like solving a problem for them. Seeing the people say ‘Wow.’ To them, it feels like magic.”
– Carmen Spears
Shane’s pathway to Hyper Anna:
>> Bachelor of Civil & Structural Engineering, University of Adelaide.
>> Civil Engineer, South Australia Water
>> Graduate Diploma of Data Science, Monash University.
>> Data Scientist, Hyper Anna
“To see customer’s expressions and feedback is really rewarding.”
Author: Carmen Spears
Carmen is a freelance writer who won the opportunity to intern with Refraction Media in October of 2018. She is constantly curious and enjoys sharing intriguing stories about STEM.