Breanna Clayton wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after high school – until a family trip to the United States when she was 17 sparked her interest in buildings and structures.
“I was inspired by some of the unusual buildings and how they worked, and soon my interest in architecture developed into the science behind how they worked,” she says.
Inspired by her newfound passion for the built environment, Breanna signed up for a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) at the University of Newcastle – although she still wasn’t sure it was the right choice for her.
“When I was at school my best subjects weren’t mathematics or science like you’d expect. My best subjects were actually Art, History and English,” Breanna says.
Room for creativity
“I’m glad I was open minded and gave engineering a go because I realised there is so much room for creativity in this field, for example I do a bit of visual modelling and drawing.”
Due to graduate from uni at the end of this year, Breanna is already employed as a structural engineer at WSP Australia, an engineering services company. She says her degree helped prepare her with design knowledge and the work experience needed to enter the workforce.
Now Breanna – who grew up in the small NSW town of Khancoban with fewer than 200 people – has big dreams for her future career.
“I would like to use my skills to help deliver innovative and sustainable solutions to help overcome global challenges,” she says. “I also plan on working overseas in a range of cultures and industries where I can collaborate with a variety of people and ideas.”
Breanna is also a strong advocate for women in engineering, and acted as the Events Manager and President of the Newcastle University’s Women in Engineering Society while she was at uni.
“Getting involved in a society and forming friendships with people from a range of backgrounds was definitely a highlight for me,” she says.
This article was published in partnership with the University of Newcastle. The University of Newcastle offers degrees in 12 engineering disciplines as well as a new Diploma in Engineering for students to choose from.
Author: STEM Contributor
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