Skip to main content

Punting on an engineering career

30 September 2015
Workshop provides insight into extensive career choices available to graduates

While most of his AFL footy mates were off on school holidays, Marcus Valastro travelled thousands of kilometres to further his education this week.

High school student Marcus Valastro at the Indigenous Student Engineering Spring Workshop at the University of Sydney

High school student Marcus Valastro (centre) at the Indigenous Student Engineering Spring Workshop at the University of Sydney.

The 16-year-old Darwin High School student attended the Indigenous Student Engineering Spring Workshop (ISESW) at the University of Sydney this week.

Valastro, who has already proved himself on the AFL field, impressed the workshop coordinators with his enthusiasm and dedication to the week-long engineering school.

"I want to play AFL but I also want to excel in my education,” explained Valastro, who attended ISESW to help him determine his future career path.

"The activity I have enjoyed and found the most valuable was visiting the mechatronic lab. I knew a little about mechatronic engineering but seeing the robots in action has really inspired me."

The ISESW provides Year 11 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who show an aptitude for engineering with an insight into the extensive career choices available to graduates It also helps young people define their study goals.

Valastro and six fellow students from across Australia took part in the elite program which included site visits to Google, ResMed and Laing O’Rourke.

During the week-long course, the group also attended study skills and essay writing workshops to assist them with their preparation for Year 12 final exams.

Marcus was encouraged to apply for the ISESW after attending the annual Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School – held at the University earlier in the year – where his dedication was recognised, winning him the Bob Hawke Leadership Award.

Related articles

17 June 2016

Satellite testing launches

Three small Australian cube-sized satellites will be launched from the International Space Station to research new regions that could impact technology used on Earth, with the University of Sydney leading development of one of the CubeSats, undergoing testing in Canberra this week. 

23 June 2016

New insights into the causes of sudden cardiac death in the young revealed

Sudden cardiac death claims the lives of 2-3 young Australians every week. 

23 June 2016

Researchers help Qantas fly cleaner and cheaper

Unveiled this week, the new flight planning system is the result of a world-first, four-year project conducted at the University’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR). The team comprising four aeronautical research fellows, 3 PhD candidates and 10 software engineers worked on designing new system models.

21 June 2016

University welcomes new Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

The University of Sydney has welcomed the NSW Government's $25 million pledge to create the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship as a new collaborative venture in the higher education sector. 

15 June 2016

Robotics for farms of the future

With Australia’s farming future looking increasingly reliant on automated technologies, such as low-cost robotics, the industry’s vision should include more support for agri-technology start-ups, retraining growers and agronomists for a digital age, and introducing rural kids to hands-on robotics.   

02 June 2016

Why $1 a litre milk won’t take Australia from the mining to the dining boom

Despite demand from overseas markets such as China, Australia’s milk wars illustrate the difficulty of taking a low-cost commodity approach to competition. Farmers need to embrace digital disruption, promoting our renowned clean, green produce by using tools that are increasingly available to detail the journey from behind the farm gate to the consumer.

16 June 2016

MadMaker tours rural NSW

MadMaker is the brainchild of electrical and information technologies engineer Dr Abelardo Pardo, a specialist in technology-based learning. It was designed to inspire students who may not have previously considered a future career in engineering, technology or science-related fields.

13 December 2016

Confidence boost linked to weight loss in smartphone trial

Confidence is key when motivating young people to change their diet and exercise habits, new research from the University of Sydney shows.

13 December 2016

New diamond harder than ring bling

An international team has created a harder-than-diamond Lonsdaleite diamond – usually found at the site of meteoric impacts. Unlike cubic diamonds, the hexagonal creation is more likely to be used in manufacturing.

13 December 2016

Sydney alum off to Stanford as Monash scholar

University of Sydney alumnus Dr Martin Seneviratne has been named the 2017 Roden Cutler NSW John Monash Scholar. The award will see Dr Seneviratne head to Stanford University to continue his ground-breaking work into clinical informatics.