Engineering a more sustainable future

30 Jul 2020

Sustainability is the focus for University of Queensland Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Master of Engineering graduand Geethu George.

The high achieving student was inspired by her parents, both engineers themselves, to choose a path where she could help thousands of people on a daily basis.

“I believe chemical and environmental engineers are responsible for developing sustainable solutions to tackle critical issues like the recovery and management of water, waste, energy and resources,” Ms George said.

“I find this very interesting and I would love to know that my work can have a positive impact on the world.”

Ms George made the most of her time at UQ, working hard to achieve awards such as the RJ ‘Gus’ Wiles Scholarship for Overseas Study.

“I think that it does take a lot of work, but I believe anyone can do it,” she said.

“I’ve always aimed high when it came to my grades, which helps when I am applying for scholarships and exchange.

“I knew that I wanted to go to Imperial College London in my first year, which meant I had a couple of years to plan and prepare for the exchange.”

She said she would recommend an exchange to everyone. 

“It was the highlight of my university life,” she said.

“I think there are so many skills to gain from completing an exchange including improving your capability to adapt and openness to new situations and working styles, communication and teamwork abilities.”

She said UQ offered its students a lot of invaluable opportunities.

“Projects that have a real industrial basis, frequent interactions with industry experts through my courses, field trips and helpful lecturers and tutors are the best things about studying at UQ.”

Ms George also became a Global Experience Student Leader, and took part in a Student-Staff Partnership.

In her holidays, she took FIFO jobs at remote mining sites for Fortescue Metals Group and Bechtel, as well as working with Transurban, PwC Australia and Woodside.

“I wanted to be self-funded and not rely on my parents, so I had to work extra hard – I took on multiple jobs while studying full time which was really challenging, but it enabled me to be self-sufficient and substantially improved my time management skills.”

With graduation looming, Ms George plans to start work in 2021 to gain more technical expertise, as well as continuing to volunteer.

Further study might also be in her future.

“I have enjoyed doing my master’s degree and could see myself going down the research route – possibly a PhD in the future,” she said.

“Ultimately, I would like to have a positive impact on this world.

“I think chemical and environmental engineering is the perfect combination to ensure that we are moving towards a more sustainable future.”