Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Ashlyn Winter
Ashlyn Winter

Meet Ashlyn

Third Year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Chemical and Materials

What/who inspired you to choose engineering?

My parents inspired me to choose engineering, mostly because they are both mining engineers themselves. I was exposed to the profession a lot while growing up, so engineering was always something I was aware of and interested in. When I got to my senior years in high school and discovered that I loved maths, science and problem solving, engineering was the natural path for me to take in university and allowed me to pursue everything I enjoyed.

Why did you choose the specialisation you are studying?

It took my whole first year for me to decide to do Chemical Engineering, with a major in Materials Engineering, even though chemistry was my favourite subject in high school. Looking back, I think my main roadblock to pursuing chemical engineering as my specialisation straight away was struggling slightly with unconscious peer pressure, however, after finding some other chemistry inclined friends I became more confident in my chemical engineering choice. This also gave me the momentum to choose materials as my major and I have been enjoying my choice every day since.

What is one thing about university or engineering that you wished you knew earlier?

I wish I knew the amount of work expected to receive high grades at university. I was always told university would be easier than high school, which in some ways it is, however this led me to believe university would require very little work. It is very much a self-motivational atmosphere, so if your aim is to pass then the work required is smaller, however, to achieve the higher grades a lot of effort is needed, which I was slightly unprepared for.

What made you pick engineering at the University of Queensland over other universities?

I picked UQ engineering for both it’s convenient location and outstanding reviews of the program. However, I mainly chose UQ because it is where both of my parents graduated from, and after hearing all the exciting stories from their university days I wanted to experience it for myself.

Your best tip for first-year engineering students?

My top tip for first year students would be to meet lots of new people and make lots of new friends, especially in the first couple of weeks. Building this network of connections is so important as they will help you through your degree and make your university experience 100 times better.

Your favourite example of amazing engineering?

I think all engineering is amazing and it is fascinating how much somebody can do with so little resources.

Dream engineering job when you graduate?

There are so many different professions within chemical engineering. I have always been passionate about producing engineering solutions that directly help people. One of the main reasons I was attracted to materials engineering as my major with chemical engineering was the chance to work on making artificial skin. This would improve people’s lives dramatically and I was extremely drawn to the idea of helping people and making an immediate impact in their lives.

What do you hope to achieve as a WE student leader?

My main hope as a WE student leader is to empower young women by sharing my knowledge and experiences so that their experiences can be even better than my own. I was fortunate enough to go to a girl’s school that encouraged STEM and supported my decision to become an engineer, however, I know there is a lot less support for other young women. Engineering is still a very male dominated field and I think confidence is so important to feel like you belong, so, if I can make a difference in young women’s lives by empowering them and allowing them to feel confident enough to follow their passions in engineering, I will be extremely happy.