Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Caitlin Grant
Caitlin Grant
Meet Caitlin Grant

What do you study?

Bachelor of Engineering Chemical and Environmental Engineering

What/who inspired you to choose engineering?

I was inspired by my year 12 Chemistry and Geography teachers since they taught me the importance of science (and social science) as a solution to the world’s problems. I also received a lot of support from my family – especially my mum – who encouraged me to study engineering as it is problem-solving and design based and can offer opportunities to ‘create change’ within your career.

Why did you choose the discipline you are studying?

I want to be an Environmental Engineer since I have always been passionate about making a positive impact to our environment – now more than ever because all we hear are negatives in the face of climate change. I decided that a degree in Chemical Engineering would be the best way to achieve this as it harnesses my ability in chemistry and maths and is so broad that it equips me with the skills to make a positive impact on almost all industries.

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

There is a such a strong support network in engineering, whether that’s among females, inter-disciplinary or within the faculty. There is always someone to talk to and workshop problems with, such as getting comfortable in a university environment or with specific tutorial questions. It’s not a scary place!

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

I received a scholarship to go attend a competing university, however, I chose UQ – since it is closer to my home, it has better facilities, a smaller cohort and what I believe to be a higher calibre degree. I had a huge decision to make since the scholarship would have been very financially beneficial, but I thought a degree at UQ would be more advantageous for me, personally and in the long run.

Your best tip for first-year engineering students?

Study at the First-Year Learning Centre and strike up conversations with people in lectures – this is how you’ll make friends and they’ll be a great support for you through your entire degree.

Your favourite example of amazing engineering?

Amager Bakke, Copenhagen, Denmark – an incinerator plant that burns the city’s waste to produce energy and other resources while capturing harmful pollutants. It also has a grass ski-slope spanning down the side of the plant!

Dream engineering job when you graduate?

Working at a recycling plant, a waste treatment plant or a mine rehabilitation project. I would also love to work on a resource recovery project as I think that waste should not be wasted!

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

I want to inspire young women to study engineering and explain to them that it isn’t as daunting as it sounds, that the career prospects are abundant and span many industries, and that diversity is vital for a dynamic workplace. I was lucky to receive a lot of motivation and support from my family and without that I would ever have even thought of embarking on this path. I want to be that support for the young women who have not received that support and encouragement.