Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Charlotte Radel
Charlotte Radel

Meet Charlotte

Fourth Year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Civil and Environmental, Bachelor of Science

What/who inspired you to choose engineering?

I am a massive believer in “it takes a village to raise a child” therefore I believe many people in my life have impacted my pathway to engineering. My biggest inspiration and role model is my senior Maths and Physics teacher. She used to be an engineer and throughout my senior years she encouraged me to believe that I could do anything I wanted. She urged me to attend the UQ Women in Engineering Explore Day when I was in grade 12. I participated in Engineers without Borders workshops which demonstrated to me that I could in incorporate my love of maths, physics, and geography in one job.

Why did you choose the specialisation you are studying?

In high school I loved geography, maths, and physics so I knew I wanted to study environmental engineering before going into university. However, I was not sure whether I wanted to major environmental engineering with civil or chemical engineering as my specialisation, so I decided to do a flexible first year. I completed the first-year civil course and loved it so I decided I would follow that path!

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

The amount of support that is available. Everyone in high school tells you that university is going to be so much harder as you have to be independent and can’t ask for help. This is incorrect! I would recommend hanging out in FYELC so you can work through problems with peers, or seek help from the tutors. Do not be afraid to talk to your lecturers and tutors as they are there to help. In first year, it can feel like you are the only one that does not understand the pathway ahead, but really everyone else feels the exact same way.

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

I was fortunate enough to visit the campus when I was in high school. The moment I stepped onto the campus I knew it was where I wanted to go. I love the buildings, facilities, staff, students, and the many opportunities that UQ offers. I love that UQ has a diverse range of staff and students. UQ has such a supportive community that accepts everyone, I first felt this when I attended UQ Women in Engineering Explore Day when I was in high school.

Your best tip for first-year engineering students?

I would recommending talking to the person sitting next to you in class. Also getting involved in classes and societies helps you find friends at university. University is so much easier when you know someone in your class. There are so many times when you cannot find something on blackboard or just want to reassure yourself of something. It is so much easier to message someone than having to wait a few days for a lecturer to answer your email. As an introvert I understand how daunting this sounds but I promise you it will be worth it!

Your favourite example of amazing engineering?

I do not have one specific example, but to me amazing engineering is engineering that cleverly satisfies the needs of the community. It is important that as engineers we design with the community needs and wants in mind as there is no purpose to having an amazing design if the community doesn’t value it.

Dream engineering job when you graduate?

I have always wanted to make a positive impact on the world around me. I would love to work in disadvantage communities in Australia and around the world to improve people’s quality of life.

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

I hope to inspire students who from a range of different demographics to consider Engineering as a potential pathway. I hope that I can debunk some of the myths of engineering that deter many potential female students. I also hope that I can help support first year students to have a successful first year of university.