Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Christie Patterson
Christie Patterson
Meet Christie Patterson

What do you study?

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Civil Engineering and Finance

What/who inspired you to choose engineering?

In high school I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated. I had always loved maths but did not know where this would lead me. It wasn’t until grade 11 when our school required us to visit our school career advisor that she suggested engineering as an option. I went home and researched engineering and haven’t looked back since. Engineering forms part of everything we do in day to day life and is one of the broadest professions anyone could ever choose. It combines maths with practical applications as well as allowing each individual to freely think and solve problems their own way.

Why did you choose the discipline you are studying?

When I commenced University, I originally decided that I was going to major in Electrical Engineering as everyone had told me how great I was at maths meaning Electrical was the perfect fit. However, in my first semester I decided not to specialise and just do more of a general first year to see what other disciplines involved. As the semester progressed I found that the civil engineering subject became my favourite subject as I had never before thought about the amount of engineering that goes into something as simple as billboards on the side of the road and the variety of paths civil engineering can lead. I started to see civil engineering everywhere and the diversity in this major.

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

Make use of the people around you. Going into first year can be pretty daunting as you don’t know anyone and have probably been with the same group of friends for the past 6 years of high school. However, my biggest advice is to be brave and say hello and make friends and realise you are all in the same boat and are going to be struggling with similar things. Also, university is very much what you put into it is what you get out. This applies to academic studies but also being part of committees and clubs as this allows you to meet more people and allow for a more enjoyable first year.

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

I loved how their first-year program worked for engineers. It doesn’t expect school leavers to come into university knowing exactly where they want to end up in 5 years’ time. It allows for a flexible first year and for students to swap and change their mind until they find what they really love.

Your best tip for first-year engineering students?

Make use for the FYELC (First Year Engineering Learning Centre). This is something I did not learn for weeks in my first year and something I will always regret. It is a centre specifically designed for first year engineering students to sit and study and is something you will never get again so make use of it! In this centre, there are tutors there to help with any first year subjects that students may struggle with as well as provide a place to meet friends and students studying the same subjects as you.

Your favourite example of amazing engineering?

The LaViaduc de Millau in Tarn Valley France. The Millau Viaduct is a cable bridge that spans the Gorge Valley of the Tarn in Southern France. As of November 2018, it is the tallest bridge in the world, having a structural height of 343m (almost 19m taller than the Eiffel Tower) and 2.5km long.

Dream engineering job when you graduate?

I don’t have anything specifically in mind for a dream job, but I would love to work at a company that creates innovative designs. I would like to be able to go on site and have a job where no two days are the same. I would love a company that also allows me to travel on the job.

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

As a WE student leader, I want to inspire women of all ages and various backgrounds that engineering is a very broad degree that is for everyone, regardless of gender. I want to show them how diverse engineering really is and the endless opportunities it has to offer. I hope to encourage girls who don’t know what an engineer is nor had ever considered engineering as an option for them and show them how rewarding this line of work really is.