Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Jemima Ridley
Jemima Ridley

Meet Jemima

Third Year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Mechanical and Aerospace

What/who inspired you to choose engineering?

I remember going to the cinemas in 2015 and watching the movie The Martian, and researching for hours afterwards about space travel and space technologies! I was in awe at how far humans have been able to push the limits of space travel and engineering, and it was then that I knew I wanted to study anything in the aerospace/space/physics field. Studying Engineering seemed like the most direct route to a career in this area!

Why did you choose the specialisation you are studying?

While researching which engineering path to take, Mechanical Engineering stood out to me most as it involves analysing objects and systems in motion. Combining this with a major in Aerospace ticked all the boxes for my career aspirations!

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

The amount of opportunities there are for students to get involved with engineering societies and clubs outside of just studying! As a first year I was always under the impression that to join these societies you had to have some experience, but I soon realised that it really doesn’t matter how far into your degree you are to get involved. Go to market day in O-week and visit the engineering clubs and societies and ask lots of questions about how you can get involved. Not only is this a great way to broaden your engineering degree outside of lecture halls and tutorial rooms, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to meet people from so many different year levels and fields of engineering!

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

In high school I attended an engineering introduction day at UQ and we visited the Centre for Hypersonics and the wind tunnels in the advanced engineering building. Listening to students discuss their research within these fields of engineering and the work they were doing at UQ was so inspiring, and gave me an insight as to what opportunities an Engineering degree at UQ could give me!

Your best tip for first-year engineering students?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it! I didn’t ask for enough help in first year and I really wish I had. There are so many people that are around to help you and want to make sure you are on the right track; there is no such thing as a stupid question! Get help from your friends, the staff in the first-year engineering learning centre, your tutors and your lecturers – they will be very willing to answer any questions you have and it is a great way to get to know the people around you in your degree!

Your favourite example of amazing engineering?

The International Space Station (ISS) has been around for a while now but I still think it is one of the most amazing examples of engineering to date; an amalgamation of some of the worlds most advanced engineering projects and an incredible example of what we can achieve when engineers from across the globe come together and work alongside each other with one common goal. Research conducted on the ISS has allowed us to make huge scientific advances in both the aerospace and wider scientific fields, ranging from medical research to supporting water purification efforts to environmental imaging. Amazing!

Dream engineering job when you graduate?

Anything in the aerospace industry!

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

I am very passionate about continually breaking down inequalities within the engineering community and workforce, and I believe that inspiring young women in high schools to do engineering at university is a really important step in making this happen. I hope that being a part of the WE student leader team will allow me to be a positive and inspiring role model to young women across the country and make these young women feel confident, excited and secure in their decision to choose engineering.