Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Meet Harrison
Meet Harrison
Meet Harrison

What do you study?

I study a Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Honours) and Mathematics.

Why did you choose to study at UQ?

Personally, the biggest drawcard for UQ was just how much of a “campus uni” it really is! UQ feels like its own village and community, a place that you’d come to not only to attend class, but also grab food with some mates, explore some of the museums and art galleries, get involved in sporting and fitness activities at one of the many facilities, or even have a nap in the Great Court! All things considered – UQ’s campus is absolutely beautiful! Aside from this, I was drawn to UQ’s array of (sometimes quite bizarre) clubs and societies, connections with overseas universities for exchange opportunities, and of course, extremely high academic ranking!

Why did you choose to study your discipline?

I’ve always found technology, and in particular, evolutions in technology to become more futuristic, pretty fascinating! Thinking about what the world will look like in just fifty years from now – artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robots – truly excites me! In the future, I’d absolutely love to explore how I can harness technology to bring about significant benefits for our future, and drive society forward towards unexplored, yet exciting areas – and I believe there’s no better way to do that than through a university degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

What advice do you have for prospective students interested in studying engineering, architecture, computer science and/or information technology at UQ?

Without a doubt, my biggest piece of advice to high school students would be to begin asking as many questions as possible about things that they are wondering – right now! This could range from asking a teacher how to solve a Maths problem during class, to asking a peer to give feedback on a practice essay they’ve written, to asking a university representative why they enjoy their degree, to even asking their parents how they selected their own careers! In my opinion, the content of the question (and the response they get) is only the second most important aspect here, with the most important aspect being the MINDSET of not being afraid to reach out for help! At university, there’ll be countless times when they are stuck, perhaps on an assignment, a homework question, or a course selection (I’ve certainly had these struggles myself!), but if they are in the mindset of constantly asking questions and seeking assistance, they’ll have no problem navigating through those situations.

What is your favourite place on campus?

Perhaps a bit of an odd answer, but I’ll say it anyway – I find the main lecture theatre in the Advanced Engineering Building absolutely gorgeous! Sitting in those chairs, gazing out the large panels of glass at the UQ Lake directly outside, with a great view of College Road and several of the colleges, all while being delivered a lecture for a university course – it really is something special! No matter what subject I’m taking, I’ll always look forward to lectures in that theatre.

What do you love most about your degree?

There are so many aspects of my degree that I adore – but I’ve boiled it down to two! First, it’s incredibly valuable that an Electrical and Computer Engineering degree at UQ is not only giving me a strong theoretical background, but also an extensive amount of hands-on experience with relevant tools, equipment, software, etc. In only two and a half years, I’ve become very comfortable with writing code in a variety of programming languages, operating an oscilloscope, building electrical circuits on a breadboard, and powering a microprocessor – things that I would have been absolutely clueless about several years ago! For this reason, I believe that the practical aspect of my degree is a very immersive one. Second, the courses in my degree are quite flexible, and very compatible with universities around the world. The benefit of this is that for my exchange in London (a terrific experience), I was spoiled for choice as to the courses I could study over there! Furthermore, at the moment, I’m investigating undertaking a short-term experience in China, and once again, I’m finding that UQ’s diverse selection of courses makes it very easy for me to match up similar subjects for my overseas application. I can’t understate how fantastic this is for incoming students who are interested in undertaking a global experience at some point during their degree.

What has been your favourite moment while doing vacation work?

I have indeed completed a fantastic internship experience as a Computer Engineering Intern! I was part of the Enterprise Analytics Team, and was responsible for helping develop a mathematical model for the net solar panel power consumption across the National Energy Market. The most surprising (but also welcoming) aspect of my placement was my discovery of just how independently driven a professional engineer is expected to be. As I grew familiar and began to have regular conversations with the employees in my team, I realised that instead of simply following directives from the team manager each day (which was my pre-conceived idea of an engineering workplace), each member was proactively thinking about different ways to bring value to the company, and independently investigating these with minimal supervision from others. Coming from a university-style of work – clearly defined assessment and hard deadlines – this initially felt quite daunting, but after speaking to my supervisor about the professional and personal value of exploring the landscape of a topic that I am personally interested in, I actually found it very liberating. It is fantastic to know that there are engineering companies out there who are willing to give employees the freedom to pursue what interests them, and certainly excites me about my career for the future!

What makes you a great EAIT Student Ambassador?

Having been a high-school student myself not too long ago, I know exactly how it feels to be in Grade 12 feeling quite daunted about what lies beyond at university! Having now completed a year at UQ, however, I can think of a number of things I wish my Grade 12 self had known, so I feel very strongly about helping new students through this same transition from school to university, educating them about all the fantastic things they can expect at UQ, and altogether giving them a feeling of comfort and confidence as they enter their tertiary studies! As a UQ Student Ambassador, I believe that the wealth of experience and knowledge that I’ve garnered over the years have transferred across very nicely to the EAIT Student Ambassador role.