Profile - Aaron Hargraves

Aaron HargravesUndergraduate
Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering

I have been interested in building things ever since I can remember, whether it was toy car tracks, Lego or sand castles. As I moved through school, I had an interest in maths and physics and from doing some work experience at school, I realised that engineering let me put all these together, and that was something that I loved. I could use problem solving with maths and physics to build things you see around you every day!

I chose civil engineering because of my year 10 work experience. I was sent to a civil engineering company where I spent a week helping to design and draft road bridges. Since then I have had a strong interest in structural engineering and haven’t looked back.

The UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering was my choice for many reasons. It is the largest school of engineering at UNSW so it has a wealth of opportunities for students. There is a diverse range of courses to choose from, with lecturers who are leaders in their field. The School also has fantastic research facilities, with a particular stand out being the Manly Vale Water Research Laboratory.

The most interesting topic at the moment is coastal engineering. Coastal engineering is such a new science with such large-scale implications with the current state of climate change. Learning about this and how to help Australia’s coastline has been not only interesting, but very rewarding

The most challenging aspect of my degree is my honours thesis. I have chosen to do my thesis on a new technology under development in Russia called ‘String Transport Systems’. With the technology being developed in Russia, many of the technical papers are in Russian and have taken a lot of translation and interpretation to utilise the information in an Australian context. This has been a rewarding task, nonetheless, with the opportunity to do research and design in a technology that is new to Australia.

The best thing about studying at UNSW are the activities on campus. There is always something going on, and never a dull moment. I will never forget the orientation week in my first year of uni. I didn’t realise how large UNSW was – thousands of students, all being involved in a week filled with activities!

The opportunities for an engineering student at UNSW are amazing. Students have the opportunity to do far more than just study. There are societies for each of the nine engineering schools, with regular catch-ups including barbecues, as well as opportunities to be involved in many student-led projects, putting into practise what we learn in class every day.