Profile - Anthony Ferraro
Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering/Bachelor of Laws
I have always had an interest in engineering as I enjoyed maths- and science-based subjects and found it to be a way to apply these interests in an innovative and practical industry. In particular, due to the broadness of disciplines within civil and environmental engineering, I thought it would give me an excellent opportunity to explore a variety of interests, so that I could hone in on what I really wanted to do as a career. In choosing law as a secondary degree I felt that it would allow me to bring some critical analysis and communication skills to supplement my technical skills, as these are always valued in a commercial context.
The UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one of the best in Australia and the world in terms of both research and teaching, so I chose it because I wanted the best education and the chance to engage in cutting-edge research. As the School is heavily aligned with large industry partners, I was also able to find opportunities to network with these companies, giving myself the best possibility for a future career.
The academics are very approachable and the School provides many opportunities in an academic, work and social sense. For example I have been privileged to be a part of the Elite Students Program where I have been able to vary my degree as I please to accommodate my interests, as well as making the most of networking opportunities with students and industry partners. CEVSOC, the student society, has also been active in organising great social events like barbecues and sport days for us to wind down and remind us that university is not all about study.
At the moment I am learning from a variety of disciplines – structures, water and geotechnical. The most interesting about learning concepts from such seemingly independent disciplines is that you learn how it all comes together. This allows you to build important structures that help society function and develop. For example, subjects like structural design and fluid and soil mechanics have shown me the incredible complexity of seemingly simple, ‘common sense’ phenomena in nature, and how engineers throughout history have mastered these to build what we have today – and how today’s engineers will use these to create in the future.
Engineering is undoubtedly a demanding degree by itself, even more so when combined with a law degree. The most challenging thing for me has been maintaining good results in a competitive environment, since UNSW teaches some of the brightest students in the state (and more). However, I have found this to be beneficial since it drives me to work hard and gives me satisfaction when I achieve good results. Also, though it is competitive, students are always willing to help each other so that there is a sense of solidarity as we progress through our studies.