Engineering’s ‘hidden heroes’ on show
UNSW Engineering’s Hidden Heroes were celebrated at the Dean’s Awards at Leighton Hall last night.
The awards honour the top 100 undergraduate students in UNSW Engineering, based on academic results from 2016, and six students who received Student Service Awards. The night’s theme was Hidden Heroes, recognising that often our top performing students go unnoticed before they become groundbreaking researchers or social entrepreneurs.
Talking about UNSW Engineering’s slogan, “Innovation In Action”, Dean of Engineering Professor Mark Hoffman told the audience that the University already produces “true leaders”; UNSW graduates lead more of Australia’s largest listed companies than those from any other university. “UNSW Engineering isn’t just a great place to learn and build the foundation of a rewarding and fulfilling career in engineering,” Hoffman said. “It’s also a place where the future is being made – ‘innovation in action’.”
As a testament to the Dean’s remarks, guest speaker and alumna Monique Alfris explained how she is making a difference. Alfris co-founded Pollinate Energy, a UN award-winning social business that brings affordable clean-energy technologies to India’s urban poor. She gave an inspiring speech about her experiences in helping improve the livelihoods of the poor in India’s city slums, and how her UNSW Engineering degree has allowed her to make a genuine impact and improve the world.
One student who particularly enjoyed Alfris’s speech was Renewable Energy Engineering and Science student Shira Samocha, who is passionate about entrepreneurship, development and the global transition to renewable energy. She described Alfris’s remarks as “awe-inspiring”. Shira was also humbled to have been awarded a Dean’s Award on the evening for her outstanding academic achievements. Shira said passion for her study area is the driving force behind her accomplishments. “I think doing well at University is so much easier when you’re working towards something you’re truly passionate about,” she said. “Getting this award is a humbling reminder that choosing to study what you love actually pays off!”
Another of UNSW’s hidden heroes recognised on the evening was Nisha Pradhan, who received a prestigious Student Service Award for her “exceptional participation and leadership” in UNSW’s student-led projects and societies. Nisha also played a pivotal role in the 2016 Power of Engineering day, which brought 150 young women on campus to experience engineering. “Giving back is really important to me,” she said. “It makes me feel like I’m getting more than just a University degree but that I’m making a contribution to others around me.”
Master of Ceremonies Selena Griffith, Scientia Experience Manager at UNSW Engineering and Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Social Impact, also addressed the audience. Griffith and everyone else at the event, celebrating some of Australia’s best and brightest students, would have been optimistic about the future of engineering. The Dean captured this sentiment in his closing remarks: “Don’t be surprised to discover one day that tonight’s award-winners are our heroes of the future”.
Congratulations to all Dean’s Award recipients.
Student Service Awards
Dean’s Awards - top 100 students
Lucas Kento Haywood
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Ming En Chin
Daniel Christian Setioso
Computer Science & Engineering
Wei Hong Chen
Kenny Ghin Sie Lau
Glenn Rian McGuire
Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications
Chris Joshi Adambukulam
Yun Xin Chen
Ning Jian Teh
Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering
Kang Wei Chan
Samim Erez Ozyurteri
Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
Kevin Hon-Kit Leung