University Medal Recipient Adrian Cumerlato: My UNSW

Name: Adrian Cumerlato 

Program: BE (Hons) Mining / BCommerce

Results: Honours Class 1 and the University Medal / Distinction

Campus: Kensington

Why did you choose your program? 

I have always had a great interest in maths, science and the creative aspects in life, such as art, and I thought that the best way to continue with these passions was to do engineering. To be able to continue the studies that I love, but also to be able to think creatively and to solve unique situations in which engineering could only provide.

I decided to pursue a career in the Minerals Industry as it is an academically stimulating area of expertise which will allow me to continue to learn and grow throughout my professional career. No matter which sector of the industry I eventually find myself in, whether it be open cut, underground, consulting or the METS sector, there will always be new practices and technology to learn and implement. A career in mining is also highly rewarding, being able to live and work in remote locations with beautiful scenery while also having the possibility of working overseas.

University is one of, if not, the best times of your life. The people you will meet, the societies and sports teams you will join and the pub crawls you go on and regret the next day are all part of the amazing experience that is university. But, if it is to be one thing that I enjoyed the most about my time at UNSW, it would be the lifelong friendships that I have made from my fellow engineers and lecturers.

Do you have hints/tips for prospective students looking for a program of study?

Choose what you find interesting, would love to work on every day and what you would like to be a part of and accomplish during your working career. Your first UAC preference is not the be all and end all. As an Engineering Ambassador, I have seen students who know exactly what interests them at the end of high school and the degree best for them while others students are unsure. Changing degrees or disciplines is not a difficult process, but it is important to not regret what you have studied and to be sure that the degree you study is what you love, have an interest in and, above all, find enjoyable!

it is important to not regret what you have studied and to be sure that the degree you study is what you love, have an interest in and, above all, find enjoyable!



And any advice about what NOT to do as a uni student?

The best advice that I can give, from someone who has spent almost six years at university, is to not be unadventurous and to not seek out new possibilities. Join as many societies and sports teams as possible, go on exchange to a foreign university and don’t be afraid to say yes! This is the time to explore and find out who you are and to accept challenges that university life brings with no regrets, because you will soon be standing with the Chancellor receiving your graduation certificate thinking where all the time has gone! 

Did you have a scholarship while studying at UNSW? If so, what difference did it make to you?

During my time at UNSW, I received the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) Education Endowment Fund (EEF) Scholarship for 2016. The most rewarding part of this scholarship was the minerals field trip and professional mentoring provided to passionate likeminded minerals students. To meet and learn from industry experts through the AusIMM EEF which allowed me to further sharpen my own professional skills in preparation for a graduate role was an invaluable experience and opportunity. It are these reasons for which I strongly encourage all minerals students to apply for this Scholarship and the valuable opportunities and experiences which are offered.

So what's next for you?

I have accepted a graduate position with BHP in Central Queensland, where I will be working at South Walker Creek Mine within the Mine Planning Department. It is great to head back to the mine where I conducted my second internship as well as my Thesis Project. There are so many aspects at South Walker Creek where I will be able to improve my mining knowledge. Whether I be learning Dragline design or scheduling, it will no doubt be a challenging learning curve within the ‘Think Big’ mentality of BHP, but it will ultimately be a rewarding experience with the experienced and charismatic team at South Walker Creek.


  Pictured l-r: Adam Humphrey, Adrian Cumerlato, Po Kim Chhoun, Dominic Duggan, A/Prof. Paul Hagan Head of School of Mining Engineering














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