Meet LPF recipient: Somayeh Hussaini
Former refugee, Somayeh Hussaini, is a proud QUT graduate. In 2020, she completed a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Mechatronics with First Class Honours, and is now studying a PhD focusing on bio-inspired neural networks for visual place recognition. Somayeh shares how a QUT Learning Potential Fund scholarship supported her to pursue her passion for STEM.
1. Can you share a bit about your background?
My parents are from Afghanistan, and I was born in Iran. We moved to Malaysia and registered with the United Nations as refugees. My family and I were accepted by Australia in 2013, and I began school for the very first time when I arrived in Brisbane. I was 17 years old.
2. Why did you choose to study engineering at QUT?
My maths teacher encouraged me to go to an engineering camp for high school students. I became really interested in mechatronics engineering, so I decided to apply for engineering at QUT!
3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice I've received was from one of my PhD supervisors: set realistic goals and work hard towards them.
4. How did a Learning Potential Fund scholarship help you?
Receiving a Learning Potential Fund scholarship in the second year of my undergraduate degree not only helped me financially with getting my textbooks and resources that I needed for my studies, but also gave me more confidence to complete my studies despite the challenges I had faced as a refugee and my lack of formal education.
5. What’s next for Somayeh Hussaini?
While it’s hard to say at this point, I would like to pursue my interests in researching bio-inspired solutions for robotic navigation, collaborating with industry to have an impact in developing innovative navigation systems, and inspiring the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to pursue STEM education.
QUT Learning Potential Fund
The Learning Potential Fund provides critical finances through scholarships and bursaries to students at a time when, in many cases, their educational aspirations hang in the balance.
Each year, the Fund helps 2,500 students like Somayeh. There is an urgent need to help many more. Since 1998, over 33,000 scholarships have been awarded to students in need thanks to the generosity of QUT donors.
Receiving a Learning Potential Fund scholarship changed Somayeh's life. If you would like to help more students like her reach their full potential, visit our website.