QUT students, Ally Moodie and Adele van der Winden have both been awarded the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Influence for Peace scholarship and will participate in EWB’s 2021 Engineers Influencer Fellowship.
The Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) students earned two of three prestigious national scholarships, supported by the Medical Association for the Prevention of War.
Ally hopes the scholarship will help her pursue a career in sustainable development and humanitarian engineering.
“The scholarship sponsors our place in the 2021 EWB Influencer Fellowship. We have been assigned an industry mentor from a humanitarian field and will participate in fortnightly webinars to learn about influencing change throughout our career,” Ally said.
“I’m passionate about sustainable development and want to work in a field where I can make a difference for vulnerable people.
“Early in my studies I travelled to Cambodia with EWB on a Humanitarian Design Summit and participated in a homestay in a remote village. The program demonstrated the importance of human-centred design, and I returned to Australia driven to do research in the humanitarian engineering sector,” she said.
Adele wants to pursue a career in humanitarian engineering and environmental engineering and believes the fellowship will expose her to opportunities in these fields.
“I’ve competed in the Humanitarian Innovation Awards and participated in an EWB Design Summit throughout my degree; these experiences fuelled my passion for sustainable development within humanitarian engineering,” Adele said.
“Ally and I are collaborating with another student on our final year honours project. Our aim is to design a solution to prevent human trafficking in refugee camps.
“The EWB fellowship will allow us to discuss the project with mentors, peers and industry contacts so we can develop a practical and ethical solution.
“The fellowship will also introduce us to humanitarian and environmental engineers from around the world and expose us to different career paths,” she said.
EWB Research, Learning and Influencer Lead, George Goddard said Ally and Adele were chosen for the scholarship because they showed commitment and a willingness to learn.
“Ally and Adele were two of the best applicants because they demonstrated a dedication to supporting change," Mr Goddard said.
"QUT created opportunities for them to volunteer and work with EWB early in their studies, experiences like this encouraged self-awareness and a hunger to learn more about how they can use their skills to have an impact. This made them really strong candidates for the fellowship.
QUT’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Head of School, Professor Les Dawes said the university’s partnership with EWB encourages students to engage with humanitarian engineering.
“Engineering is starting to re-design itself as a sector; designing how people interact with technology and creating a positive and sustainable impact is becoming increasingly important,” Professor Dawes said.
“The university’s partnership with EWB exposes students to industry problems and helps them develop important career skills. For example, all engineering students participate in the EWB Challenge in their first year of study – the challenge exposes budding engineers to design solutions for humanitarian problems. Like Ally and Adele, many of our students also participate in EWB’s exchange opportunities.
“The partnership gives students the opportunity to explore career opportunities in humanitarian and environmental engineering. It also gives them additional opportunities to apply important principles like human-centred and empathetic design to a real-world context,” he said.
For more information about studying engineering visit the QUT Faculty of Engineering.
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