Sian Miu, 20 June, 2022
Sian is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) with a minor in Transportation and Mobility. We catch up with her after an event with BMW, where they visited QUT to showcase their latest technologies.
Why did you choose this area of study?
I chose this area of study as product design really interests me, and I would like to further expand my interest to transportation and mobility within populated dense areas. Design is my passion and I enjoy creating and producing concepts that dwell on the factors of sustainability and human centred design specifically human interaction.
Did you attend uni right after high school, or have you changed courses? Please tell us
about your pathway to your current course.
Yes, I attended university immediately after high school as I was enthusiastic on beginning my university pathway. After a year into my previous degree of interior architecture, I was not fully immersed with the study and chose to pursue industrial design.
Between the two courses, I took a six month break and focused on my career at Domino’s Pizza Enterprises. I spent that time working within administration then decided to go back to my studies. As soon as I began industrial design, I was a lot happier and content with what I was studying.
Now it’s my fourth year at university, and although I have taken my time to reach where I am now, I have enjoyed every bit of the hardships, challenges and rewarding outcomes industrial design has given me. I am set to graduate Semester 1, 2023 and embark my journey within the industry.
What made you choose QUT?
I chose QUT for many different reasons. I agree with QUT’s beliefs and teaching practises and many members of my family have attended and graduated from QUT and have all loved their experiences whilst studying here. Many of my friends that I grew up with also attended QUT and it is a well-rounded educational establishment. I like the campus as well as the people in my community.
Circling back to industrial design, what parts of the course have been most beneficial, or have you particularly enjoyed?
I think the most beneficial parts of the course I have experienced would be:
- practical learning and real-world applications such as developed CAD knowledge
- understanding humans and how they respond and react to things
- developing my knowledge on expectations and what is needed to stand out and thrive
- making friends within my industry
- being given the opportunity to work alongside some of the greatest tutors and mentors
- gaining respective contacts that have seen what you can do and what you can produce
- being given opportunities to work in the industry and gain real-world skills and knowledge
- understanding how the industry works
- seeing what I can achieve with skills I have gained over the years of study.
What are the highlights of your student experience at QUT?
Some highlights from my student experience at QUT include making great friends who study the same course as I do, connecting with tutors and lecturers who have made an impact on my learning, being able to use my knowledge and skills within the industry world and enjoying what I have learnt and what I am learning.
Have you undertaken any work experience, internships, or special projects?
I worked with Bombardier in alignment with one of my assessments in 2020, recreating a form of mass transportation method for a specific European city. I also worked with Special Olympics Queensland recreating their ceremonial torch in 2021.
I am now undertaking an internship with Voltin Operations for my Working Integrated Learning (WIL) unit. My role at Voltin is to redesign aspects of some of their current machinery used for façade assessment inspections. What I do in a day can vary. Some days I work on project designs and consult the engineers of what is needed regarding dimensions, potential ideas, and common design preferences. Other days, I am out of the office doing site inspections and utilising the machinery to capture data and to see what parts of the machinery can be improved.
These three opportunities have been extremely exciting for my personal and professional growth. They have helped me learn from my mistakes and grow as a designer. They have also given me real world experiences and have shown me what to expect outside of university.
During your course, did you have the opportunity to develop industry contacts?
Yes, I have developed industry contacts through events, projects and my internship. Also by being present on LinkedIn and with the help of people around me, I have gained a thorough understanding of industrial design while also gaining future industry contacts that will help guide me in the future.
How will you use the skills and experience you have gained in the future? What career goals are you hoping to achieve?
Throughout my study period at QUT, the skills and experience gained will be utilised in my future career pathways. All the challenges I have been faced with and the mistakes I have made, have taught me how to be a better designer and to use my knowledge and potential to create better things.
For my career goals, I am hoping to achieve a career within transportation and systems design, if not machinery design or product design which also interest me. I want to be able to create, design and produce concepts and products that promote sustainable design and human interaction exploration, as well as touching on biomimicry design.
Finally, tell us about the BMW event you just attended – what were some highlights? What did you learn?
The BMW event was amazing! I felt extremely special to be given the opportunity to see these upcoming mobility designs and be able to explore the cars and their capabilities whilst getting a rundown from the people who know it best – the BMW team. It was a very informative and well-articulated presentation of what the designs focus on as well as what they provide and the technology behind the product.
I found it fascinating how the interior design had so much thought behind it, including how quiet the engine is, how motion sensors are utilised within the console compartment to avoid touching the screen and controls, just by a waving a finger. The charging system was also very informative and how accessible charging stations are around Brisbane. Finally, how extensive the effort and thought the BMW designers put into these designs to touch onto leading world problems such as carbon emissions and non-sustainable designing practises.