Completing secondary school with an OP 1, Stuart Hinchliff’s university options were wide open. He knew he wanted to study something that involved maths and physics and was considering a few options.
“I always loved maths and physics in high school so I thought I’d do medicine or engineering. In the end, I wanted to keep doing maths so I chose engineering because it would be a good practical outlet for my interest in maths.”
First year engineering at James Cook University (JCU) is a core foundation year where students are taught fundamentals across all engineering disciplines offered by the University. This broad-based first year helped Stuart to decide which major he wanted to pursue.
“I was always interested in electrical and electronic engineering but I also really enjoyed the mechanical subjects as well. I talked to a few people about my options and decided to specialise in electrical and electronic engineering. Plus, I love robotics.”
Stuart says he has never regretted his decision to study at JCU.
“I feel like I’ve flourished here. One-on-one discussions with lecturers have really helped me and I know I can just walk past the hallway, say hello and ask a question. I feel like a lot of other universities don’t have time for that.”
He has also enjoyed the opportunity to become involved with activities on campus and has picked up some work tutoring.
“I have been able to grab tutoring positions, which I’ve heard are hard to get at other universities, and I’m vice president of the robotics club. We’ve got major companies on our doorstep and I feel we’ve got a great amount of job opportunities.”
As a course accredited by Engineers Australia, a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at JCU requires 60 days of industry placement, which Stuart did with a local energy provider.
“It’s good to make those connections, network and talk to people. It’s important to get involved with as much stuff as you can, build up your resume, and have something a bit different to everyone else. I feel that if you have a more varied resume and have more stuff on it, then you’ve got a better chance at a job.”
Stuart is studying engineering as a joint degree with a Bachelor of Science in Physics.
“I love the application of physics. We’ve done some a whole range of things including classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, atomic physics, thermodynamics and electromagnetics.”
On completion of his degree, Stuart wants to work in research and development in either the university or private sectors.
“I’d love something where I can combine both engineering and physics. A lot of engineering is physics based so I could go into microelectronics where you do a bit of quantum physics plus a bit of electrical engineering would be great for me.”