Dreamstarter participant Felicity Briody’s Power of Engineering project aims to inspire students in high school to change and impact the world around them using engineering, maths and science. She has recently taken her work a step further by creating a new project Machinam.
Felicity, how did you decide to become a civil engineer?
I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I finished school so my parents advised me to pick subjects I like. I decided to study art history and physics but didn’t know how I was going to use them until my physics teacher suggested I do engineering.
I thought to myself, “But that’s so hard, you have to be really smart… only maths and science geniuses do that.” However, once I enrolled in university I realised how engineering applied to real life, and how I could build cool buildings, and actually impact communities through maths and science. I thought to myself, “This is so cool! Why don’t more people do this?”
Tell us about your new project Machinam?
We are creating an interactive textbook – Machinam – that connects what students learn in school to real life situations and future careers. This way students can understand how the world around them works, for example how you construct a building or how to change a dress size using trigonometry.
If you could give yourself a piece of advice for when you started this project, what would it be?
Do your thing; work out what your thing is and just go for it. Mine just happens to be engineering. Claim your thing!
If you could give one piece of advice to a group of people who want to chase their dreams, what would it be?
In my first job, I was a structural engineer. I thought had to be a certain way; more into maths and science. I thought I had to be more like everybody else to be a good engineer.
But what I was really good at was communication, and what I actually discovered is how powerful and important communication is when it comes to engineering.
So be yourself. Be different. That’s really important.
ING DIRECT’s Dreamstarter initiative provides funding support to selected StartSomeGood campaigns and helps Australia’s most inspiring go-getters make a positive change in Australian communities. To find out more about the program and how to apply visit ingdirect.com.au/dreamstarter
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