Student profile – Bonnie Howe
I’ve always had an interest in the medical industry, and I wanted a career that would allow me to apply technology and practical skills to facilitate medical research, enhance diagnostic capabilities and improve treatment options. I also wanted to be able to go home at the end of the day feeling like I had made a contribution.
The biomedical engineering field is expanding rapidly and the breadth of industries you can work in with this qualification is vast, and job prospects are good.
I was lucky enough to be one of 24 graduates selected to take part in the Graduate Development Program at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. There were more than 460 applicants for the program and I feel extremely lucky to have secured a spot.
I work in the Life Sciences division. My position involves creating automated devices that radio-chemists can use in their work, which help limit their contact to radiation and chemicals.
Growing up in the Northern Territory, I really wanted to come to Melbourne to study and RMIT offers engineering programs with a strong focus on technical skills. The CBD location helped too!
In final year I undertook a research project using microfluidics to assist in malaria research. It was a completely new experience for me and a big learning curve, but it was thoroughly enjoyable and gave me the confidence to tackle unfamiliar problems.
I also received a Summer Research Scholarship from the School of Computer and Electrical Engineering which I used to get a head start on my final year research project. Having that on my resume was a bonus when applying for graduate programs.
My degree helped me develop an understanding of the fundamentals of programming, electronics and design, all of which I use on a day-to-day basis in my work. I also gained valuable skills in research and project management.
I love what I do because my job is very hands-on and I have a lot of freedom to experiment with my design ideas. Also, the novelty of telling people I work at a nuclear reactor will never get old!