Kelly Mulvay

Kelly completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), specialising in mechanical engineering. She now works in the industrial engineering team for Beca.

Kelly Mulvay

“I liked maths and science at school, and originally had my heart set on biomedical engineering because I loved chemistry. I’d never even considered anything else, but during induction into the Faculty of Engineering, I realised I just liked mechanical better – the practical application really appealed. I haven’t looked back since. I knew I wanted to study at the University of Auckland because of the prestige of the programme, and I received a City of Sails Kickstart Scholarship which really helped me focus on my studies.

“I grew up rurally, so being in Auckland really brought me out of my shell. I loved exploring the city and seeing all the things on offer – I still do! The University of Auckland was great, because there was something for everyone with any interests – clubs, social groups, or through papers. Doing a general education course was fun, because I was really into my music classes at high school, so I chose to take music history.

“The best part about my programme was definitely my final year project. I got to come up with a really cool and unique project with my partner and I learnt so much. I loved owning my own project, and it’s so cool to see the team using our composites curing ‘oven’. It really gave me a clear idea of what I wanted to do long term with my degree, and know that I wanted the challenge of pushing boundaries and high performance environments.

“I’m currently an engineer at Beca in the industrial team, mostly working on food and beverage projects, which for me has included things like meat, beer, wine and cheese. I’ve had lots of opportunities to go to site as an engineer including two weeks in Blenheim, and then six weeks in rural Australia over summer. Aside from all the fun parts, I have actually used some of my technical knowledge, although more importantly I’ve definitely needed the soft skills (systems isn’t that bad when I look back at it!)

“I don’t really have a typical day at work – when I’m based in the office I do a lot of computer work and tend to keep a 40 hour week, but it completely depends on what projects I’m involved with. When I was on secondment over summer I worked shifts to provide 24 hour support to the plant, but I also got to switch into holiday mode in the sun every day around that. So far I’ve done a lot of work with utilities for industrial food and beverage sites, logistics modelling, and capital planning for meat plants. In any one day I could visit a site, do technical work such as calculating stress in a flange, and help with project management. There’s a huge range of work available. I have a job coming up doing construction management which will involve some cool site visits.

“In the long term, I would love to work with high performance composites in aerospace or Formula 1. I love the challenging environment and the innovation and technology – not to mention they are pretty much the most exciting places I could ever think of to work!