Faculty of Engineering

Meet our postgraduate students

What is it like to be a postgraduate student at the Faculty of Engineering? See what our people have to say.

Research and learning in a supportive, innovative environment

cacm lab engineering newmarket campus

Our research students will work with at least one experienced and specifically-trained supervisor that will guide them through their subject area of choice. No one at the Faculty of Engineering works in isolation, and we appreciate the unique capabilities and experience you will bring – in many cases, our postgraduate students are given opportunities to work in their supervisor's team, where they will develop networks across their department, the faculty, the University, and even researchers undertaking similar projects around the world. 


Meet our postgraduate students


Kadek Sumaja, Master of Disaster Management

"The Master in Disaster Management gives me a high level of critical analysis, knowledge synthesis and problem-solving. Indonesia’s economic development has suffered over the years due to natural disasters, making this a very important field.

"I’m gaining the skills required for quick disaster response, which is a serious concern for stakeholders establishing businesses in many nations – investors worldwide, for example, are paying attention and trusting people with the ability to manage disasters. Also, tourists will be more inclined to visit a country if they feel safe to travel. My knowledge has an influence in improving the economic sector.

"I work as a meteorologist at the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics alongside other stakeholders, such as Search and Rescue, firefighters, and airlines to confront disasters. My studies have taught me interpersonal skills in a complex sector that involves many disciplines – I’ve learned about teamwork management and effective communication, not just through lectures, but also seminars, workshops, seminars, and events run by professionals from related fields. The University has provided me a lot of opportunities as a student in terms of professional engagement."

- Learn more about the Master of Disaster Management



Sylvania Marchellina Suhartono, Master of Energy

"I used to work as a Field Energy for Schlumberger, a Cementing Technical Engineer for Total E&P, Chevron Pacific Indonesia and Pertamina. I was assigned in Malaysia for over two years before moving back to my home country, Indonesia. I was working in the field on and off-shore 24.7, managing clients and supervising people. Being the only girl on the rig was not a big deal for me!

"One of the biggest decisions in my life was deciding whether I should pursue a higher degree or stay in my comfort zone. Continuing into a masters degree was the right one in spite of the challenges, as I realise that I still have contributions to make to my field.

"I realise that fossil energies are going to run out soon, followed by the decrease of oil stock worldwide. Studies in renewable energy are amongst the most necessary topics in the world. I’m being taught by expert lecturers and recognised renewable energy practitioners, and my knowledge will benefit my country, especially since there is currently a lack of experts in Geothermal Energy Technology there."

- Learn more about the Master of Energy

- Read more stories from our postgraduate women in engineering



Yuris Ramadhan, Master of Energy

“The University of Auckland offers an amazing student experience. It also ranks in the world’s top 50 universities, so there really is no reason why you won’t be learning in here! The facilities here made it really easy to study – from the wide access to journals and databases, to unlimited streaming of lectures and tutorials. Our class interactions were great and the students and lecturers are always open to helping each other.

“New Zealand is known for being a leader in geothermal energy, and the University has recognisable, experienced lecturers. Both my professional and personal life will be improved upon graduation; the exposure to international students and lecturers with professional expertise will help me strive for higher standards in industry later.

“I love the New Zealand landscape. I have been traveling around here when I have downtime and have never been bored! I’ve also had the opportunity to manage the Indonesian Student Association under the AUSA, and got to promote our culture, giving me more experience in a student organisation."

- Learn more about the Master of Energy


Simon Mittermeier, Master of Engineering Management

“Many of the University's postgraduate courses are tailored to cater for working professionals, which is great: my undergraduate Engineering degree was a good foundation for the technical aspects of an engineering career, but I soon realised I wanted to learn a lot more about how engineering fits into the wider business environment.

“The Master of Engineering Management is a great programme for this. It offers many electives beyond traditional engineering: marketing, operations management, accounting and project management. I especially enjoyed classroom and group discussions with other students. Many were working professionals – I learnt a lot about how the course content applied to their industries. It was great to observe how other businesses approach the same problems.

“I love working in the medical device industry. Developing products that make a genuine difference in people’s lives brings me great satisfaction. Some of our best days at work are when we get positive feedback from patients and get to see how our designs have helped them. A big reason I did engineering was the tangible nature of it – we can design and create things that make a real difference.”

- Learn more about the Master of Engineering Management


Kajal Lachhani, Master of Engineering Management

"I am currently working as a software developer in a software engineering firm. My undergraduate experience here was great – it was practical and we learned about the latest technologies, and postgraduate study was very applicable to my current job.

"I made a decision to do postgraduate study because I wanted to accelerate my career path towards management, to continue gaining industry experience, and because I love being a part of the software industry, but wanted to be more involved in the business side of IT.

The Master in Engineering Management gave me the right edge for those purposes. I developed an understanding of business and commerce, accounting, marketing and management. This degree has given me an acceleration path for my career and I still continue to apply the principles that I discovered in the programme in my day to day operations."

- Learn more about the Master of Engineering Management

- Read more stories from our postgraduate women in engineering



Kevin Walsh, PhD in Civil Engineering

“My thesis focuses on advancing seismic assessment techniques for unreinforced masonry and early reinforced concrete building construction in New Zealand.

“I chose to study at the University of Auckland because of its world-renowned expertise in earthquake engineering. The University’s faculty, facilities, financial and academic support systems, and proximity to world-class urban and natural attractions were also a factor in my decision.

“I have the opportunity to intern at the Auckland Council where I assist in the assessment of council-owned buildings for seismic vulnerability and prioritise these buildings for retrofit. This opportunity allows me to work with a wide range of people in different professional capacities, and permits me to implement my research findings into a real-world scenario straight away.”

- Learn more about our PhD programme



Irina Boiarkina, PhD in Chemical and Materials Engineering

“I chose the University of Auckland for postgraduate study because while I enjoyed working in industry, I wanted to do more in-depth study. I had also worked with my PhD supervisor previously, and I knew that having the right supervisor is very important.

“My PhD supervisor was always interested in my research and progress, which was a good motivator. He was also quick at helping resolve issues, at both administrative and research levels, which made it much easier to advance my research. In general, the whole Chemical and Materials Engineering Department was very supportive, and there was always someone to consult for advice in different areas. The people you work with can really enhance the experience for you.

“A PhD is full-time work, and it wouldn’t have been possible for me to do it without monetary support from the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship. Since finishing my PhD, I’ve been working as a post-doc, albeit in a different area. However, the wider skills that I gained in analysis, experimentation and modelling have all translated into the different topic seamlessly.

- Learn more about our PhD programme

- Read more stories from our postgraduate women in engineering