Faculty of Engineering

Meet our students

Find out why our students choose to study with us and what they say about the experience.


Lucy McSweeney

Engineering Science student Lucy McSweeney

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Engineering Science

“I was the only person from my all-girls school to do engineering. The further I get into it, the more I realise how diverse it is. Being an engineer is like being an inventor – we learn to use scientific knowledge to be creative, and design solutions that can change people’s lives. You don’t need to be a doctor to help people! Studying engineering opens so many doors. I also feel that a degree in technology is smart and future-proof.

“The Engineering Science specialisation is exclusive to the University of Auckland. It’s a varied programme – it has some big maths but also incorporates open ended design projects and a lot of team work, which is great. It’s always amazing to see what can be achieved. Engineering Science is also a small specialisation so we really get the chance to know our lecturers personally and interact with them one-on-one.

“Not only is the University prestigious, but there are so many exciting things to do in this city. I’m never bored! I love being outdoors, so I am happy that despite being a big city, Auckland has so many beautiful parks and beaches.”

Rachel Love

Biomedical Engineering student Rachel Love

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Biomedical Engineering

“I was a big science nerd throughout high school and was intending to get into medicine until I found out about biomedical engineering at a science forum in Year 13. It just sounded like the perfect combination of what I was interested in: biology and medical science, plus the maths and problem solving aspects native to engineering. I was hooked.

“The exciting thing about biomedical engineering is that the field is so vast. Because it’s so new, industry positions are still being created in New Zealand. There are opportunities to work overseas with this degree, but my next step is probably going to be postgraduate studies. The Auckland Bioengineering Institute is involved with some world-class research.

“I really like the culture here. There’s a certain sense of pride that surrounds being called an engineer. Even though there are nine different specialisations, I think we all share that. We’re also really well catered for in terms of facilities and faculty support, so Biomedical Engineering really does feel like a family. Although the work is tough, we have staff and each other to help us through.”


Murali Krishna Magesan

Electrical and Electronic Engineering student Murali Krishna Magesan

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering

“Electrical and electronic engineering is an area that’s rapidly developing in research and day-to-day use. I am interested in designing products that will be used regularly, like smart devices. I’d like to do this type of work early in my career. Later, I want to do research in making electricity generation highly efficient, cheap and clean, resulting in a healthy environment and low costs for consumers.

“One of the things that stands out to me in my studies is the different ways of thinking to solve engineering problems. We don’t just consider economic impacts but also environmental, social and cultural aspects. The lecturers and teaching assistants here are outstanding. They genuinely care and want students to succeed. They really go out of their way to help us develop as engineers.

“I enjoy living in the city – it is quite different to my hometown, Rotorua. Living in a Hall of Residence in my first year helped me transition from living away from home. I’ve also made some good friends here which I’m really grateful for. There’s a large variety of clubs at the University, which is a great way to meet people and do something different.”


Hannah Sampson

Software Engineering student Hannah Sampson

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Software Engineering

"I picked the University of Auckland because of its excellent reputation for engineering and computer science. I’d like to get into user interface or games. I enjoy looking at how easy things are to use – being able to work with people to make things accessible and intuitive is really interesting.

“We’ve done some big projects and it’s so rewarding to see the connection between lectures and what actually happens in a work environment. Later in my career I’d like to be able to apply everything we’ve learned about usability to what I do. I’d like to work in very graphical media, analyse how people interact with programs and work towards making products more user friendly. I’d love to go to a big company like Google or Microsoft, or Weta Workshop. I’m working at Google in Sydney for 12 weeks over summer.

“It’s good to be involved in Uni outside of study, too. The Software Engineering Association runs game nights and networking events, and WEN (Women in Engineering Network) is really cool. I’m also a Tuākana tutor for first year Māori and Pacific students. It’s so much fun and really rewarding; I love to come in and help out with projects.”

Forest Fraser

Computer Systems Engineering student Forest Fraser

Conjoint degree: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Computer Systems Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce

“Computer Systems Engineering is an intersection between Electrical and Software Engineering, so we cover a wide range of topics. I feel this helped me quickly learn new and unfamiliar skills, and to define the specific areas I’d like to work in when I finish University.

“My courses provided a hands-on approach to learning. You could often see the impact of your code in the real world, like making an LED blink, or programming a robot to turn.

“I really enjoyed working on my Part IV project, a vision control system for a lightweight inflatable robot arm. It involved building the whole system so we had a lot of control over the project and got to make and evaluate many different design options. I had the opportunity to travel to a university in Japan to complete the project. It was a great experience – I learned a lot, not only about my project, but also about their student culture and environment.

“While group projects are interesting in themselves, I like working with friends and making new ones. This just makes studying at University more fun!”


Joel Kavenga

Civil and Environmental Engineering student Joel Kavenga

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil and Environmental Engineering

In high school I enjoyed maths and physics, and I realised engineering would be a good career for implementing those two subjects. I wanted to do civil engineering – specifically structural engineering – and there were really only two universities in New Zealand that did it to IPENZ accreditation standard. That was important to me.

“One of my projects this year was about the MV Rena and her grounding on Astrolabe Reef in the Bay of Plenty. Our challenge was to analyse the economic, cultural, environmental and  social impacts that the collision, spillage of oil and cargo, and resulting wreckage had and will have. The affected parameters included health of marine life, tourism/local business and Māori customs. Analysing these parameters allowed us to understand the problem more and gives us better knowledge to implement a more effective solution for the future.

“The most valuable thing I’m getting out of my studies is a broader knowledge of how the world works; in the first year you get a taste of nine engineering disciplines, so you get an appreciation for how everything works. Another highlight is being independent and learning about things I enjoy, plus meeting a range of people – it’s such a diverse community here.” 

Claire Wang

Mechanical Engineering student Claire Wang

Conjoint degree: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce

I love learning about the world we live in and how things work. It’s the simplest way to say what I enjoy about studying Mechanical Engineering – discovering how to get from the start of something with some manufactured parts to a system that works together to complete a function. Engineering offers many possibilities, and doing a conjoint degree opens up even more options for me.

“Undoubtedly, the student culture is the absolute best. Because of the degree structure, you become very well acquainted with your peers who also study Engineering in the first semester of your first year. I’m surrounded by students who not only are extremely hardworking and have astounding ambitions and aspirations, but are some of the most fun people I know. Everyone is also going through something similar which bonds you together as a student body.

“Engineering also performs extremely well in the Interfaculty Sports Championship. We won the Colin Maiden Shield for the top sporting faculty at the University, and this adds to the pride felt amongst students. I also like that the faculty has some excellent support systems in place for students – tutoring for your first year, specific support networks for various minority groups, and career advice for finding summer internships.”


Tomas Haver

Mechatronics Engineering student Tomas Haver

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechatronics Engineering

I’d really love to do special effects. When I went to see Taylor Swift’s show, part of the stage lifted out and swung around while she was standing on the end of it – five or six metres in the air. I knew an engineer had to be responsible for that!

“Getting into a specialisation is competitive, but the great thing is that engineers are all very supportive of each other. People are very interested in working together rather than working against each other. In terms of lecturers, the passion in what people do is definitely present and that’s what I really enjoy about the faculty.

“When I’m studying, I’ll go to the library or Albert Park; on a sunny day there’s nowhere better to be. Or I might be at the University’s Queerspace, which is a safe physical space for queer people to just hang out. Engineering has the Rainbow Engineering Network which holds regular social meetings to chat about what’s going on.

“I’m also part of the University’s Photographic Society, and that’s really fun. I’m constantly busy, but it’s very rewarding when you know that you’re learning new skills and gaining so much knowledge. An engineering degree can open doors around the world.”

Cole Simons

Chemical and Materials Engineering student Cole Simons

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Chemical and Materials Engineering

“I enjoy the variety in my engineering degree. It covers a lot of different topics: from energy and resources, to process engineering, and materials. I’m really interested in energy and resources, renewables and nano-materials. Choosing Chemical and Materials Engineering gives me a lot of career options.

“The best thing about the Faculty of Engineering is the sense of community; there are events and seminars constantly. And everything you need is here – there are ample facilities for study and work. My ideal job would be in the renewable energy sector as I think it’s the future of energy worldwide. It would be awesome if I could work on developing solar energy in New Zealand. Chemical and materials engineering also offers work opportunities overseas which is really exciting.

“Coming to Auckland from Hastings was one of the best decisions I’ve made because I had to step out of my comfort zone. I’ve made a whole bunch of friends up here. I looked at going to other universities but they offered nowhere near what Auckland offered in terms of specialisations. The University of Auckland had the better reputation. My advice is to follow your interests – not your friends.”