A century of achievement 1913 - 2013
Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Kingsley Nguyen


MPE Chemical

Engineering is about harnessing the power of technology to improve the quality of human lives. If that suits your passion and capability, pursue it! People might tell you that you cannot succeed because of your gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic background; however, don’t ever let that dissuade you. 

From a very young age growing up in a small village in Southern Vietnam, I have been conscious of the importance of education however education was not a right, but a privilege.
During wet seasons, the joy of learning was often compromised by the struggles of wading through knee-high, murky floodwater to go to school. In dry seasons, the lack of electricity became a concern where study at night relied on the dim, smoky glow of kerosene lamps.

Owing to these experiences, I always aspired to go to university so that I could learn to improve crucial infrastructure through research and innovation. Unfortunately, being from a family in which no one ever got a chance to graduate high school, ‘university’ seemed to be a far-fetched concept.
My life took an unexpected turn when I moved to Australia six years ago. It was a challenging transition, both culturally and linguistically, as I could hardly string a coherent sentence together when I first arrived.
However, the childhood desire to make positive impacts on the community continued to motivate me to pursue my dream. After graduating high school, I accepted the offer to do Engineering through the Bachelor of Philosophy (Hons) at UWA, a prestigious program focusing intensively on research and development.
During my time at university, I have had the chance to participate in a summer camp and meet plenty of inspiring colleagues, undertake a research placement, attend conferences, go on exchange in Europe, learn new languages, teach undergraduate students, volunteer in rural WA and overseas, and much more.
I was also awarded the 2016 New Colombo Plan scholarship by the government to represent Australia in the Indo-Pacific region. Later this year, I will study in Japan for a semester, and potentially intern with an NGO in Southeast Asia to work on the water supply and sanitation system as part of my dissertation.
I believe an Engineering degree at UWA does not just equip you with technical knowledge, but also problem-solving, communication and teamwork skills that could open doors to career opportunities beyond Engineering, such as Social Impact, Business, Management Consultancy and Banking.
I have secured internship positions at international firms in Hong Kong and Tokyo. For me, applying for job opportunities did not only start with sending a resume and waiting for an interview. Rather, it was a journey of self-development: building confidence, exploring different options, taking ownership, making the most of what is on offer and learning from failures. While it is important to maintain good grades, it is also essential to be actively involved in different student clubs and organisations, as well as establishing an extensive connection network.
My advice to others would be; instead of stressing over factors that are beyond your control, focus on things that you can change: your attitude. Dream big, work hard, resist complacency, strive for excellence and success will follow.