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

Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Winnie Zhu

 
Winnie

MPE Civil

UWA not only provided me with a solid knowledge foundation, it also developed my skills to solve problems efficiently and effectively. 

I was interested in construction and chose to study Civil Engineering at UWA because of its ranking in the top 100 universities in the world and its reputation for quality of education. Furthermore, I chose UWA because of its location - the natural beauty and atmosphere of the university definitely helped with my decision.

At university, I enjoyed group assignments and my final year thesis the most. In the group assignments, I learnt the importance of communication and teamwork which are vitally important in the real world of business. My final year thesis helped to develop my skills in self-management, planning, researching, reporting and presenting. I believe these skills have made my work life easier.

I undertook my 12 weeks’ professional practicum in China for a hotel building construction project. This experience strengthened my passion for construction and gave me hands-on training with the chance to learn from a variety of people. When seeking a graduate position, I targeted construction contractor companies and it was McConnell Dowell’s type of work in the Western Region that attracted me. I experienced a gruelling FIFO work schedule, in the tough, remote environment of the Pilbara, but my passion for my profession and desire to learn, earned me the respect of my colleagues over time. I worked my way up and was nominated for the National Association of Women in Construction Young Achiever Award and invited to speak at the Women in Mining conference that took place in South Africa.

If I had to choose one thing that I look forward to when going to work it would be the daily challenge. The most attractive thing in construction engineering to me is that things change every day, every hour! You always need to think on your feet. UWA not only provided me with a solid knowledge foundation, it also developed my skills to solve problems efficiently and effectively.

My advice for students wanting a career in Civil Engineering is to be ready – it will be tough. If you like a challenge and teamwork then construction engineering is a great choice.

Winnie Zhu talks about her experience at UWA and where her studies have taken her since.