Members of our EIT team attended the SkillsWest Expo this last weekend to show off our course offerings.

Our EIT stand showcased a clever robotic arm which visitors were invited to test and drive. We then put everyone’s names into a draw to win one of these mechanical arms - in kit form. We have now drawn a winner and are happy to announce that it is Toby Wallace from Busselton, Western Australia.

We thought that you may like to learn a little about our winner. Toby is in year 11 at school and has a career in engineering firmly in his sights. I think when you have read his story, you will agree that this young man will contribute ably to society and will strive hard to achieve his dreams. This is his story:

I have always been interested in machines and vehicles, most likely due to the fact that I grew up watching star wars, star trek, and playing video games about designing vehicles and using cool technology. When considering what career I would like to pursue, I realised that mechatronics, electronics and mechanical engineering would allow me to be one of the people who gets to build the awesome machines and robots of the future. I have always wanted to build something like an Ironman suit, and I realised that this is the industry that would allow me to do cool things like that.

As technology grows into the future, there is the potential for us to use it for good, but the potential to use it for evil is a major issue. I hope that working in this field will allow me to create devices for help and safety, rather than harm. I would love to work in designing devices for security, and to protect people when they undertake dangerous tasks.

I think it is most likely that I will end up working in a city, as there are very few opportunities for work in the country; however, I think country towns like Busselton will always be on my mind, and I would like to focus on developing devices for them too. One example of this is shark repulsion devices that would save many lives surfing in places such as the Margaret-river region.

Two major things have helped me get an idea of what I want to study. Firstly, I realised that it is possible to work in an industry shown in the movies I loved and in the video games I played; I realised that these weren't just fun, they were job opportunities. Secondly I realised that it is possible to study in many areas, you don't have to limit yourself to one very specific area. I'm planning to do some kind of mechatronics or electronics engineering, but also would like to do audio engineering, as music making is another of my passions. I also realised that some of the other areas I didn't want to miss out on, such as caring for endangered animals, could be done as part time volunteer work while  I study and afterwards.

When Toby receives the kit for the robotic arm he will have some building to do, but then it is after all a good part of engineering – engineers create and build cool things. And hopefully he will have a heap of fun in the process.

We wish you everything of the best Toby. And thanks to all the Expo visitors – it was lovely to meet you.

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