By Claire Parker
Last year I decided Chemical and Materials was my favourite specialisation due to its roots in chemistry, math, sustainability and problem solving. Thankfully my GPA secured my spot in this specialisation early on, allowing me to enjoy my four-month break. Chemical and material engineering is essentially studying the process of how something is chemically or physically altered in order to produce a useful item, e.g. milk powder processing and energy production/processing.
This specialisation also focuses strongly on the environment and how these processes can be made more sustainable, which I am very interested in after doing a sustainability paper during part one. I am hoping that the papers this year help me decide which side of my degree I enjoy better (Chemical vs Material) as later on we can focus our specialisation through our electives. These papers include Introduction to Process Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Materials and Math Modelling in semester one. Along with these courses we must complete a Workshop practice course in order to be accepted into part three. This involves either a four-day course in one of our breaks or a night course once a week for eight weeks. This is different to the 800 required hours of practical work and is made compulsory to prepare us for these hours. I am doing my workshop practice very shortly and am interested to see what we will cover and if I possess any of the skills needed to weld or use machinery.
Overall, my expectations going into this year are high as I get to start learning the specific skills which will help me succeed in what I want to do.