I was born and raised in Canberra but I fell in love with the beach and moved to Wollongong to study Civil Engineering. I love a good challenge and solving problems in the world around me with my logical, practical maths skills has always made sense. I actually chose UOW because I was inspired by the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) and the Illawarra Flame House that was on display when I first visited. I’m passionate about the climate and sustainable house design, having grown up loving Grand Designs with Kevin McCloud.
My background includes more than a year of geotechnical engineering site work and local government project management experience. I also have a passion for humanitarian work and since 2017, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Nepal, Rwanda and Tanzania in a humanitarian engineering capacity. These have been some of the best experiences of my life and really encouraged my love for helping people and making the world a better place.
As I near the end of my degree, I am very aware that I will be entering the professional workforce during a global climate emergency and I could not be more passionate about incorporating sustainability into structural engineering designs. I signed up to the Sustainable Homes Challenge (SHC) because I believe that I can learn a lot from this experience and I really want to make an impact and contribute to the community.
I’ve always been passionate about sustainability and was fortunate enough to grow up in a household that encouraged reusing and recycling. From composting our food scraps into the chicken coop to repurposing old railway sleepers into garden beds, my family was great at reducing waste. I have fond memories of washing up dishes in a large bowl in the kitchen sink, then tipping the grey-water onto our pumpkin patch next to the back door (even after Stage 4 water restrictions ended). In fact, I think my love for op-shopping originated from when I’d use my three older sisters’ closets as additional outfit boutiques. I think the future of the planet depends on reducing our consumption of natural resources and drastically rethinking the life-cycle of products. That’s why I am so excited to be involved in the SHC this year, designing homes from waste.
I’m hoping to develop connections with like-minded individuals in my team, and learn from their experience and ideas. I think it is a great opportunity to network, make friends and develop ideas with them, especially as I pursue a career in sustainable design.
I’d like to improve my creativity and innovation skills and I’m excited to be making a difference. I hope that this challenge produces some designs that contribute to solving the issue of waste and affordable, healthy housing. I am certainly interested in developing some of these ideas beyond this challenge, within the housing industry.
I’ve found the modules so far incredibly helpful and interesting. In particular, the module and discussion on the Circular Economy was fascinating and it was great to be able to engage with Makrita Solitei and learn from someone with first-hand experience and so much knowledge in the area. Working with my teammates on our project, Circularity House, has already broadened my perspective on the occupant and social aspect of home design! Even just last week, I had my eyes opened to all the frameworks and initiatives that are already in place globally to monitor building sustainability and tackle the UN SDGs. This gave me some much needed hope for the future of the building industry and our planet.