Jessica dreams big for impending engineering career
Published on 18 April, 2013
CQUniversity student Jessica Kahl hopes to influence, inspire and represent women's involvement in a traditionally male-dominated profession, as well as make a positive impact on her community, society and environment through her work as an engineer.
Jessica is in her first year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Co-Op) at CQUniversity Rockhampton and has already decided to specialise in civil engineering.
Jessica Kahl"When I graduate as a civil engineer, I would like to be involved in planning designs and maintenance of physical infrastructure systems including the construction of buildings, bridges, transport, water resource systems, harbours and railways," she says.
Despite not having done Physics in school, Jessica says she is enjoying learning from scratch thanks to the supportive network of engineering students and staff.
"I am loving every bit of it! The course consists of Maths, Physics and Engineering skills with a range of tutorials, labs, workshops and lectures," she said.
"In the first few weeks we were put into groups to construct a skyscraper out of only 50 pencils and tape without it toppling over on a 10 per cent incline, as well as holding a 500ml water bottle on top."
Jessica is also designing and building a rainwater tank with different strengths of concrete, as well as constructing an electrical project.
The former Rockhampton Grammar School student has had a positive start to her university experience, being the recipient of four scholarships including a $20,000 ‘Supporting Women Scholarship' from the Minister for Education, a $3000 Queensland Rail Institute scholarship, a ‘Dream Big Scholarship' with Brown's Consulting, and a Vice-Chancellor's prize consisting of a $500 CQUniversity Bookstore voucher.
The ‘Dream Big Scholarship' allows her to work as a cadet engineer in a paid capacity while on the university holidays.
While Jessica still has four years of study left, she is looking forward to seeing where her career will take her.
"Civil engineering offers a flexible, well-rewarded and diverse career with the chance to work and travel all over the world, which is what I aspire to have and do after my graduation.
"By using my qualifications after I graduate, I would help promote and influence women's involvement in engineering and ultimately create an outreach program to inspire and involve female youth in the rewarding career."