UNSW Engineering student Jessica Athayde has won the Institute of Transportation Engineers Australia and New Zealand (ITEANZ) Undergraduate Award.
The prestigious award includes a cash prize and the chance to attend the ITEANZ awards ceremony during their annual breakfast. It follows her participation in an undergraduate program run by SMEC, an infrastructure project company.
Ms Athayde, who now works with SMEC and will graduate from UNSW in mid-2019 with a dual degree in Civil Engineering and Commerce, said she was excited and proud to be recognised by such a respected organisation.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to share with the industry what I learnt while developing my thesis on employment decentralisation policies in Sydney,” she said.
Ms Athayde participated in SMEC’s ANZ undergraduate program from November 2017 to Feb 2018. Running over 12 weeks, the program connects top performing science and engineering students with senior engineers and mentors at SMEC, helping them to develop skills and gain exposure to significant projects.
“I chose SMEC’s undergraduate program because of the company’s commitment to provide opportunities that are specifically tailored to the individual,” Ms Athayde said.
“The program gave me the opportunity to apply what I was learning while I was researching and developing my thesis. I was able to see firsthand how my learning translates to real world problem solving.”
Ms Athayde’s program supervisors were so impressed with her work ethic and aptitude she was employed as an Undergraduate Engineer through the course of completing her studies.
“My mentor and team have been really supportive of my studies. I get exposure to a range of project work across different sectors and really enjoy the collaborative nature at SMEC,” she said.
“I’m very lucky to be at a company that has the ability and willingness to support my diverse interests in the transport field.
“It’s been an empowering experience and I am looking forward to expanding my industry experience when I finish my studies later this year.”
Ms Athayde has also been accepted into the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management (AITPM) annual conference to present on her honours thesis towards the end of the year in Adelaide.