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Hanri de Bruin is preparing for what she describes as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.

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The second-year Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Electrical) learner will attend the International Summer Academy in Engineering for Women at the University of Applied Science Upper Austria from 10-25 July.

The Summer Academy’s intensive, two and a-half week programme combines sophisticated theory with hands-on practical experience. In addition to the general programme, each participant can choose a three-day specialised module in Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technology or Computer Science and Informatics.

“This is really exciting,” says Hanri, who leaves for Austria on Wednesday 4 July and will return at the end of the month. “It’s pretty much all I have been thinking of for the last few months.”

Hanri, who is specialising in Mechatronics for her degree, is particularly interested in Natural Sciences as well as Computer Science and Informatics.

“Natural Sciences looks at a wide range of things, including prosthetics and how technology gets integrated within them.

“However, after contemplating the range of Summer Academy specialities long and hard, as well as thinking about my employment path in the future, I am considering the Computer Science module as it involves a lot of topics that I’m also very interested in.

“Augmented/Virtual Reality and Automotive Computing are both big interests of mine.”

Virtual Reality offers a vast number of outcomes, from gaming to medical intervention, Hanri says.

“I think VR will be a massive development in all engineering departments. I would like to get into robotics/mechatronics and the options for VR in this area is huge. We could develop VR programmes that we can use to hone how we build machines/robots.

“Technology is always changing and can be hard to keep up with, so I think the Summer Academy will help outline what advances are being made.

“Staying up to date is very important for my future career in the engineering industry.”

Hanri says she is grateful for the help she has received from Otago Polytechnic.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I have been able to take up this amazing opportunity because of the financial help of Otago Polytechnic’s Education Foundation.

“I also can’t thank Liz White, Study Aboard and Exchange Coordinator, enough for everything she has done for me to make this experience happen.”

Hanri is also aware the International Summer Academy in Engineering for Women offers experiences beyond the classroom.

“It’s a great chance to meet other women who love the things that I love.

“We currently have a Facebook chat going and the other girls seem to be very excited, too. We are all keen to learn new things as well as share our knowledge.

“I’m very keen to learn how engineering differs between cultures.”

Read more about our Engineering programmes

Read more about the International Summer Academy in Engineering for Women

  • Source: Otago polytechnic