Doctor of Philosophy student
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechatronics Engineering
Working on projects with real-life applications was the highlight of his studies, says Fraser Borrett who came to AUT to study a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechatronics Engineering. He is now working towards a PhD and enjoys sharing his passion for the field through his role as a junior lecturer for the digital systems development course.
“I loved being able to apply what we learned in the lectures in practical projects. I particularly enjoyed the final-year project, which entailed using mechanical and electrical principles to develop the hardware for a hexapod robot, and then using my software skills to develop the walking gait for the hexapod using nature-inspired computing techniques.”
During his bachelor’s degree, Fraser discovered a particular passion for embedded systems programming, and he plans to work as an embedded system engineer, focusing on the development of embedded IoT devices.
“After the first couple of lectures on embedded systems programming I was so engaged in the subject that it was just like a lightbulb turning on and I found the career path I wanted to follow once I had completed my studies. This was solidified while completing my workplace experience hours with Wine Grenade, a company that has developed an embedded IoT device used for micro-oxygenation of wine during the maturation process.”
The right environment
He would 100% recommend studying mechatronics engineering at AUT, Fraser says.
“The way the mechatronics degree is structured and taught leads to a very enjoyable experience that sets students up well for going into the industry. I enjoyed studying aspects of the mechanical, electrical and electronic, and software engineering fields, and being able to learn the theory in the classroom and then apply it is very rewarding.
“The people were another highlight for me. The lecturers are all very passionate about their respective fields, which makes the courses engaging. Throughout my time at AUT, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with multiple talented people, with some turning into great friends.”
Studying during the COVID-19 pandemic has had its challenges, he admits.
“2020 was a challenging year for all. Because I was both attending lectures and working as a teaching assistant for the Introduction to Microcontrollers course, I was able to view the transition to online learning from both a student’s and an academic staff member’s perspective. I think AUT handled going from the classroom to an online learning environment well and was able to deliver courses to the same standard as the traditional methods.”
Advice for other students
Fraser has some great advice for other students.
“My advice is to stay ahead of what you must do, whether that be assignments or studying for tests. You should try and complete your work as soon as possible. Never be afraid to ask for help or put your hand up in a lecture; the lecturers are passionate about their respective fields and enjoy discussing the questions students have about a subject.”
His final piece of advice is simple: enjoy the degree.
“I think for any industry someone decides to work in, it’s very important to enjoy and be passionate about what you do. Hopefully you’ve chosen to study engineering as you have an interest or passion for the field. Since I realised that embedded systems is the path I want to go down, I’ve been working on my own projects at home in my spare time because I truly enjoy what I do.”