RF Hardware Developer, Navico
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
He has always wanted to know how things work, says Kaisar Nurkhal who came to AUT as an international student from Kazakhstan to study a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
“From a very young age I’ve been curious about how things work. By the time I had to choose what to do after high school, engineering was the obvious choice but the kind of engineering I was most interested in doing wasn’t available in my country, so I knew I had to study overseas.”
With Kazakhstan more than 14,000 kilometres away from New Zealand, studying in Auckland wasn’t the obvious choice for Kaisar, but it proved to be the right one.
“When I was looking at universities overseas, we stumbled upon New Zealand almost by chance and AUT was one of the most suitable options for my circumstances. I did a foundation course for international students and then had a chance to continue my studies with an engineering degree at two different Auckland universities. I chose to study at AUT because it’s considered to have a more practical approach to study, and for engineering that made the most sense.”
Valuable real-life experience
While he enjoyed each year of his studies, his final year stood out most to him, Kaisar says.
“The final year tops it for me. My project partner and I worked on an incredible final-year project with our project supervisor, Dr Mark Beckerleg from AUT’s School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.
“The project goal was to design, build and program a robot with artificial intelligence and computer vision, and get it to perform complex tasks like sorting different objects. The task was huge and daunting at the beginning, but we succeeded. For me, the final year of the engineering degree was the ultimate learning experience as it’s as close as you can get to real-life industry experience.”
The skills he developed throughout his studies have served Kaisar well in his career as an engineer.
“My engineering degree taught me a great deal of discipline when it comes to learning and working, as well as the reward that inevitably comes with putting in a solid effort. I’d say those principles apply to both my professional and my personal life.”
Creating a better experience on the sea
Since completing his Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in 2014, Kaisar now works as an RF hardware developer for specialist marine electronics company Navico.
“My job involves many aspects of electronics engineering, including design, CAD, modelling, component selection, prototyping, testing, validation, some cost analysis and supporting the production. I’m mainly involved in radio frequency (RF) and microwave engineering, with a particular focus on marine radars. While we touched on RF engineering during my studies at AUT, this field was fairly new to me and I’ve enjoyed learning more about it.”
He enjoys knowing that his work can now be found on vessels all around the world.
“Having worked on radar projects that are currently on the market and selling well, I take pride in knowing that the results of my work are now out there sailing around the seas. Just knowing that some of my designs are out there contributing to a better and safer experience on the ocean is something I’m particularly proud of.”