Michael van Wyk

Michael van Wyk

Research and Development Engineer, Zero-Cast
Master of Engineering with First Class Honours

He loved having the opportunity to collaborate with an industry company for his master’s degree research, says Michael van Wyk who came to AUT as an international student from South Africa to complete a Master of Engineering.

“My Master of Engineering research was carried out at the AUT BioDesign Lab in collaboration with a medical tech start-up in Auckland, and was funded by an R&D fellowship grant from Callaghan Innovation. I chose this research because it gave me the opportunity to work directly with a local company, giving me valuable work experience and being able to contribute to the company’s commercial R&D efforts.”

For his research thesis Michael focused on the design and feasibility analysis of embedded smart technology in an orthotic device for wrist fractures.

“It was rewarding to work on a real-life industry problem that could potentially impact many lives in the future. My research could make a difference to the medical industry, change how patients are treated and improve their prognoses.”

A thriving research environment
Michael says he is grateful for the support from his supervisor, Associate Professor David White from the AUT BioDesign Lab, which is part of AUT’s School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

“Meeting my supervisor and being offered the opportunity to undertake this research has ultimately led to my employment with the company I collaborated with for my master’s degree research. I’m now employed as a research and development engineer for the same company, furthering the work from my master’s degree.”

He would highly recommend postgraduate study at the AUT BioDesign Lab, Michael says.

“It may give you the chance to work with local companies and industry professionals, thereby providing plenty of networking opportunities and learning experiences. Completing a postgraduate degree that focuses on research also lets you take ownership of your learning experience, unlike a traditional taught master’s degree.”

Choosing AUT
Enrolling in postgraduate study and researching an area of his interest had long been on the cards for Michael, who completed his Master of Engineering in July 2020.

“I wanted to make a career change to design engineering and felt the best way to get ahead was to undertake a research master’s degree focusing on an industry research problem involving design.”

With this goal in mind, Michael then explored his study options and AUT was the university that stood out.

“After investigating the top universities in New Zealand I was most impressed with AUT’s student-focused approach and its vast amount of support services that ensure students reach their full potential.”

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