Naval Architect, Teknicraft Design Ltd
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Maritime Engineering
She enjoys the ever-evolving challenges her role offers, says AUT maritime engineering alumna Renee Fuller who now works as a naval architect for Teknicraft Design Ltd.
“Each day is different, and no two boats are ever the same. My main area of work involves the design of high-speed hydrofoil-assisted catamarans, predominantly for New Zealand, Australia and America. Within my team, I help design a range of aluminium passenger ferries, research vessels and work boats.”
For Renee, the best and most rewarding part of her career is coming up with a solution and seeing her idea become a reality.
“My day-to-day job involves turning a client’s dream into reality. I start with a 2D general arrangement, transforming the vessel into 3D. I then conduct structural calculations, design and model the structure and complete construction drawings for shipyards.”
She initially planned to become an architect, Renee says.
“In my final year of high school, I had chosen subjects that were appropriate for doing a degree in architecture. However, after leaving high school I changed my mind and I decided that I wanted a career in engineering, in particular mechanical engineering.”
When AUT launched a new maritime engineering degree, Renee was in her first year at university. She soon realised that the new programme was the perfect fit for her.
“In my second year of study at AUT, I changed my major from mechanical engineering to maritime engineering. I selected the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Maritime Engineering because it was unique compared to the rest of the disciplines on offer. From a very young age I always had a passion for design and creativity, so this degree combined everything I was looking for.
“I knew it would give me the best opportunity for a worldwide career and the opportunity to study both in New Zealand and in Australia.”
Creating world-ready graduates
She had many highlights throughout her studies, says Renee who specialised in naval architecture and completed her degree with first-class honours.
“I loved the hands-on experience I was able to get in my third and fourth year of study through the facilities at the Australian Maritime College (AMC) in Tasmania. I regularly got out of the classroom to be in the towing tank, model testing basin or out at sea.
“One of the highlights for me was representing AMC and AUT at the 2016 HYDROcontest in Switzerland. Our team of eight undergraduate students had a mission to design and build two model boats that were energy efficient and vessels of the future. It was a great learning experience. In my third year, I also got to spend five days in the middle of the Bass Strait with my classmates.”
What sets AUT apart from other universities is that it’s constantly evolving, Renee says.
“AUT caters to the modern world by adapting its courses to provide students with the appropriate skillset, ready for the demands of the working world.”