Saad Ali Hassan

Saad Ali Hassan

Graduate Automation Engineer, Industrial Controls South Canterbury (ICSC), Timaru
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechatronics Engineering

Sitting behind a desk all day is not his thing, says Saad Ali Hassan who completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechatronics Engineering and now works as a graduate automation engineer for Industrial Controls South Canterbury in Timaru.

“As a young and energetic engineer, I always wanted a dynamic work environment where I’m challenged to learn new things every day. After finishing my engineering degree at the end of 2020, I took the big step to move to the South Island and join Industrial Controls South Canterbury as a graduate automation engineer.

“I’m heavily involved in project planning, designing process logic, programming micro-controller and input/output devices, and developing human machine interface and supervisory control and data acquisition systems using a variety of packaged computer software. I also get the opportunity to visit clients’ sites and work with the clients to commission the project.”

Nothing gives him more excitement than seeing his code work in real life.

“I’ve enjoyed controlling conveyors, robotic arms, pumps, valves and other operational technology devices depending on the client's need. It has been interesting to work with clients from a number of New Zealand industries including food and beverage, manufacturing facilities, water supply and building services.”

The right choice
For Saad, the journey towards the rewarding engineering career he has now began with enrolling in AUT’s Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechatronics Engineering.

“Since high school, I had been interested in controlling devices to perform useful work using computers, sensors and programming tools. The world is headed into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial processes using operational technology and the Internet of Things. I knew that the diverse nature of a mechatronics engineering degree would help me to extend my passion into a demanding and exciting career.”

He wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AUT’s mechatronics engineering degree to other students, Saad says.

“Mechatronics engineering is a great pathway as it covers knowledge from electronics, mechanical and software backgrounds. It gives you great skills to understand and work with people from those fields in your day-to-day work. I liked that most of my assignments were practical, and I got to learn by doing experiments. This helped me strengthen my understanding of a subject.”

Making the most of uni life
In addition to his studies, Saad also managed to make the most of university life while he was at AUT.

“I was on the executive team for the AUT Muslim Students’ Association’s for nearly two and a half years; first as an events co-ordinator and then as the vice-president. In 2019, I received the AUT Student Association’s Best Executive of the Year Award among all the clubs at AUT. This is the highest honour for any club executives to achieve, and I felt honoured.

“I was also honoured to receive the AUT Edge Award and being featured in the graduation handbook. This unique achievement gives graduates an 'edge' over their competitors in the professional world. Getting recognised for my C skills – communication, collaboration, co-operation, curiosity and creativity – by AUT gives higher credibility to my career portfolio.”

His advice to other students is simple: don’t just focus on academic skills.

“Soft skills are just as important as academic skills in the real world. It’s never too late to come out of your comfort zone. It needs some courage, and relies upon your consistency to continue doing it.”

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