Electrical Engineer, Solomon Power, Solomon Islands
Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Electrical Engineering
Virylson Nomae is determined to be a role model to his younger cousins and brother, and came to AUT on a New Zealand Pacific Scholarship to do just that.
Virylson chose to come to AUT as an international student from the Solomon Islands because of the academic nature of the university’s engineering degree, the relevance of the course material for the engineering industry, and the support offered to students.
“There is support everywhere you go at AUT, you just need to ask for it. It was so much more than I expected; I felt really lucky.”
Real-life engineering issues
He enjoyed exploring how things or systems operate, says Virylson who received the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade New Zealand Pacific Scholarship Achievement Award to support his studies.
“Anything that shows real-life situations related to my field of study always caught my attention in my lectures. Out of all my papers at AUT, the one I enjoyed the most was the paper on distributed and alternative generation, as it covered current power generation, alternative sources of energy and the factors to consider when deciding what alternative sources are best suited for a particular load situation.”
He admits he has had some challenges too.
“My biggest challenge was when I took the micro-controller programming paper in my final year. Before this, I had only completed one paper on C++ programming and suddenly I was facing a lot of coding assignments, on top of doing my final-year project. Luckily, AUT has peer mentors for various papers, and having a mentor was very helpful for my coding assignments.”
He would highly recommend the Bachelor of Engineering Technology to other students, says Virylson.
“Being at AUT meant a lot to me. Looking back at the past few years of my tertiary studies in New Zealand, I would say it was a fun but challenging ride. I would definitely recommend this programme to anyone back home who is willing to pursue engineering as a field of study.”
After finishing his engineering papers and graduating from AUT in 2018, he is now back in the Solomon Islands, working for the islands’ only electricity provider; Solomon Power.
“I'm part of a team of four other electrical engineers and five electricians, and we're tasked to look after power stations and substations for the electrical aspects of the operation. The work can be dangerous sometimes but it is exciting as well. I'm really grateful to be part of the team that is providing such a vital service for the country.
“While being out in the field can be quite different to what you learned in the lectures, the lectures and the practical experiences provided at AUT has set the foundation for me to further build my practical knowledge in the field and assist the team the best I can. For that, once again I want to say, ‘Thank you AUT.’”