Otago Polytechnic student nabs change of lifetime

Hanri de Bruin has got what she described as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.

The second-year Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Electrical) learner attended the International Summer Academy in Engineering for Women at the University of Applied Science in Austria, July 10-25.

The Summer Academy’s intensive, two and a-half week programme combined sophisticated theory with hands-on practical experience. In addition to the general programme, each participant chose a three-day specialised module in natural sciences, engineering and technology or computer science and informatics.

“This is really exciting,” says Hanri, “It’s pretty much all I have been thinking of for the last few months.”

Hanri, who is specialising in mechatronics for her degree, was particularly interested in natural sciences as well as computer science and informatics.

“Natural sciences looks at a wide range of things, including prosthetics and how technology gets integrated within them.

But the options were all enticing, and at the time of print was also contemplating the computer science module as it involves a lot of topics that I’m also very interested in.

“Augmented/virtual reality and automotive computing are both big interests of mine.”

Virtual reality offers a vast number of outcomes, from gaming to medical intervention, Hanri says.

“I think VR will be a massive development in all engineering departments. I would like to get into robotics/mechatronics and the options for VR in this area is huge. We could develop VR programmes that we can use to hone how we build machines/robots.”