Jasmin Bradshaw has always had an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Maths and science were her go-to subjects, which led to her taking engineering studies in her final years at St Philip’s Christian College.
“I was the only girl in my class,” Jasmin said.
“We also had a subject called iSTEM, a practical STEM class, in Years 9 and 10. It shaped where I’ve ended up now,” she said.
Now, Jasmin is an aspiring medical device engineer studying at the University of Newcastle[Link will open in a new window]. She wants to use her mechanical and industrial design skills to build medical devices.
“It would be special to work where I can use my technical and creative skills,” she said.
Finding her engineering internship
Jasmin’s degree required her to complete a 12-week engineering internship. But finding one proved challenging as most opportunities were for postgraduates or had little to do with medical engineering.
“There’s so much opportunity to connect undergraduates with industry in this emerging field,” she noted.
After months of research, Jasmin came across our Generation STEM Links[Link will open in a new window] program and decided to apply. Her application was successful and she was placed with Design + Industry (D+I)[Link will open in a new window] Newcastle, a product design and development consultancy.
“The application process was easy and the communication with CSIRO was also very good,” she said.
In the first month, Jasmin had the chance to participate in design consultancy and client meetings and network with industry professionals.
“My interest is mechanical design so getting involved with 2D and 3D computer-aided design software has been very good. But the main benefit is exposure to the industry and very skilled people,” she explained.
The engineering internship has allowed Jasmin to gain a deeper understanding of her potential career. She said one of the key takeaways was realising that beauty and design can be part of engineering.
Students need real-world skills and experience
With offices in Sydney, Melbourne and most recently Newcastle, D+I is one of Australia’s leading product design and development consultancy. Its Newcastle arm, based in Maryville, specialises in medical devices and consumer electronics.
Leading the charge at D+I Newcastle is John Lancken, a firm believer in the need to invest in the next generation. He said Jasmin’s application stood out because of her mechatronic experience and interest.
“Jasmin has been able to help the team develop and implement processes differently because of her mechanical perspective. The team has really enjoyed her involvement,” John said.
Generation STEM Links also made business sense in terms of building D+I’s future workforce. “The program enables us to upskill students and potentially offer ongoing employment,” he said.
D+I Newcastle currently has about 10 medical devices in development, including electronics for cell therapy devices. The medtech devices[Link will open in a new window] contribution to D+I’s business has also grown from 35 per cent to 65 per cent in just the last six months.
It’s a thriving sector that will soon need a more diverse, extensive and skilled workforce.
“It’s important to cultivate and develop talent that can work in a fun environment and understand compliant design processes.
“You can’t find someone and drop them into the deep end. Mentoring young people creates wisdom and knowledge about how to do the work properly," he said.
Future’s skilled workforce requires investing in students today
D+I Newcastle is participating in our Generation STEM Links program for the first time and plans to continue. They will welcome another student intern soon.
“If we can cultivate the next generation of medical device technologists, it’s a win for Australia,” John noted.
Jasmin agrees and believes that if the industry doesn’t invest in internship programs[Link will open in a new window], they’re going to have a generation of engineers, or any profession, that is very intelligent and skilled but haven’t had the opportunity to develop real-world skills.
“My advice to students is to apply and capitalise on this opportunity. The support you get is invaluable,” she concluded.