University of Canterbury graduate aspires to help solve Pacific problems

 Piper Mortimer’s long-term career aspiration is to work on projects with lasting positive impacts for the Pacific region – and she will be one step closer following graduation this month.

Piper will graduate from Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Chemical and Process Engineering, minoring in Sustainable Energy Engineering in New Zealand .

Piper Mortimer aspires to work on projects that have lasting positive impacts for the Pacific region – and she’ll be a step closer after graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Process Engineering this month. [photo by UC]

She says she has always been interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and wanted to find a way to put this knowledge to use solving real-world problems.

“The applications of science in engineering drew me to this area of study, while the ability to find sustainable solutions to some of the world’s biggest environmental problems made me choose the Chemical and Process discipline,” Piper says.

“UC is also the only university in New Zealand where process engineering is conjoint with chemical engineering. I chose the Sustainable Energy Engineering minor as it helped me gain a better understanding of fossil fuels and how we can efficiently and effectively replace these with more environmentally friendly alternatives.”

During her study, Piper received a number of scholarships, including the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Toloa Tertiary Scholarship, among others. 

“I was fortunate to be financially supported by the Toloa Tertiary Scholarship, which meant I didn’t need a job and instead have been able to use this time to be a mentor and tutor through the Pacific Development Team at UC. The UC Pasifika Engineering Scholarship was a great way for me to meet the Pasifika team at UC – through their events I feel I am closer to my culture. The UC Emerging Leaders scholarship involved a development programme, which was a great way to be involved in the community.”

Next year, Piper will join Beca’s Industrial team in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland as a process engineer, the first step toward her long-term goal.

“I really wanted a job with variety and feel like this job will provide me with the opportunity to be a part of lots of different projects. The ability to work within the industrial sector also really interests me, as it could provide opportunities to decarbonise big industries,” she says.

“I would love to work on a project that has lasting impacts for generations to come. Part of my research project highlighted a possible route for using the waste plastic which is polluting our environment to create useful products, so it would be great to be able to participate in reducing a problem like plastic waste pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, or sea-level rise. I really want to take the skills I learned in my degree to help improve the quality of life for people in the Pacific.”

Study at University of Canterbury in New Zealand 

Source : UC 

Next : Leader of innovative Pacific climate change project, Professor Ratuva wins award

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