At age 16, Emily Crozier attended an engineering camp in Wollongong, expecting nothing more than a relaxing weekend away from home. But, standing on the Sea Cliff Bridge and seeing the power of physical and metaphorical connections, Emily discovered so much more – a passion for engineering and the inspiration to study it.
Now aged 22, Emily has received a scholarship from UTS to participate in the China Australian Millennial Project (CAMP) – an award-winning, design-led innovation experience. This journey alone is an achievement to be celebrated, but as a woman in a male-dominated industry, Emily says her work is only just beginning.
Currently in her final-year of a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation, Emily says CAMP, which kicks off this month, is a way for her to continue her journey exploring the possibilities of engineering.
“China is a hub of innovation and change,” affirms Emily. “They’re the ones with ‘the next big thing’, and CAMP gives us the opportunity to work with them, experience their facilities and be encouraged by their knowledge, whilst sharing ours.”
In April, the CAMPers travel to Beijing for a five-day ‘innovation immersion summit’. Here they’ll meet their collaborative team and participate in workshops held by thought-leaders, government, corporates, investors and entrepreneurs.
Upon returning home, the program continues with online training and learning materials and mentorship from high-profile industry professionals. It culminates in June when teams present their final work (which could be a business proposal or something physical) to a panel of judges at Sydney Town Hall.
The program involves hard work, creative thinking and group collaboration, and Emily is excited by the opportunity. “Someone once told me: ‘You don’t want to work with people who are like-minded, because how do you create new exciting ideas without being challenged?’.
“I’m looking forward to expanding on my UTS experiences and stepping outside the realm of Australia in terms of innovation communities,” says Emily. “I believe my eyes will be widened in regards to problem solving techniques, different methodologies and conceptual understandings. I think we will create things that are really special and have lasting impact.”
She adds, “Being a woman in engineering is an opportunity to provide diverse opinions to the issues which shape our world.
“We are in an era where it’s even more acceptable for females to pursue STEMM careers. Women are posing new and exciting ideas, not fearing they will be rejected. This empowering, unapologetic attitude will transfer into coming generations, creating even greater opportunities.”
As for her own future, Emily hopes to use her transdisciplinary knowledge to further ideas in engineering, work on complex problems and find simple satisfaction in disrupting them.
“I hope to make myself proud and one day be able to walk past a building and say, ‘I was part of that’. I want to create change and see others utilising the space. I want to create inclusive initiatives and be a voice for those who haven’t had one before.”