Lovely little write up in the paper this weekend:
Boundless Good Turns Await - Herald Sun - 6 April, 2019
Engineer the career that you want, Cara Jenkin writes.
Students who dismiss engineering as "boring" or a job in which workers are "stuck in an office" should reconsider the opportunities available to travel the world and make a difference in developing communities.
Engineering commonly is associated with building bridges, starting a mine, fabricating metal, or developing software and computer equipment, but there is a variety of other specialised engineering fields to pursue, including agricultural, aeronautic and environmental.
Humanitarian engineering is a way students can use any of these skills in a different environment.
Humanitarian engineers use engineering principles and applications to improve the wellbeing of marginalised and disadvantaged communities - and their skills are in increasing demand.
Swiss research shows global economic losses from natural disasters reached a record $US337 billion in 2017 while global poverty research organisation Development Initiative finds the cost of international humanitarian response grew by 50 per cent between 2013 and 2018 to peak at $US27 billion.
Julian O'Shea studied a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Adelaide, then a Master of Engineering Science through the University of New South Wales and Master of Business Administration at the University of South Australia, and now spends much of his time working as a humanitarian engineer around the Asia-Pacific region
O'Shea is founder and chief executive of Unbound, a social enterprise with practice-based learning programs for entrepreneurs and university students, and a focus on sustainability and social impact design.
"I started my career as an engineer, but realised that education is one of the most powerful ways to create lasting change," he says.
"It took a year off and a trip around the world to work this out.
"Unbound came about as I wanted to work at the intersection of education, social innovation and travel and couldn't find the perfect job to do this, so made it myself. There are many great organisations doing similar work based in Australia and overseas, but with a head full of ideas and lots of energy, I thought it was better to start myself."
Engineering students - as well as those studying other degrees - can be involved in projects in countries such as Thailand, Nepal, Vietnam and Guatemala.
As part of his work, O'Shea has completed projects ranging from designing clean water systems to gender inclusion programs.
"We have just finished the SolarTuk project where we built a three-wheeled solar powered tuktuk and drove it across Australia visiting schools and community groups to promote sustainable travel," he says.
"The vehicle was ridiculous and fun, and we had a great time doing it, so we are planning on driving it around the world in 2019.
"I travel overseas around six times a year, with lots of visits to partners across the Asia-Pacific."
He says he enjoys the diversity of his work.