It Works!

Sonja Russell - AerospaceSonya Russell

Sonja Russell competed in the South Australia Challenge in both 2003 and 2004, and is currently undertaking her second year of a double Degree in Aerospace Engineering and Science at the University of Adelaide. 'Your Challenge' asked Sonja if participating in the Challenge influenced her decision to pursue Engineering as a career? "Yes, it really did" "it made me aware of the possibilities of Engineering, what it would be like, and made it more of an option for me then it would have otherwise."

An option she's glad to have taken "I'm really enjoying it" she tells me, in her second year of study the future looks set to offer even more opportunity. "I haven't fully decided yet, I will probably do Post graduate work at some point" "I'd like to do research in some way or another, wouldn't mind being a lecturer."

With so much lying ahead, I asked Sonja about what got her to this point, and what she thought students get out of participating in the Challenge. "I think students get the skills of working together as a team, trying to figure out the problem they have to solve to begin with, then choosing the best way to solve it together". "For myself, I realised that the first idea is not always the best idea, and to test your theories before you jump into the final design of things. And that Engineering's just fun"

With two successful Challenges under her belt I asked her if she had any advice for the students currently gearing up for their first. "Really read the question, try and get out any hints and tips you can from the text. Make sure you work as a team, to come up with different designs and test them all before you dive into making something"

"The Challenge is actually a really fun experience" she said, recommending it for anyone thinking of Engineering as possibility for the future, but most of all she encourages confidence and teamwork "You might win" she says "it's not very hard to win if you work as a team"