Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic) (Honours) student Sam has always known what path he wanted to pursue after finishing high school – making his mind up early on that engineering was his calling.
“I’ve always wanted to use my engineering to help people.
“Specifically, I’ve wanted to develop Brain Computer Interface (BCI) neuroprosthesis, which will allow patients that have lost function of their limbs (either through injury or disease) to control a robotic prosthetic using their brain, as they would their biological limb,” said Sam.
With a challenging and ambitious journey ahead, Sam set out on making it happen.
“When I was in Year 11, I emailed the engineering faculty about my career goals. They invited me in for a meeting with postgraduate researchers at the University who were applying their engineering knowledge to the medical field.
“From then I knew electrical engineering at the University of Newcastle would enable me to achieve my dreams,” added Sam.
It wasn’t long before Sam was accepted into the Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic) (Honours) and he quickly sought out ways to soak in as much knowledge and gain as much experience as he could in pursuit of his goals.
“I successfully completed an internship at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. I was a Test Engineer and Data Analyst for the X-57 Experimental Electric Aircraft project.
“The projects were extremely interesting and challenging and allowed me to work closely with a group of top research engineers,” said Sam.
If experiencing the inner-workings of NASA wasn’t enough to excite Sam, his career goals were definitely cemented during his GE3 international exchange program.
“In 2017, I studied a semester at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States and organised to see BCI neuroprosthesis research being conducted at the Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering Laboratories (RNEL).
“Observing the BCI research was an experience I will never forget. Seeing the brain-controlled prosthetic device switched on for the first time was surreal. It was something I had been thinking about and reading about for years.
“It proved that this dream I have could actually be a reality and encouraged me to keep working even harder to make it so,” said Sam.
For Sam, this opportunity only strengthened his passion and drive to work in the field and he credits the University of Newcastle for the opportunities and experience he has been given.
“The University of Newcastle provides a fantastic environment for learning. The opportunities for global experience have been invaluable and have played a prominent role in shaping me into the engineering student and person I am today,” concluded Sam.
Studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic) (Honours) at UON has played a significant part in shaping Samuel Parker’s career path.
I’ve always wanted to use my engineering to help people