The University of Newcastle, Australia

Growing up in the small regional New South Wales town of Khancoban with a population of fewer than 200 people had its challenges, but it never stopped Breanna Clayton from pursuing her university dreams.

Initially unsure what to study, it was a family trip to the United States at age 17 which sparked Breanna’s interest in buildings and structures.

“I was inspired by some of the unusual buildings and how they worked, and soon my interest in architecture developed into the science behind how they worked,” Breanna said.

This new-found passion spurred Breanna to enrol in Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) at the University of Newcastle – a degree which she initially wondered was the right choice for her.

“When I was at school my best subjects weren’t mathematics or science like you’d expect. My best subjects were actually art, history and English,” Breanna said.

“I’m glad I was open minded and gave engineering a go because I realised there is so much room for creativity in this field, for example I do a bit of visual modelling and drawing.”

A strong advocate for women in engineering, Breanna was involved in Newcastle University’s Women in Engineering Society (NUWiE), where she acted as the club’s Events Manager and then President.

“Through the club, I managed a range of successful networking events with students and industry representatives and had the opportunity to work with a variety of people from different engineering disciplines. Getting involved in a society and forming friendships with people from a range of backgrounds was definitely a highlight for me,” Breanna said.

Now employed as a structural engineer at WSP Australia, Breanna said the degree helped prepare her with design knowledge and practical work experience to be career ready.

“I would like to use my skills to help deliver innovative and sustainable solutions to help overcome global challenges,” Breanna said.

“I also plan on working overseas in a range of cultures and industries where I can collaborate with a variety of people and ideas.”

The doors are open to a world of opportunity for Breanna and, in witnessing her success, Breanna’s younger brother, Ben, now plans to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Newcastle too.

Breanna will graduate on Monday 16 December at 2pm.

Study Civil Engineering (Honours)

Image of Breanna Clayton

Breanna Clayton

Breanna Clayton studied a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) at the University of Newcastle.

I’m glad I was open minded and gave engineering a go because I realised there is so much room for creativity in this field, for example I do a bit of visual modelling and drawing.