The month of May is over. Tests are over and done with and exams are upon us. Eek. I just got back from a Maths test and this was the formula sheet we get given. No calculators permitted.

Welcome to a new series where I discuss each engineering specialisation. We’ll be looking at each one individually while I give my personal thoughts on the matter, as well as talking to some very special people currently taking that specialisation.

Currently, there are nine specialisations offered at an undergraduate level at UoA, so I can’t promise I’ll get to all of them. Finding people to interview is notoriously difficult, engineering students are a reclusive bunch!

If you don’t already know, Engineering at Auckland gives you a taster of each specialisation before you choose one at the end of first year. In other words, everyone in their first year does the same courses (except for Gen Ed, which Sonna discussed previously) and this will help them choose what to specialise in. However, if you don’t already have some idea of what you wanna do, it can be a pretty daunting decision to make.

First up, I’m going to start with the one that makes people go “Eh? What’s that?”, ENGINEERING SCIENCE. The “taster” course in first year for this specialisation is as its name suggests, ENGSCI 111 or Mathematical Modelling 1.

It’s really no secret that Maths is probably my strongest subject. This is what makes Engsci probably my 2nd, if not first, choice. MM1 in a nutshell mostly comprises of high school calculus and linear algebra (linear doesn’t mean easy in this case) and a little bit of statistics thrown in. It’s actually really fun, and the lecturers make it so.

Another first year course that relates strongly to Engsci is the programming one, which is done in Semester 2. You don’t need any prior coding experience, however it’s really easy to get ahead of the game and learn it in your own time. I’m looking forward to this one for sure.

From what I’ve heard Engineering Science is quite popular (who doesn’t love Maths?), and given the small cohort is also pretty competitive. Take note that whether you’ll get into your first choice of specialisation is entirely dependent on your Part I GPA. So don’t start slacking once you find yourself at uni!

Don’t just take it from me, here are some words from an Engsci student, who shall remain anonymous:

How would you describe Engineering Science?
Engineering Science is enjoyable, challenging, and involves a lot of problem solving and understanding theoretical principles.

Why did you decide on Engineering Science?
I really like the flexibility and how broad the structure is, it covers a wide range of topics and opens up a really wide range of possible career prospects. The cohort is also one of the smallest, so you can bet the culture is really tight and everyone just knows each other.

What advice would you give to someone considering Engineering Science?

  • Like mathematics, problem solving, coding.
  • Like to be challenged.
  • Like the rewarding feeling when you solve complex problems.
  • Be prepared to work independently and to seek advice at your own initiative.
  • Be prepared to put a LOT of hours into it.

Well, that’s it for Specialisation Corner. I hope this was at least somewhat informative! If you like what you hear or have any further questions, ask them in the comments below.

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Samantha Woon

Hi there! My name is Samantha Woon and I grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. aka some obscure country in Southeast Asia. I’ll be living at O’Rorke Hall in 2017; I haven’t even met them yet as of writing this but I know they’re awesome people (from what I gather from Facebook chats). I’ve chosen to study Engineering at Auckland Uni, mainly because… I dunno, why does anyone do anything?

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