Paul Pulic - Class of 2008

"Irrespective of the twists and turns a career can take, the foundational skills and the core competencies which astute professionals call upon in their day to day work are often dawned from their experience as an undergraduate student. I'm fortunate enough to have gathered mine from UNSW's School of Materials Science."

Paul Pulic is a consultant with EIG having graduated from UNSW in 2008 with a BE (Materials Science) Honours 1. Here is his story.

What did you study?

Bachelor of Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering (with a focus toward physical metallurgy).

Why did you choose to do a Materials Science degree?

Initially I did find it somewhat difficult to pin-point the best course of study to suit my interests and ambitions. In completing my HSC it became apparent to me that my strengths were aligned toward both engineering and science. The ultimate solution would be a course which combined engineering principles with an analytical/scientific approach.

I was fortunate enough to have a teacher in high school who was a materials engineer and an older brother who likewise studied materials science. As a result I gained a lot of insight into the industry and the UNSW School of Materials Science, its courses and its many offerings. Having gone through the process of considering each and every applicable course it became quite clear to me that the study of Materials Science and Engineering would be a perfect fit. And so it began...

What was your experience being a Materials Science student?

My experience as a student was nothing short of a mixed bag. I found myself exposed to many challenges, someone need only mention "Thermodynamics of Materials" and my memory is instantaneously aroused with visions of the many late nights of study and draft attempts at what appeared to be impossible assignments. Needless to say these very challenges were feats of character building which forged me into the person I am today.

I was also fortunate to experience the vast diversity that is woven into the school. From its array of international students, to its teaching staff reigning from all corners of the world and the elaborate alumni who work in all types of professions, the imminent diversity was symbolic of the opportunity the School of Materials Science would ultimately provide me.

Where are you working now and what is your role?

I currently work as a consultant for a small to medium sized firm called EIG. We provide our clients with insight and advisory services to set up and deliver infrastructure projects.

Although I am no longer directly involved in the materials industry per se, the organisations affiliated with the UNSW School of Materials Science inevitably become clients or have some direct involvement in the projects I have been fortunate enough to work on.

What does your current role involve?

In essence, my current role is one which is primarily involved in providing solutions to clients. In the delivery of complex projects, it is destined that a number of challenges and obstacles prevail.

My role involves engaging with team members from varying levels within organisations as well as interfacing with specialist teams from a variety of professional disciplines, in order to identify and implement solutions.

Over the years it has become increasingly evident that the core skills and fundamental teachings of my Materials Science studies have served me well in my career progression.

After graduating, how did your career path evolve?

My studies and industrial experience in Materials Science gave me a great head start in bulding my career. The suite of skills and experiences I had gathered during my time at UNSW opened many doors to opportunities within a broad spectrum. I chose to take on a role as a consultant to further broaden my experiences.

A career is not a destnation, rather a journey and as such my career path continues to evolve, change and diversify. My ultimate plan is to make my path come full circle and eventually return to the materials industry. Irrespective of the twists and turns a career can take, the foundational skills and the core competencies which astute professionals call upon in their day to day work are often dawned from their experience as an undergraduate student. I'm fortunate enough to have gathered mine from UNSW's School of Materials Science.

Do you have any advice for school leavers considering studying Materials Science at UNSW?

Indeed. Should one wish to challenge oneself and understand the science of engineering then the study of Materials Science and Engineering is definitely worth consideration.

Please share any fond memories you have of your time studying Materials Science at UNSW

I have many fond memories from my time at UNSW Materials Science. The most treasured memories are those of our illustrated, animated and extremely learned teaching staff. Time spent in lectures listening to the likes of Dr Sri Bandiopadhyay, his analogies and anecdotes which brought life, meaning and purpose to Polymers. I will never forget Professor Oleg Ostrovski's take on the simplicity of Thermodynamics nor the insightful talks Professor Paul Munroe would host about strengthening mechanisms of materials.

There is a distinguished culture and network the School has created throughout its tenure and this is something that I will always cherish. Having graduated some six years ago, I still keep in contact with the happenings of the school, its graduates and always feel a sense of welcoming and nostalgia whenever I return to the school building on campus.