Steven Pert, Class of 2011

Picture of Steven Pert

"I chose Materials Science and Engineering at UNSW because it combines the analytical side of science with the problem solving aspects of engineering"

Steven Pert completed a Bachelor of Materials Science and Engineering in 2011. Here is his story:

Why did you choose to study Materials Science and Engineering?

After going to the UNSW careers fair and talking to some of the lecturers and students, I was really impressed by their knowledge and passion. Plus I noticed really quickly that with materials science you have the flexibility to choose the cutting edge side of science in developing new materials, or the practical side in the processing and applications of engineering materials such as bricks, steel and aluminium. I was also attracted to the large number of scholarships that the School offers.

What does your current role involve?

I am working as a Reduction Engineer in the Aluminium division of Pacific Aluminium (previously Rio Tinto). This involves the manufacture of primary aluminium from alumina via the Hall-Heroult process. This process is very energy intensive and requires technical expertise to run a plant efficiently. Hence, there are many opportunities in the company to be involved in a wide range of projects, from process improvements to new reduction cell design. My role also involves significant travel to sites in Queensland, Tasmania, Newcastle and New Zealand.

Do you have any advice for high school students considering studying Materials at UNSW?

My advice for high school students is to think carefully about what you are interested in. If you find yourself interested in the science side of things but want a practical degree, then this degree is perfect. I would also recommend doing some research into what companies you can potentially work for when you graduate.