Jordan Salmon IAES 2018 JDM 2020 Article

In 2018, when I was between grades 10 and 11, I was a part of the Indigenous Australian Engineering School. IAES activities, like climbing the Sydney HarbourBridge and attending a workshop with Honeywell in the Sydney Opera House, allowed me to see that engineering is all around me.

Engineering to me is like a puzzle. To work out the solution, you must follow a logical sequence with pieces of problem solving along the way. The IAES helped me to realise that problem solving and puzzle like tasks should be a part of my career path.

I am now in my first year of university, studying a bachelor’s degree in engineering majoring in software at the University of Technology Sydney. Working with the IAES, I have found the potential for an engineering career and the university path to achieve it. Being a part of the program allowed me to investigate engineering as a career pathway and connect with my culture and like-minded people. It helped me to gain an appreciation for how Indigenous culture can contribute to modernengineering innovation.

Through my school journey and my new-founded passion for engineering, I won several other awards, like the CSIRO Indigenous STEM Award for 2018, the STANSW Young Scientist ISEF Delegate Funding for 2019, and the AARNet Communications Award for 2019. Having programs such as the IAES behind me allowed me to maintain focus in knowing that there were people encouraging and supporting.

I now know that engineering is a viable career path for a young Indigenous person. I have accepted a cadetship with CSIRO’s Data61 for the next four years and after university I will be able to move into the workforce, as an engineer, with the experience I have gained from programs like IAES under my belt.