Making a career change involves a lot of soul searching and decisions. RMIT student John Francia knows this all too well.
The Torres Strait Islander student had been an exhibition designer at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane for seven years before deciding to move to Melbourne to study electrical engineering at RMIT.
“I specifically chose electrical engineering because I wanted a challenge, so I took a risk and went for it.
“It was a big change, but it’s been worth it,” he said.
Now at the end of his honours year, Francia will soon start work as a service engineer in the Honeywell Process Solutions division, working on industrial automation applications.
A member of the University’s VicHyper team, his final year project was a motor for the hyperloop pod prototype. It could also be used on Maglev trains, where propulsion is needed without mechanical coupling to the track.
“Going to the USA for the finals in January was the pinnacle of my RMIT experience,” Francia said.
He has been working with the integration of electrical and mechanical engineering on the project and will continue to work with the team.
“It’s an opportunity you can’t pass up.”
Francia chose RMIT because of its engineering reputation and the CBD location.
He said Ngarara Willim Centre had been a great support during his studies.
“It was a good way to connect with other blackfellas on campus,” he said.
“It was good for networking and in my early years Ngarara Willim Centre was one of my main study facilities.
“I’m hoping for that relationship to continue after I graduate.”
Francia spoke to the students from the Victorian Indigenous Engineering Winter School, who visited the University earlier this week.
Three Indigenous students, Hayley Millar, Julian Wilson and Edward Morrissey will represent RMIT at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education in Toronto, Canada later this month.
Story: Louise Handran