Tawanda Chirau graduated in 2014 from a double degree in chemical engineering and biotechnology, he is currently employed in the biopharmaceutical industry.
Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) (Honours)/Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Biotechnology) Foundation studies
I chose to study at RMIT due to its reputation in engineering and the fact that I was able to smoothly pathway from foundation studies to a diploma and then into a double degree.
RMIT has a good reputation in engineering and I chose to study here due to the fact that I was able to smoothly transition from foundation studies to a diploma, and then into the double degree.
The foundation studies provided me with a theoretical understanding, while the diploma gave me the technical skills required. The double degree provided a deeper understanding of the field and an opportunity to gain advanced theory and technical knowledge.
Undertaking a double degree appeared challenging at first, however I soon found that the knowledge acquired during the diploma gave me a good grounding in biotechnology, which allowed me to then focus more on the engineering aspect.
While completing the program I was inducted into the International Golden Key Society for outstanding academic results and received the Ramsey Bull award for most improved results in metallurgy.
When I enrolled into the double degree I knew I loved chemistry and biology but I had not set my mind on any particular career path. It wasn’t until my third year industry placement at RioTinto (Technology and Innovation) that I knew my career would focus on biopharmaceutical manufacturing. I also realised that my studies had provided the perfect link between chemical engineering and biotechnology.
During my final year I secured a part-time role at the bioCSL Flu production facility in the inoculation department. I now have a full time position here where I am involved with the manufacture of flu vaccine (FLUVAX).
A career in engineering or science can be both challenging and rewarding. It’s all about maximising your strengths and improving on your weaknesses. You never know what you are capable of until you make the decision to try.
For those who are inquisitive and have a keen interest in science and engineering, the biopharmaceutical industry is the perfect platform to explore your talent. Each day I learn something new which keeps me motivated to continue to push my boundaries.