The aerospace engineering major was not yet available at The Australian National University (ANU) when Allissa Li graduated in 2019 with a double degree in Science and Engineering (Honours).
But her time with ANU Rocketry led to the discovery of a community, a calling, and, three years later, a job at Airbus as an aircraft structures engineer.
Li focused on structures, propulsion and avionics as the Simulations and Analysis Lead for ANU Rocketry.
"I saw it advertised so decided to apply for a lead role as it sounded very interesting," she said.
Li credits ANU Rocketry founder Broden Diggle (PhB 2019) with recruiting her into the new student-run venture.
"I was really inspired when I saw how every function and every individual in the team were critical to the launching of a rocket," she told Engineers Australia in a recent interview. "It was here where I developed a keen interest in this field. I felt like I had found my community, and knew I wanted to pursue a career in this area."
Li serves on the Research and development team on the Young Engineers Australia (YEA) national committee. YEA is a subgroup of Engineers Australia, which has over 100,000 members.
While at ANU, she took advantage of the Flexible double degree, earning a Bachelors of Science as a chemistry major, and her Bachelors of Engineering was in Mechanical and Material Systems. She is now back in Brisbane, where she attended high school, working on Airbus helicopters.
Asked for words of wisdom for upcoming engineers, Li recommended seeking "opportunities outside of your comfort zone".
"You never know what you are truly passionate about until you’ve had a taste of the industry, even if it’s preliminary experience from a Capstone project," she said, speaking of an ANU engineering course where students work in teams for real-world clients following a systems design framework.
"I would not have known that aerospace is exactly where I want to be if I hadn't joined the ANU rocketry team in my final year at university," she said.
Read more via Engineers Australia