| 17 June 2022

Meet Allissa Li, Young Engineers Australia National and QLD Committee member

What was your inspiration to become an engineer?

I have a passion for science, enjoy problem solving and wanted to create change for real-world challenges. Engineering provided this opportunity. In high school, all my core subjects were in STEM, and I participated in the International Young Physicists' Tournament, where we would debate and review various physics phenomena. This experience really cemented my desire to pursue a career in engineering and science.

Can you tell us about your pathway into aircraft structural engineering?

I attended the Australian National University (ANU) where I majored in mechanical and material systems. At the time, aerospace was not a specialisation; however, in my final year at university, I joined the inaugural ANU rocketry team. I worked closely with structures, propulsion and avionics as the simulations and analysis lead, and I was really inspired when I saw how every function and every individual in the team were critical to the launching of a rocket. 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.

I attended an aerospace event in my final year of university to hear about opportunities in this industry. Soon after, I landed a challenging and rewarding role in the structures team at Airbus.

What inspired you to volunteer in the research and development team within the National Committee?  

I wanted to be a part of the research and development group as it’s another creative learning experience. As a new team, we defined our own direction and approach when it came to problem solving, analysis and finding solutions to engineering challenges. I have always loved volunteering, especially for organisations that create a difference and positive impact to individuals and the wider community. Since joining, I have really enjoyed working with other like-minded young engineers who have a passion for creating sustainable and tangible change within the engineering profession in Australia.

What advice would you give to engineering graduates who may be in a similar position to yourself?

I would really encourage upcoming graduates to seek opportunities outside of your comfort zone. Join a different club, team, or society because 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. 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.

Finally, we are all on different learning journeys and career paths, even if you don’t land your dream role immediately, just know that the right job or opportunity is coming your way!