Sidhika has a passion for sustainable design, humanitarian engineering and social impact, and was named one of last year’s AFR Top 100 Future Leaders. She talks about her humanitarian work and her involvement with Engineers Without Borders.
What inspired you to study engineering?
The realisation that everything around us is engineered in some way; whether it’s the buildings we live in, the food we eat, or the technology that we use every day. The ubiquity of engineering means it is important to practice it sustainably and provide future-proof solutions for people, the economy, and the environment, which I have always been interested in.
I chose the civil stream because it is multifaceted and requires consideration of technical, visual, social, and environmental aspects. Every day brings new challenges and opportunities.
What about humanitarian engineering and social impact interests you?
I’ve always wanted my chosen career to involve helping people, and I believe engineering can positively impact the lives of people all around the world. Humanitarian engineering helps bridge the gap between developed and developing nations, proving that even simple solutions can change people's lives and promote self-sufficient communities. Being involved in humanitarian engineering and social impact initiatives also brings us more awareness of the world we live in and helps us appreciate the everyday luxuries we have.
Can you tell us a bit more about your volunteering role with Engineers Without Borders?
My involvement with Engineers Without Borders started in my first year of university, where I participated in a week-long school outreach trip in Greater Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. After running workshops with secondary school students, it was great to see the impact we had on them as they began considering a career in engineering and discussing university pathways with us.
I discovered that the main barrier faced by young people trying to choose a career path is a lack of information and guidance. I wanted to continue inspiring other young people that a career in engineering is possible, regardless of age, gender and background. I decided to continue my involvement with Engineers Without Borders throughout university with leadership roles that helped me run careers events, outreach initiatives and university events.
What are your hopes for the future of your career and your humanitarian work?
I hope to volunteer in humanitarian engineering initiatives throughout the early years of my career. In the long term, I’d love to move into the public domain and urban development sectors to create sustainable, future-proof cities in developing countries.
Regardless of where my future takes me, I want to contribute to the development of the engineering sector and be able to see the positive impacts of my work on people and the environment.