Student Profiles

Our Science and Engineering students come from a range of academic and personal backgrounds, and end up in a diverse range of positions. Read below about the dynamic experiences and opportunities a selection of our current students and graduates are undertaking.


Fenna Beets

Biological Sciences

Tori Blomfield

Earth Sciences
Bachelor of Science graduate Tori Blomfield began volunteering in 2013, wanting to make a difference in other people’s lives. This experience led to trip to America, a new group of life-long friends, plus a job as an Engineering Geologist.

Billy Bodger

Earth Sciences
Smaller class sizes, enthusiastic lecturers and field trips to exciting North Island locations has made Earth Sciences study at Waikato a top experience for student Billy Bodger.

Jamie Bridson

Scientist Jamie Bridson is researching how we can use biological materials from the forestry industry to create new environmentally friendly products such as biodegradable plastics.

Annette Carshalton

Earth Sciences
Annette flew to Scott Base to begin her research in her version of paradise. She spent a week in Antarctica, flying by helicopter to nine different sites to collect soil climate data.

Catherine Charleson

Biological Sciences
Hearing heart-warming pregnancy success stories from her patients is the ultimate reward for Catherine Charleson, who works in a Hamilton fertility clinic as a clinical embryologist.

Alice Chibnall

Biological Sciences
Alice's research background is in stem cells and she works for renowned plastic surgeon and medical researcher Dr Swee Tan.

Monique Corbett

Biological Sciences
Monique has fond memories of all the practical, hands-on experience that was a big part of her degree, with the Bay of Plenty providing the perfect environment for the marine and freshwater related component in particular.

Anthony Coventry

Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences
“I really liked how the BSc(Tech) degree allowed me to have real work experience and connected me with people in the working world from a variety of industries”.

Andrea Dekrout

Biological Sciences
Andrea Dekrout's job tackles two of the biggest issues the world is worried about right now - the refugee crisis and environmental conservation.

Rene Engelbrecht

Materials and Process Engineering
For engineering graduate Rene Engelbrecht, her first year out of university has been a busy and exciting one.

Kelsey Ferris


Luke Fielding

Mechanical Engineering
“As someone of Māori descent, it bothers me that so few Māori are completing qualifications in science and engineering, so if I can help change that, then I’ll be pleased.”

Conor Gyde

Agribusiness, Biotechnology

Terry Halford

Chemical and Biological Engineering
Terry Halford “fell through the cracks” at school and left without qualifications. Today he’s an environmental engineer, having qualified with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) from the University of Waikato.

Dylan Harrison

For Waikato graduate Dylan Harrison, a career in science has always been on the cards.

Leon Henderson

Mechanical Engineering
Since 2013 Leon has been a research associate at Cambridge University, working in an automotive engineering capacity on a project funded by Volvo Trucks.

Laura Hines

Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences
Although Laura Hines says that University is not just about the learning, she did a lot of it while she was at the University of Waikato.

Aaron Huesser

Earth Sciences
Growing up in rural Taranaki, Aaron developed an appreciation and passion for the environment. Surrounded by natural energy producers he also gained an enthusiasm for the energy industry, which sparked his interest in the earth sciences.

Pinwei Jin

Master of Engineering (ME) student Pinwei Jin has designed and built a remote control robotic snake, which he hopes will be used in the future for rescue operations.

Catherine Kirby

Biological Sciences
A six-month exchange to Canada, a handful of scholarships and excellent support from lecturers were just a few of the things that made study at Waikato an experience of a lifetime for graduate Catherine Kirby.

Ryan Lee

Earth Sciences
The opportunity to spend plenty of time getting hands-on experience in laboratories and out in the field made Waikato University’s BSc the ideal choice for Ryan Lee.

Riki Lewis

Earth Sciences
For Riki Lewis, studying Earth Sciences at Waikato has led to an exciting job as a Soil Scientist with the Queensland Government.

Cathy (Zhi) Liu

Earth Sciences
Maintaining healthy harbours and estuaries is just one of the projects that Waikato PhD graduate Cathy Liu has been involved in during her time at the Waikato Regional Council (WRC).

Peter Longdill

Earth Sciences
A University of Waikato science graduate is in the Middle East working to reduce the environmental impacts of a major sea port project.

Aaron Low

Dr Low graduated from Waikato with a doctorate in 2012. He works at Ligar, a company based at Ruakura in Hamilton that specialises in commercial filtration to extract organic and inorganic molecules.

Kathleen Martinez

Environmental Sciences
University of California Davis student Kathleen Martinez chose an exchange in New Zealand because of the unique ecosystems, beautiful landscapes and rich Maori heritage.

Victoria McCullough

Materials and Process Engineering
Victoria McCullough chose engineering because she wanted to study towards a career that was both academic and practical.

Tasman McKelvey

Earth Sciences
“The BSc(Tech) is such a flexible and job-orientated degree that incorporates both management as well as science and technology."

April McMurtrie

Animal Behaviour, Biological Sciences
Handling cheetahs, training giraffes and rearing emu chicks are just a few of the things keeping University of Waikato graduate April McMurtrie busy in her inspiring career as a zoo keeper.

Nicc Moeono

Mechanical Engineering

Kirsten Nel

Electronic Engineering
For electronic engineering honours graduate Kirsten Nel, the University of Waikato was her first choice because of glowing reviews from current students.

Tennille Nisbet

Mechanical Engineering
“I believe I’m attending the best school of engineering in the country because the education is uniquely hands-on and the classes are a good size.”

Mahonri Owen

For engineering masters student Mahonri Owen, the drive to help others led him to undertake one of the most complex research projects – to design and create a brain-controlled electro-mechanical prosthetic hand.

Samskar Palavarapu

Computer Science

Sanjay Patel

Sanjay Patel found his passion in chemistry and finance at the University of Waikato after deciding an Otago health sciences degree wasn’t for him.

Tom Petchell

Mechanical Engineering
Choosing to undertake tertiary study is a big decision, and not one that engineering student Tom Petchell took lightly.

Jonathan Puddick

Jonathan specialises in analytical biochemistry and uses analytical techniques to understand the biochemistry of cyanobacteria and algae.

Jonno Rau

Environmental Sciences
Jonno is testing soils’ composition and capacity to hold water against the needs of the different crops and analysing satellite images to map frosts in each area.

Stewart Robertson

Biological Sciences
Waikato Biological Sciences graduate Stewart Robertson has used his scientific knowledge and entrepreneurial vision to create an idyllic lifestyle for himself as an owner/operator conservation tour guide in the Abel Tasman National Park.

Erin Sims

Mechanical Engineering

Chris Wakefield

St Paul’s student, Chris Wakefield, has been passionate about Chemistry and Biology from a young age so his decision to enroll in Waikato’s Bachelor of Science (Technology) with a biochemistry major was relatively straight-forward.

Timothy Walmsley

A PhD focused on increasing the energy efficiency of milk powder production has led University of Waikato engineering graduate Tim Walmsley to a full-time job with the very research group within which he worked as a PhD candidate.

Alice Wang

Biochemistry, Chemistry
Waikato Masters Graduate Alice Wang spends a lot of her work life travelling throughout the world.

Grace Waters

Chemical and Biological Engineering
Grace’s highlight of studying at the University of Waikato was the culture within the School of Engineering. “You felt like you were part of a community. The lecturers knew your name and wanted to help grow you.”

Ashleigh Weatherall

Animal Behaviour
Passionate to make a difference after seeing inadequate animal living conditions in Japanese zoos, Ashleigh Weatherall chose to pursue a Bachelor of Science (Tech) at the University of Waikato.

Ashley Webby

Biological Sciences
Former Hillcrest High School student Ashley Webby chose Waikato because it was close to home and had an excellent range of papers, taught by enthusiastic lecturers.

Lauren Werrey

Animal Behaviour, Biological Sciences

Cody Wright

A passion for chemistry has led Cody Wright to an exciting position with New Zealand’s leading analytical testing laboratory.