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Mastering the industry to engineer change

A person wearing a hard hat, safety glasses, and high-visibility shirt standing on a rocky terrain with an open field in the background.
UniSQ Master of Engineering Practice student Jodie Kilpatrick.

Every day is a new and exciting challenge for Engineering Technologist Jodie Kilpatrick, who spends her days solving technical challenges and leading teams in Geotechnics and Mine Waste Engineering.

From water resources to tailings and dam management, Ms Kilpatrick has spent the last decade supporting the operations and management of key dam infrastructure, working with clients across Australia, and championing inclusion and diversity within the industry.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Ms Kilpatrick has also been hard at work studying a Graduate Certificate of Engineering Practice (GEPR) and Master of Engineering Practice (MEPR) with the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) to keep her skills sharp.

Ms Kilpatrick said she opted for postgraduate study with UniSQ because she wanted to progress from Engineering Technologist to Professional Engineer status.

“My career is originally founded on science qualifications in Hydrology, and with the direction my career has taken, I wanted the opportunity to gain the Engineering qualifications to learn and apply in my projects and roles,” Ms Kilpatrick said.

“Engineering is a dynamic career pathway, which is continuing to evolve as new technologies become available.

“The Master of Engineering Practice gives opportunity for the whole industry to work towards meeting the national skills shortage in the Engineering field.”

The flexibility of the UniSQ MEPR program has allowed Ms Kilpatrick to study while continuing to shine in her day job, even taking out a national award in 2023.

“I aspire to be a role model for rural/remote professionals as well as women in the field of engineering, so it was a very special moment for me to win the National Emerging Technologist of the Year Award for 2023 with Engineers Australia,” she said.

School of Engineering Associate Professor Andreas Helwig said the MEPR was unique to UniSQ and would enable Engineering Professionals to requalify in line with upcoming state and territory legislation changes across Australia.

“Just as the undergraduate UniSQ programs are for engineering a better future, the postgraduate program curriculum is designed to develop higher degree research to innovate better engineering outcomes,” Associate Professor Helwig said.

“Innovative engineers are urgently needed for the enormous task of transforming the Queensland and Australian enterprise and economy over the next 15 years to become significantly more sustainable.

“MEPR will assist the industry by upskilling Engineering Technologists to Professional Engineers for industry employment, promoting job opportunities, and accelerating existing professional career promotion.”

Find out more about studying a Master of Engineering Practice (MEPR) at UniSQ.