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Head-Start graduate ready to launch into new mechanical engineering degree


Sharlene King
24 February 2016

With a unit of university study already under his belt, David Stuckey is ready to launch into Southern Cross University’s new mechanical engineering degree when classes start on February 29.

David completed Processes and Philosophy of Engineering alongside other University students while he was in year 11 at Richmond River High School through the SCU Head-Start program.

“We had to design a project that would help people in Nepal. My group did ceramic water filters. We worked out a plan how to implement that,” said David, who was 16 at the time.

“The unit was challenging but overall it was a good experience. Head-Start exposed me to university life, lessons and assignments. There was high level report writing, research, and presentations. I got skills out of it that you just don’t get from school. I think it will all help set me up for university this year.”

David was rewarded for his outstanding results in the SCU Head-Start program by being offered the Louise Morgan Head-Start Scholarship to help ease the cost of undergraduate study.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering is a new four-year degree that expands the suite of engineering degrees available at Southern Cross University. The course prepares graduates for work involving the design of machinery, water supply, vibration, acoustics and noise control, robotics, heat transfer and refrigeration, energy technology, consumer product design, pollution control, and production planning.

David, the youngest of three children, grew up helping his dad in the family’s fabrication business.

“I’ve always enjoyed the sciences and finding out how stuff works, designing things. Dad encouraged me to go to university,” he said.

“I have two older sisters: one’s a jillaroo, and the other works in an office in Lismore. I’m the first in my family to go to university. It will be interesting but I know there’ll be plenty of support to get me through.”

SCU is offering a total of four new undergraduate courses in 2016:

• Bachelor of Biomedical Science
• Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering
• Diploma of Science
• Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science – new to the Coffs Harbour campus

Photo: David Stuckey, with Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee, at the SCU Head-Start graduation.