Engineering applications for Te Papa

Engineering student Daniel Tomicek is a different person today from who he was when he started his degree five years ago.

Learning to communicate

Daniel Tomicek has few happy memories of the first class presentation he did at Victoria University of Wellington in his second year.

“It was the biggest thing I dreaded because I was an introvert. I sweated over it for days and kept worrying that I’d screw it up or make a fool of myself.

“It’s amazing how much this degree has changed me, because now I’m doing presentations all the time,” says the fifth-year engineering student. “I’m even tutoring a first year course, so my communication skills have definitely improved.”

A social life

He’s also a different person socially, going out, joining clubs and meeting new people, in sharp contrast to his early years where he felt more comfortable enjoying the solitary pursuit of computer games.

Overcoming the cloud of doubt

Daniel, who is the only one of his Cambodian—Czech family to have attended university, says the reward from study lies in the learning process.

“I was always worried that I didn’t know enough. You get to this state of mind which one of my lecturers called a ‘cloud of doubt’. You keep thinking about it over and over in your head and it doesn’t make sense and then, suddenly, it clicks and everything falls into place. You start to get a clearer image of what you’ve been taught and how it fits into the world.”

Working with Te Papa

Daniel is most excited about the real world applications for engineering, such as the seismic monitor he’s built which runs off the energy created by an earthquake’s vibrations and is currently being tested at Te Papa’s Earthquake House.

Sense of community

Daniel says studying at the Wellington Faculty of Engineering has been a highlight.

“I feel comfortable striking up a conversation, or asking for help, with everyone there. The University is unique because there is a sense of community and life on the campus, which means I love going there every morning.”

Know Your Mind

“Know Your Mind means knowing who you are as a person. It also means knowing what your limitations are, how far you can push yourself and, importantly, how you can overcome your limitations. Wellington definitely offers that opportunity.”

See other students talk about their university experience and what Know Your Mind means to them.