Issue 8 - 3 September 2012 enews home

Young Australian of the Year inspires female engineering students

By Louise Errington

2012 Young Australian of the Year Ms Marita Cheng delivered an inspiring presentation to first year engineering students last month during a visit to the CDU Casuarina campus

Engineering visionary, industry leader and 2012 Young Australian of the Year Marita Cheng visited Charles Darwin University recently as part of the Australia Day Council's Tour of Honour.

In 2008, Ms Cheng founded the robotics workshops program, Robogals, to address traditionally low participation rates of women in the field of engineering, and to encourage young women to pursue a career in the industry.

Bucking this global trend, CDU has seen the number of enrolments of female engineering students double since 2010.

Ms Cheng's positive influence on the way high school girls view their capacity to contribute to engineering and technology has seen her honoured as the 2012 Young Australian of the Year.

A former panellist on the ABC's New Inventors, Ms Cheng is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Computer Science.

She plans to start a robotics company that specialises in creating robots for everyday tasks.

Ms Cheng delivered an inspiring presentation about her personal story and vision for the future of engineering to an audience of first year engineering students CDU's Casuarina campus.