Dale combines the creative with the practical in the Bachelor of Design
Dale has always had a creative and a practical side, so majoring in Civil Systems in the Bachelor of Design was a natural fit. Through design, Dale aims to create innovative transport and infrastructure solutions to ensure a sustainable future for our cities.
Why did you choose the Bachelor of Design?
I chose the Bachelor of Design as I could explore my two passions: Architecture and Civil Engineering. The Melbourne Model has great flexibility allowing me to take a range of subjects in my first year related to both fields so that I was able to tap into my creative side with architecture whilst appealing to my practical side in engineering. It has been great to have a taste of both worlds and have the time to make a decision on the direction I wanted to take.
I am interested in the design of cities and the built environment, particularly structures and transportation. My goal is to develop innovative approaches to transportation systems to ensure a sustainable future for our cities.
What major are you studying?
I am studying a Civil Systems major. Civil Systems covers a broad range of topics that encompasses Civil Engineering and the design of the built environment through applying scientific knowledge. So far in my subjects I have explored areas in structural, hydraulic, geotechnical and transport engineering. I really enjoy learning the logic behind the design of different systems and being able to use my knowledge to solve engineering problems that occur in our society. In one of my first year subjects our major project was to design a truss bridge, which we then got to build and test.
What has been your favourite subject so far?
My favourite subject has been Digital Design which I completed in my second year. The subject introduced us to new technologies and broadened my knowledge of virtual modelling. We were asked to create our own Pavilion using modelling tools like Rhinoceros, Grasshopper and Unreal Engine. They were a lot of fun to learn and explore and in the end I had a refined 3D printed model and Virtual Reality (VR) Environment, so you could immerse yourself within your design. I was very proud that both my 3D printed model and VR environment were selected for MSDx, an exhibition at the end of each semester where work from each studio is presented.
Dale Wines' virtual environment representation of his pavilion for the subject Digital Design.
What is the advantage of studying Engineering through Design?
I have found that studying engineering through design gives you a real edge in the skills and experiences you gain. Design has allowed me to pick subjects in multiple areas related to the built environment, such as architecture and urban planning. I learnt new ways of thinking from being exposed to people from different disciplines. Also being able to work with these people is extremely useful, as most of the students in the Bachelor of Design will be the people you will be working with in industry, so it’s fantastic to experience this first hand.
What have been your highlights of university so far?
I have enjoyed being practical in my subjects at university. I found model making to be really fun, there is a real satisfaction when you are able to present something, and it feels really cool knowing you designed and built it from scratch. I also really like the testing and labs we do in engineering, from building and breaking a truss in the FabLab, to making and then crushing concrete, and getting your hands dirty testing soil.
What are the most valuable skills you have learnt so far?
I have learnt so many valuable skills, the most valuable ones are not technical or knowledge-based skills although these have been important. It has been the experience I picked up indirectly from study groups, tutorial discussions and presentations. From understanding the different ways that people from other majors think, and managing ways to work with everyone’s different approaches, to being able to present and communicate my own ideas to others. I have learnt not only how to think with an open mind, but also how to think critically, asking the hard questions.
What challenges have you faced since coming to University? How have you been able to deal with them?
I feel as though the biggest challenge for me was becoming more adaptable. Going from the consistency of seeing the same faces every day for 6 years in high school, to the hundreds and thousands of new people on campus was quite intimidating. So I made sure in my first year to be the one to initiate conversation, actively make new connections with people and join clubs that would interest me. I believe you have to see challenges as opportunities that you can use to grow as a person, and the University of Melbourne provides you with a safe environment where you can do just that.
What subjects did you take in secondary school?
I took two mathematics subjects, Math Methods and Specialist Math. I also took two creative subjects, Art and Visual Communications. My final two subjects were Geography and English. Although I am currently studying an engineering major I didn’t have a science background. The Melbourne model has given me the opportunity to catch up on gaps in my knowledge.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to prospective students before starting the Bachelor of Design?
Treat university as a new chapter, a clean slate. Don’t be afraid of trying new things and have confidence in yourself! Join a club, find a new hobby, or just hunt for free food in your spare time. But don’t forget to keep on top of your work and study. So make sure that you keep track of what you need to do, so you have more time to enjoy yourself later. Being able to plan ahead will enable you to study effectively whilst making the most of university life.
What would be your dream project in your future career?
I would love to work on the new transportation projects that are happening all over Melbourne currently. I am keen to work on the proposed Melbourne Airport Rail, whether it be in the design and planning or construction and management phases. The airport rail is critical in being able to connect the CBD to the airport for ease of public access and reducing congestion from major roads, and I would like to be on the team to create the best solution.
What are you planning to do after the Bachelor of Design?
After the Bachelor of Design I am planning to study the Master of Civil Engineering at the University of Melbourne, and join a graduate program in a large engineering consultancy.
Dale Wines' pavilion model for the subject Digital Design (centre) on show for the end of semester exhibition MSDx.
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