Convocation 2019 – Meet Engineering’s Shea Hunt
In celebration of the University of Manitoba’s 140th Spring Convocation, UM Today is celebrating some of the outstanding students who are graduating next week.
Shea Hunt is convocating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. With a curiosity for science and how things work, Shea followed his passion to study computer engineering. A recent co-op placement at Rehabilitation Centre for Children where he created adaptive solutions for children with disabilities, has not only inspired his next steps but may have impacted his career path.
Here’s what Shea has to say:
What was your inspiration?
My inspiration for engineering seemed to change throughout my life. Long before I started university, my parents and grandparents nurtured my curiosity with science kits, textbooks and endless patience. My inspiration during that period came from the desire to know how everything worked – usually by taking things apart and rarely putting them back together. Once I started university, my inspiration came from learning about the amazing feats of engineering and scientific breakthroughs that lead to the state-of-the-art technology we enjoy today.
Finally, as I joined the workforce through the co-op program, my inspiration now comes from seeing how my own work directly impacts the lives of others.
What was your greatest obstacle in your post-secondary journey?
One of my greatest obstacles was trying to find a good balance between work, school and life. More than once during my engineering degree I experienced severe “burnout” that negatively impacted my life and made me question completing my degree. Thankfully, I persevered. Having a good support network, having a mentor a few years ahead, and joining student groups with people in the same program were all essential to my success.
What is the most interesting thing that happened to you at the U of M?
Throughout my degree I belonged to the U of M Engineering Society (UMES), the IEEE Student Chapter, the SAE Formula Electric team, participated in the Western Engineering Competition as well as the Canadian Engineering Competition, and travelled abroad to other schools including Technische Universiteit Delft (TU Delft), so this is definitely one of the hardest questions.
Despite all of the wild stories and unbelievable moments that normally accompany an engineering degree, the first thing that comes to my mind is actually an English class in my first year. Most engineers dreaded the mandatory writing elective, myself included. It didn’t help that I was enrolled in the summer session and was assigned a topic I had little interest in. However, this class ended up being one of the most interesting, captivating classes I took at the U of M. The professor’s vast knowledge of the subject and the contrasting theories he presented was awe-inspiring, he fueled constructive debates among the small class, and the huge pile of assigned reading ended up being some of my favourite books. It’s definitely a class I’ll remember forever.
For now I’ll be settling in to my full-time engineering position at the Rehabilitation Centre for Children. Our small engineering team has been able to accomplish so much in the past year, so I look forward to what we’ll be able to do as we grow with help from the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation. Being able to see firsthand how something I’ve created can change someone’s life makes me want to stay in the medical field for now. However, an engineering degree opens up so many doors, it’s hard to say where I’ll be 10 years. Wherever I end up, I look forward to continuing my relationship with the U of M through alumni activities or possibly furthering my education.
At its 2019 Spring Convocation, the University of Manitoba will confer, degrees, diplomas and certificates on 2,848 graduates. Shea Hunt will graduate with 180 of his classmates from the Faculty of Engineering at the 140th Spring Convocation session on June 6.
Don’t forget to check our student accounts on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about some of the students graduating this week. You can also join the ‘Convocation conversation’ on social media by following #umanitoba2019.