Project Description

Geoff. P – The Mature Aged Student

Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)

Graduate – 100% Completed
Geoff left his career as a sales person to study Engineering as a mature aged student. It led him to the position of Executive Director of the SAE Australasia. Think you’re too old to study? Read Geoff’s story below.

 

The early days

“I grew up on a farm as a kid and from an early age I was pulling motorbikes apart and tinkering with them. It eventually led me to my first attempt at Mechanical Engineering at Uni. I was a young guy with many distractions and I did not expect the course to be as intense or difficult as it was. I failed subjects and decided to leave in search of work.”

The working man

“I wound up at Yamaha as a golf cart and motorcycle mechanic. I had a 12 month plan to work for the company and 10 years later I had moved into a sales and marketing role. It was around this time that some amazing circumstances came before me.”

“My manager at the time was enrolling into an engineering diploma at TAFE [technical school prior to university]. He also happened to injure his leg and was hobbling around on crutches, so I drove him to enrollment. As I sat there in the technical college next to him, a young female staff member handed me a form, assuming I was signing up for the course. I called out to tell her that I didn’t need a form, but she had already turned away and couldn’t hear me.”

FSAE 2003

 

 


“In a few weeks time at the age of 30, I had officially began an engineering diploma course. I never looked back.”


 

 

Geoff with the 2003 RMIT Formula SAE car

 

The Renaissance

“At 18 it was my parents that had encouraged me to study engineering. The second time around I didn’t need any external motivation. I was fortunate to have very supportive family and friends, which allowed me to focus on my learning.”

“Before I knew it, I had completed the degree course in mechanical engineering, experienced a one year co-operative position (internship) with an international vehicle manufacturer and was appointed chief engineer of the Formula SAE team at RMIT University, Australia.”

“My greatest moment was the success we had with the Formula SAE project. We were a team with almost no money and no resources. We went with a different concept for the car and we changed the way the team had operated in the past, allowing everyone to learn as much as possible whilst maintaining a strong bond with each other. We are all still good friends and catch up often, 10 years on.”

Geoff’s most valuable advice for engineering students

“Pretend as though you are riding a bike through a sandy track. Keep your eye focused further ahead, on where you want to end up. If you start looking down, you get caught up in all the bumps and commotion. If your constantly caught up in the daily problems of studying and learning, you can start to doubt your ability. Identify your vision and keep moving towards it.”