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Young engineers rank in nation’s top 100 future leaders

You can count on QUT’s Josh Loyd and Maryanha Lee being names to watch in the engineering world – they’ve both just earned a place among Australia’s Top 100 Future Leaders.

Maryanha and Josh made the GradConnection Top 100 Future Leaders list when it was announced in February 2017 as part of an awards program recognising the top students coming out of the nation’s universities across a variety of fields.

More than 8500 students applied for the awards, with the top 100 then flown to Sydney for a final assessment that involved graduate employers, GradConnection and the Fusion Graduate Consultancy.

Maryanha completed her mechanical engineering degree in 2016 and Josh is on track to graduate in civil/environmental engineering in mid-2018.


Maryanha Lee

At the GradConnection awards, Maryanha also received the Fusion First in Family Award, which recognises an outstanding student leader who is the first member of their family to go to university.

She was also a finalist in the Orica Mining, Oil and Gas Award.

“I don’t believe that I initially set out to be a leader, but through my passion for finding innovative solutions, continuous drive and ambition, I believe that I have unknowingly become one: particularly to females and financially disadvantaged individuals,” Maryanha said.

“My life as a high school student consisted of trying to make ends meet, whilst still pursuing the dream of becoming the first person in my family to attend university.”

Maryanha, 22, has just finished her studies but already has a broad range of experience in the mining, automotive, power generation, aerospace and retail industries.

“Fortescue recently offered me a graduate placement which I am currently undertaking at their Solomon Mine – it’s been really good for practical site exposure,” she said.

“I’m hoping to undertake my Masters of Engineering later in 2017 if it’s achievable on my R&R.

“Coming up, I’ve been invited by FMG to talk about women within the mining industry for International Women’s Day at the Red Café in Perth in March 2017. I plan on attending and speaking at more events like these to promote the importance and benefits of female inclusion within the engineering and mining industry.

“Ultimately, I believe that my courage, persistence and ambition has overcome the struggle against overwhelming odds and is great evidence that both females and financially disadvantaged individuals are more than capable to do the same as other groups.”

Josh Loyd

Josh Loyd

Josh, 26, was also the first member of his family to go to university and strives to help people who doubt themselves.

In addition to being a finalist in the Jacobs Engineering Consultant Award category of the Top 100 Future Leaders, he has also been nominated for this year’s QUT Student Leadership Awards (announced on May 30 2017) and is a semi-finalist in the Queensland Young Achiever Awards (announced May 5 2017).

He combines his studies with work as an undergraduate engineer at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, tutoring, and working with QUT’s Oodgeroo Unit as a program manager and student ambassador.

“I’ve faced a number of personal hardships that could have derailed my direction in life and from that I’ve found that I need to work in areas that give me meaning,” he said.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve been involved in since relocating to Queensland from Margaret River in Western Australia. It makes the world more sustainable, is improving the education of a range of students, promoting diversity and inclusion, and improves living conditions. That’s what excites and inspires me.”

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