Marita Cheng

Marita Cheng

Title
Student
Organization
The University of Melbourne/ Imperial College London
Location
London, (International), United Kingdom
Marita Cheng
Ask a Question:
Required field
Please note
Due to the unexpectedly large volume of questions being submitted to the Ask an Engineer program, it may take as many as 3 months or more for a response to your question to be posted. Please review previous questions and answers to see if your question may have already been addressed.
Enter the code shown: (only upper case)

Contact Info
Biography

Marita is the 2012 Young Australian of the Year. While still a university student, Marita Cheng has demonstrated vision and leadership well beyond her years and is dedicated to encouraging young women to become interested in a career in engineering. The daughter of Chinese parents, Marita was born and raised in far north Queensland and now studies at the University of Melbourne. She founded Robogals Global in 2008, as a response to the traditionally low levels of participation by women in engineering and technology. Robogals uses fun and educational activities to teach schoolgirls about engineering and the difference that engineers make to our lives. Already Robogals has run robotics workshops for 7,000 girls across 80 schools in Australia and now has 17 chapters across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Marita's career path includes studying for a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Computer Science on a Paterson Scholarship. She has a Nancy Fairfax Churchill Fellowship, an International Youth Foundation YouthActionNet Fellowship and an Anita Borg Change Agent Award. A former panellist on ABC TV's New Inventors program, Marita plans to start a robotics company, creating robots that will take care of many everyday and mundane tasks. Already she has changed the way that girls view their capacity to contribute to engineering and technology.

  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Miss Marita Cheng

I'm female and I studied mechatronics engineering and computer science at University from 2007 - 2013.  There were 5 girls in my course, out of 50.  So mechatronics engineering is not only for boys, and girls can do it, too!  In 2008 I founded Robogals.  We go out to schools and teach girls how to build and program robots, to show girls that they can be engineers too.  Robogals has now taught over 17,000 girls robotics workshops and is in Australia, UK, USA and Japan.  Let me know if you would be interested in bringing it to Peru!

Tell them that regardless of what they say, you are going to be an engineer.  You are going to show them that it can be done.  Good luck with your studies!

Kind regards,

Marita

Mechatronics engineering is a combination of mechanical, electrical and computer systems engineering. It is useful for understanding all the pieces of technology and how to integrate them to produce a working system. Electrical engineers design new and better electronics. There are many jobs and opportunities in both areas - in engineering, information technology finance, commerce, depending on your interest. The thing that drove me to mechatronics engineering is that I love robots and I want to work with them and build them in the future.

Hi Tierra,

A mechanical engineer uses physics and material science to solve real-world problems, such as working on car engines, rockets and planes; manufacturing plants, and medical devices. Doing computer programming before doing engineering will definitely help, especially in the field of robotics, and anything that requires a system to be programmed. Having a degree in both computer programming and mechanical engineering will definitely give you an edge in the field. The IB is a great program to do if you want to study engineering, as the IB encourages students to think outside of the box, which is something engineers have to do everyday. Engineering is a great field to study, as there are so many opportunities for you to travel around the world, but more importantly, to improve the lives of millions of people. Good luck with your studies!

Regards,

Marita