Master of Engineering Science alum Randa Ibrahim is the third recipient of the Pio Iovenitti Engineering Excellence Scholarship, which she says has helped kickstart her career as an engineer with Swinburne’s industry partner Sutton Tools.
The Pio Iovenitti Engineering Excellence Scholarship was established in 2020 in memory of Swinburne Associate Professor Pio Iovenitti, by his widow Marisa Iovenitti.
The scholarship provides financial assistance to a student studying in the second year of a Master of Engineering Science degree each year.
Randa says being chosen for the scholarship has had a profound impact on her.
“This scholarship truly honours the remarkable legacy of Pio Iovenitti and his dedication to empowering aspiring engineers like me,” she says.
“This invaluable opportunity serves as a motivator, allowing me to pursue my aspirations with passion early on in my career. It gives me room to explore and the freedom to learn,” she says.
Randa recently had the opportunity to meet Pio’s widow, Marisa Iovenitti, at Swinburne.
“We talked a bit about ourselves, but we also talked a lot about Pio. It was nice to hear stories about him…I left feeling I knew more about who Pio was as a person and how much of an impact he’d left, not just on Marisa but on so many people throughout his life,” says Randa.
Randa (right) with Swinburne’s Dean of the School of Engineering Professor Emad Gad, Department Chair of Mechanical and Product Design Engineering Professor Dong Ruan and Marisa Iovenitti.
From intern to Industry 4.0 engineer
Originally from Jordan, Randa was drawn to Swinburne for its unique and up to date course offerings.
“I really liked the courses Swinburne offered such as advanced manufacturing…it seemed different to all the other universities,” she says.
One of her lecturers, Professor Suresh Palanisamy, who Randa calls her unofficial ‘guidance counsellor’, encouraged her to apply for an internship opportunity with Swinburne’s industry partner Sutton Tools, a leading manufacturer of cutting tools.
“The lecturers and staff at Swinburne have been so supportive – more than I would have ever imagined,” she says.
“During the three-month internship I worked mainly on the manufacturing floor and got lots of hands-on experience.”
After the internship, Randa completed her theses in conjunction with Sutton Tools and was offered a full-time graduate position with the company.
“My specialisation is manufacturing so in my role I work a lot with the machines as a service engineer,” she says.
Randa also works on special projects to help Sutton Tools stay across changes in advanced manufacturing technologies, known as Industry 4.0.
“I’m really interested in Industry 4.0, which I would describe as everything becoming smarter, more connected and automated. This means less room for human error and makes manufacturing more efficient,” she says.
“It’s an area with so much potential and if companies aren’t embracing it, they’re going to get left behind.”
Reflecting on her time at Swinburne, Randa says she could never have imagined the opportunities that would have come her way when she began her master degree.
“Coming to Australia and to Swinburne has opened so many doors, like the scholarship, my current job, and meeting a lot of professionals and professors who I have really good connections with now.”
“I’m very grateful for the position I’m in,” she says.
Visit Swinburne’s scholarships page to learn more about scholarship opportunities.