Passion for public policy

25 Mar 2021
Working as an engineer in the energy sector,  Megan Wheeldon is studying the Master of Sustainable Energy to hone her public policy skills.

“I absolutely love public policy. I have always believed that engineers are a formidable force when it comes to driving effective energy policy,” said Sustainable Energy master student Megan Wheeldon from The University of Queensland (UQ).

Ms Wheeldon has a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from UQ and was attracted to study UQ’s Master of Sustainable Energy (MSE) as she found the program marries engineering and science with policy making and economics.

“Combining these skill sets is the only way we will create effective energy outcomes that transition us into a low carbon future. 

Engineering by itself, while crucial, is limited in being able to solve the global energy challenge.

I wanted to pursue further study that enable me to grasp policy, economic and regulatory concepts.

With these qualifications, I can make the biggest impact in the energy industry career-wise,” Ms Wheeldon said.

For her, the most valuable part of the degree has been meeting other students with different experiences, backgrounds and cultures.

“We are so used to focusing on energy at a national or even state level here in Australia, whereas in reality addressing climate change is an issue that requires cooperation on a global scale.

The networks I have begun to develop from studying the MSE will help facilitate this cooperation as each of us move into our respective roles after we graduate.

What has surprised me most about my studies is the similarity of issues across countries regarding balancing energy affordability, reliability and security.

We continue to experience similar energy dilemmas, yet our ability to collaborate and solve problems internationally leaves much to be desired,” she said.

Studying part-time at UQ, Ms Wheeldon is also working full-time in the energy sector. She has been employed as a process engineer across a variety of LNG, oil, hydrogen and power development and has recently moved into a role as a future energy consultant.

“I have a passion for public policy and ultimately see myself applying the skills I have gained in the private sector and through my studies to deliver effective energy transition strategies.”

Learn more about the Master of Sustainable Energy which welcomes students of different backgrounds.