Cherie Gardiner will graduate today (Tuesday 3 July) with a MEng in Mechanical Engineering
A former Miss Northern Ireland is graduating from Queen’s University Belfast today with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Cherie Gardiner (26), a former pupil of Glenlola Collegiate School in Bangor, worked as a model and was employed in the banking sector before beginning her journey in engineering.
During her time at Queen’s, Cherie was a STEM ambassador and completed scholarships with Schlumberger and the Royal Academy of Engineering. She is travelling to Fiji this summer, where she will work on developing water systems and building facilities to combat female inequality.
Cherie comments: “The most interesting part of studying Mechanical Engineering is problem solving. I loved learning how things are made and developing this knowledge to be able to design and manufacture our own products. Now I am grateful to be able to apply these skills to global problems.”
She adds: “STEM subjects open so many wonderful doors and opportunities for young people. It is well known that the demand for STEM graduates is high, but I think it is important that students know how amazingly varied the jobs can be. The travel opportunities are also life-changing.”
In September, Cherie will begin a PhD at Queen’s. She says: “I would not have seen myself researching for a PhD. However, towards the end of my degree I started to see where my strengths and interests lay and which sectors of engineering would become more important in the future.
“I was very fortunate to obtain my dream PhD researching in the bio-engineering sector, to design and optimise biodegradable bone scaffolds. I will be focusing on how the mechanical properties of newly developed materials can be applied to bone reparation. This research is important to address the current problems the NHS faces, in light of an aging population.”
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