Nicole Fiumana, mentee in the 2018 Energy-Minerals Resources Program in Western Australia (UWA)

My name is Nicole Fiumana and I am a PhD student at Centre for Offshore Foundation System at the University of Western Australia (UWA). I completed my bachelor degree and my international master degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Bologna (Italy). I first came to Australia on a research internship linked to my master thesis.

My main subject of interest is geotechnical engineering and I now focus on foundation systems for offshore renewable energy devices. The aim of my research is studying the effect of active suction as a means to increase the uplift capacity of caisson foundation to resist peak events and avoid the present need for important foundation geometries.

I have very little industry experience consisting of a three months internship in an engineering company (Enserl srl, based in Italy). Whilst I would like to gain practical experience in the industry environment I also have a strong passion in teaching and inspiring young adults/kids in science and engineering. I am very enthusiastic about what I am doing and I hope this mentorship program will help me to develop a career path that keeps me passionate.

Why are you participating in the IMNIS program?

The last year of a PhD can be a confusing time, sometimes overwhelming, as often what comes next is very uncertain. I am participating in the program because I believe that a mentor is extremely important in guiding you through this transition.

What is the most important aspect of this professional relationship for you?

I think being able to have an open and comfortable conversation with your mentor is the key aspect to get the most out of the program.

What do you hope your mentor can help you achieve and what is the best piece of advice you have received so far?

In my future I would like to make a difference in other people’s life. The best advice I had so far is to try to understand the reason behind everything I am doing and focus on what I would like for other people and why.

What are the top 3 key things you hope to learn through the IMNIS program?

  • How to address my insecurities and value my strengths
  • Which possible career path I can pursue that resonates with my interests
  • How to engage and communicate with people and transmit what makes me passionate

What has been the most rewarding aspect of the IMNIS program for you so far?

The most rewarding aspect is definitely having been paired with a very inspiring mentor. She really has very similar interests to me and the same passion in connecting with people and helping others to get the best out themselves. After every meeting I feel very motivated and recharged to pursue my goals and apply myself in the best way possible.