Nepalese student inspired to build her country’s future

Diploma of Engineering graduate and UTS student Tanya Mukhia.
Diploma of Engineering graduate and UTS student Tanya Mukhia.

Growing up in Kathmandu meant Tanya Mukhia has a keen interest in how buildings and structures are created to stand up to the test of time and the forces of nature. Then when a major earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, it spurred her on to study civil engineering so she could help improve the resilience of houses in her country.

“After the 2015 earthquake there was a huge amount of destruction and a lot of people lost their lives. In my home country, civil structures are lagging, particularly in comparison to other developing countries,” Tanya says.

“For me, I was always a science student. I hadn’t decided on engineering yet - however after the earthquake - I thought about it a lot and I decided to take on civil engineering.”

Her engineering focus led her to Sydney, where she chose UTS Insearch as her pathway to the University of Technology Sydney.

Her study and hard work led her to top her Diploma of Engineering and be awarded the Outstanding Graduate prize with an impressive grade point average of 6.75 out of 7. Her efforts proved that her passion to help her community and maintain a healthy life-study balance can lead to excellent academic results.

Overcoming challenges

Tanya’s commitment to studying engineering in Australia has meant facing many challenges, including moving away from her family in Kathmandu to adjust to life in Australia as a student. 

“When I first came to Sydney, I was quite nervous because it was the first time I had travelled and lived alone. The city seemed really new; new faces and new cultures. The good thing about Sydney is that it is quite easy to adapt, so I didn’t feel awkward or different. You can fit in and get to know new people, from both UTS Insearch and around the city. It’s a fun and interesting place to live.”

She also credits the success of her transition to the support systems and friends she made while studying at UTS Insearch.

“There were these little experiences that helped build me up to where I am now,” she said.

“I had quite a lot of guidance on how to do my assessments. I would have to give credit to the tutors and professors, who helped me throughout my studies, by providing me with knowledge and experience; my friends motivated me as well.”

Inspiring others

She’s also keen to encourage others, particularly women and young people, to become engineers, and aims to take on a role as mentor to those considering the same path.

Tanya has now commenced her second year of study in the UTS Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in civil engineering.