Trent McNeil

KLD Class of 2009
Bachelor of Science/Master of Engineering


I moved away from my home in Bendigo in 2010 to attend Melbourne Uni and became a resident of St Hilda’s College. The College experience really helped ease my transition away from home and into university. Over my five years at St Hilda’s, I became active in every part of College life including playing music, playing multiple sports and being the stage manager for the College Musical. I also served as a Transition Leader and Treasurer of the Middle Common Room. In my final year and post-graduation, I took tutorials in several engineering subjects.

I was also very involved with university life. I joined and was an active member of several student clubs including the Engineering Music Society where I played trumpet in the Stage Band for five years. I helped found the Mechatronics Student Society and served as its Treasurer and Vice President. Over the years I volunteered to be an Open Day guide and to run workshops during the Engineering Endeavour Day, took part in Prosh Weeks and played football with the University Blacks.

Because of the way I structured my course and subjects I had more electives than usual and used them to take subjects that really interested me that were outside the normal course outline. In my undergraduate degree I chose my breadth subjects to complete an economics track that complemented my science and engineering subjects nicely, exposing me to different ways of thinking.

Before starting the final year of my Masters, I completed a 12-week summer internship with an engineering company that manufactured desktop medical diagnostic equipment. I had previously had a casual job on the holidays, but this was my first experience of full time work. The skills and experience I gained during this internship were critical in helping me gain full time employment.

I currently work for Ford Motor Company having completed a two-year Graduate Development Program. My current role is a Driver Assistance Technology (DAT) Signoff Engineer where I test and validate active safety and semi-autonomous features on a vehicle such as Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Keeping Aid, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Auto Headlamps. I have also been the President of the Ford Toastmasters Club for the last two years.

Since graduating I have mentored several current students through programs with the University and St Hilda’s College, passing on my knowledge and experience from my studies, gaining internships and graduate jobs and transitioning into full time employment.