Diana Nino, BASc '18, Mechanical Engineering
“Engineering will teach you about yourself and how to push through difficult challenges to find a solution.”
I am a proud mechanical engineer graduate who has always been interested in creating change and helping others. Throughout my education, I have been involved with the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Club (Club Mech) as the newsletter editor, vice-president and president (2017-2018), where I found amazing friendships and a passion for promoting unity within our student community. Helping to encourage awareness and support about gender minorities and biases has been a topic close to my heart that lead me to get involved with Women in Engineering (WiE) — I love being able to motivate and support women in engineering by sharing my experiences, while learning many valuable professional and personal skills. I am an extremely passionate person, who is grateful to my peers, staff and faculty for making my time at UBC valuable and memorable.
Why did you choose engineering?
When I graduated high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to become. I realized that two of my interests were to know more about things around me and to solve problems, and I was constantly intrigued about how the world works and whether or not there was a way to make things different and more efficient. I started developing an interest for manufacturing processes, cars and robots. I choose mechanical engineering because I enjoy the challenge and knew I would be able to combine theory and application to almost everything in the “real” world! I still have a lot to learn, but UBC has given me a great start to my professional career as an engineer.
What has made your time at UBC the most memorable?
The challenges I faced have made me the person I have become, and the people I shared those experiences with are the most memorable. Working with staff and faculty has also being very impactful, as their support and help aid me to gain more confidence in myself and have higher goals.
Tell me about your experience in engineering. What have you learned that is most valuable?
Engineering is a challenging career; it tests you both physically and mentally. It will teach you amazing things about the world, and it is up to you to use that knowledge and apply it to solve problems. Engineering will also teach you about yourself and how to push through difficult challenges to find a solution. I found that as I learned more about myself, I became a better person, student and professional.
What has been your most memorable/valuable non-academic experience studying engineering at UBC?
There are too many to count. However, being Club Mech president and getting involved with the engineering community at UBC comes as one of the highest. I am a person that cares for others so I wanted to help our MECH students get the most out of their UBC experience. My executive team and I accomplished that and so much more, and I would like to think we left a lasting legacy. Thanks to this position, I worked alongside amazing people (staff, faculty and executives from different clubs) and created great networking relationships that have become a good support system for the future ahead.
How do you feel a degree in engineering has benefitted you compared to a different field of study?
My engineering degree has given me insight into how to learn effectively, work with others, communicate better and understand the responsibility we have to the environment, people and the future. I am confident that I chose the right field of study because of the large variety of job opportunities available in the market.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from spending time with my family and chatting with mentors and friends. They are my reset button when I need to start fresh or push further and their encouragement is what helps me through tough times; without them I wouldn’t be here today.
How will you go on to make a difference in our world?
Throughout the years, I have discovered my interest in sustainability, and hope to explore that further as I look for jobs. The future is unknown, but I hope to work on something related to this field. I would also like to keep encouraging women to pursue engineering and promote gender equity in the field by being part of organizations such as American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Engineers and Geoscientist BC, WiE, West Coast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WWEST) and many others.