Shalini Guleria

Master of Science

Biological Sciences

Key Info

  • Master of Science
  • Biological Sciences
  • UOW Masters Research Scholarship
  • WETA Digital Gold Scholarship
  • Summer Research Scholarship
  • Toptal Women’s Global Scholarship (1 of 5 worldwide!)
  • Waikato Students' Union Director
  • Waikato International Students' Association President
  • Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network
  • Three-month internship in Taiwan at Industrial Technology Research Institute
  • Engineering NZ Young Engineers Presentation Award
  • Postgraduate Science Conference Award
  • NZ Emerging Leader Awards Finalist
  • Waikato Graduate Women Educational Trust Masters Award
  • IPENZ Design Award
  • Graduate Science Conference Award
  • TODD Foundation Excellence Award
  • Excellence in Chemical and Biological Engineering Design Award
  • Golden Key Member and President
  • Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards – National Runner-Up in 2014 & 2016

What made you choose to study at Waikato?

I wanted to study engineering, and chose Waikato for its central location and collaborative culture. I’m so grateful that I chose this path because thanks to Waikato, I discovered my passion for research.

What has been your uni highlight so far?

Being the President of the Waikato International Students' Association has been great – I’ve seen the members grow from 20 to 1500, and it’s been incredible to make a difference in those students’ lives. I also loved being involved in the University’s Engineering Design Show and winning an award was a bonus.

What does your job at Wallace Group LP involve?

I’m an Environmental Officer at Wallace Group LP, a tanning and rendering company with a strong environmental focus. My role involves helping to manage the waste and running tests to ensure we are in line with environmental policies.

Did your undergraduate degree help you in this job?

Yes – I started working there for a placement during my undergraduate degree, and was asked to stay. My studies have also taught me research methods that I’ve been able to apply to this job.

How have you changed in your time at Waikato?

When I first began at Waikato I was just focussed on getting my studies done. But during my time here, I have decided to get involved with clubs and university life, which has made me more courageous.

How do you think you can make a difference through your studies?

I’m currently working on a PhD focussing on cancer research. From my studies I want to make a difference in cancer research and hopefully make a breakthrough someday.

Lastly, how did you feel submitting your final thesis for your Masters?

For me, it’s not just about the qualification – it’s about the research and I wanted to hand something in that I’m proud of. As I started a new form of research, I can’t compare it to other theses so I’m nervous and excited for the marker to read it. It was a great process as I had to think like an engineer while using the 3D printer and think like a scientist while comparing the cells. I learnt a lot about molecular biology which I added to my four years in engineering.

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