Holly Corbett arrived at AIBN with plan to enjoy the Queensland sun while deciding her future. She stayed because of the passion, global impact and technical expertise found here. Now Holly is a PhD student with AIBN group leader Professor Mark Kendall, is branching out into different areas of science, getting to travel and enjoying the relaxed lifestyle.

My first degree at the University of Auckland was in Biomedical Engineering, I originally came over as a summer student. I didn’t feel compelled to do research. In fact, I wanted to avoid it, since it is important to me to see potential concrete outcomes from what I am working on. While I was here, AIBN group leader Professor Mark Kendall totally sold me on the project with his passion for it, the technical potential of it, and the possibility of how many lives it could affect. That is what kept me.

Seeing our research group get closer and closer to human trials has been very motivating. It is clear that this is not just lip service to get funding, and that my group leader, Professor Mark Kendall, not only has previous experience commercialising a medical device, but is still open to ideas and feedback from committed PhD students.

The community here is also a very strong one. I came over here by myself and knowing nobody here. The vibrant AIBN student community made it very easy to make new friends and I’m still doing so after three years here. Not only that, but the staff-student interaction is also great. For the most part, everyone from group leaders down is approachable and easy to chat with in social situations. And there are events every year where all of us mix.

The PhD itself has significantly improved my critical thinking skills and ability to lay complex problems out in a communicable and logical way for people over a spread of disciplines. It also means, that – in particular through group leader Professor Mark Kendall – I have met many interesting people in interesting jobs in industry, academia and all through the spectrum in-between.