UniSA student Imogen Domin (pictured above) is jetting off to America this month to undertake a cutting-edge internship at the world's largest aeronautical school – the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Imogen, a Bachelor of Aviation graduate who is now completing a Graduate Diploma in Human Factors and Safety Management Systems at UniSA, will be the first Australian student to participate in the NextGen Test Bed International Harmonization internship in Florida.
She is one of only eight students selected internationally to work at the NextGen Test Bed, a research and demonstration facility governed by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States.
Imogen says she is honoured to be representing UniSA and she hopes to make a good impression by helping to build a new air traffic control system as part of her internship project.
“The technology and the research that happens at the NextGen Test Bed can provide the Federal Aviation Administration with new systems, new developments and new innovations, so it’s a pretty ground-breaking place,” Imogen says.
“That’s what I’ll be going over there to do, so it’s very exciting.”
Imogen says the internship is a great opportunity for networking with contacts who already have professional flying experience.
"I haven’t even left Australia yet and I’ve already established a lot of wonderful friendships and professional relationships from the internship," she says.
"John Borghetti, the CEO of Virgin Australia, offered to fly me to the United States with Virgin Australia. I’ve always dreamed of being a pilot for Virgin Australia one day, so the fact that he knows my name is an ‘up’ in itself.
“I’m excited to face some new challenges and to experience university life in America. Plus the facility I’m going to is a United States Federal facility so I am expecting that it’s going to be a completely different environment to what I’m used to.
“It will be a real eye-opener and I’m going to come back much more prepared for anything else I might go through in my career. I’ll be seeing the differences in the industry, learning new things, and I plan to bring home new ideas and innovations.”
Imogen says she loves aviation because it allows her to push the boundaries.
"When I am flying, there are times when physically as well as mentally I’m way out of my comfort zone and I like that because I know that I'm constantly bettering myself and challenging myself," she says.
Once she returns to Australia, Imogen plans to finish her Graduate Diploma and is also considering pursuing a masters or a PhD. She will also finish her commercial training and her multi-engine command instrument rating course upon her return.
Imogen’s success follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UniSA and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Asia to increase aviation student degree opportunities. For more information on the MOU, go to the media release.