Part of the ‘founding generation’ of F1 in Schools STEM Challenge veterans.

As a year eight student at Barker College in Sydney, Tom was introduced to the F1 in Schools program in 2004.

The unique applied learning program ticked a number of boxes for Tom. He was interested in engineering and design, he followed Formula One racing, and it would be something he could compete in alongside one of his closest friends, Matt Cruickshank. This is the same Matt who would be head hunted by the Red Bull Formula One team to be their youngest engineering aerodynamicist.

Tom enjoyed a dream run with his teams winning the NSW State Finals every year they competed. They continued to improve at the national level placing eighth, fourth, second (by half a point!) then first in 2007. It was this team, “Impulse F1”, which became part of Team Australia and flew to Malaysia to take on the rest of the world.

“We placed third overall and won Best Engineered Car. It was disappointing not to take out the title considering Australia’s previous and continuing success in the competition, but an amazing experience!”

“F1 in Schools took young students like myself with very little experience in much at all and allowed us to develop skills across many areas. Many of these were specific to science, engineering, design, 3D modelling, graphic design, marketing, sponsorship and corporate relations. More broadly I also developed general skills in public speaking, communication and teamwork. The competition embodies a huge array of aspects which are applicable in almost any industry which is why I continue to see F1 alumni succeeding in a range of industries following their involvement. Certainly I have, and continue to, apply skills I honed in F1 in Schools to this day.”

Tom has pursued a medical career and says his time with the F1 in Schools program had a big impact on where he is today.

“F1 in Schools has influenced where I am today, but not how I first intended! The skills I gained opened so many doors in areas and industries that I have dabbled in since finishing school. I had always intended on pursuing a biomedical engineering career following on from my long term passion for medical sciences and also utilising the skills I had learned through F1 in Schools. My goals changed throughout my final years of school and upon its completion I started a Medical Science degree at The University of Sydney with a goal to pursue medical research focusing on innovative solutions to medical issues.”

‘During this time, I started a Marketing and Promotions business on the side that ran nightclub events at many of Sydney’s biggest nightclubs. I was able to incorporate my love of music with marketing, promotion and corporate relations skills learnt through F1 in Schools to work with corporate partners and venues across Sydney. My company ran one of the biggest Thursday night events in Sydney for a number of years. I also did some freelance graphic design work – again utilising the skills I had learnt through F1 in schools. The whole thing was a fantastic experience whilst I was simultaneously juggling my undergraduate studies!”

“Having completed my three year undergrad’ degree I was accepted into post graduate medicine at the University of Notre Dame Sydney where I spent four years completing my medical degree in both Sydney and Melbourne. Throughout this time I was also involved in some really interesting cancer research as an associate with the Melanoma Institute Australia. I was also fortunate enough to apply some of the core governance skills learnt through F1 in Schools to a variety of medical advocacy roles on the national executive of the Australian Medical Students Association and NSW Medical Students Council, and through my University as President of the Notre Dame Medical Society.”

Tom graduated in medicine with first class honours and was selected to work at the biggest trauma hospital in Queensland, the Royal Brisbane + Womens Hospital. He is currently working there in the Orthopaedic Trauma team.

“My special interests at this stage centre on trauma and reconstructive and limb salvage surgery.”

Tom has enjoyed seeing the use of engineering technology in his medical career,

“It has been really amazing to see technology that we were utilising in F1 in Schools applied across so many fields, in particular medicine. The RBWH is the largest unit in the Southern Hemisphere to have a dedicated 3D printing unit that utilises 3D reconstructions of patient CT scans to 3D print patient fractures. This technology has improved pre-operative planning and surgical decision making, reduced operative time and resulted in significantly improved patient outcomes.”

“The applications of this technology extend to patient specific limb salvage surgery utilising custom designed 3D engineered implants. I am currently working with a talented research team of 3D modellers, engineers and clinicians who are developing tailor made solutions to patients with significant trauma. The RBWH is currently implementing 3D implants custom designed to the individual patients pattern of injury and bone deficit to salvage critical limb injuries that in the past would have resulted in amputation. To date, the small number of patients we have applied this technology to are already seeing some incredible results.”

“In August of this year I start work as a (non-training) orthopaedic registrar and whilst many years of study and training are yet to come, the journey so far has been fantastic and I look forward to seeing where it continues to take me! I am sure that the skills and experiences I have taken from F1 in Schools will continue to serve me in the years to come.”