Meet Jake, our new addition to the Dandelions team!

Jake Sheath is a Mechatronic Engineer who graduated from UNSW with a Bachelors's degree in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Jake Sheath, I am the new engineering intern at Dandelions. I love music and have a strong passion for humanitarian engineering. It took me a while to find my path, but I have finally found my way in Mechatronic Engineering and love it. In my spare time, I enjoy building synthesizers, cooking and looking after house plants.

Why did you choose to be an engineer?
From an early age, I had a deep interest in understanding how something worked at a fundamental level. Pulling radios apart developed into building gadgets, and finally building things that solve problems. I found that engineering fosters the love of making things and problem-solving. Something that I have found within myself in recent years is the care for the humanitarian impact of engineering. This humanitarian for purpose engineering is something that is going to direct my career path into the future.

What field and why?
Although it took me a while to find, mechatronic engineering is really compatible with my personality and deeply ingrained life interests. It gives a breadth of knowledge that is really powerful when looking at ways to address different problems. Its creative nature is really compatible with my work style and I find myself feeling very useful with the skills I have learned.

The best and worst thing about your field?

The best thing about Mechatronic engineering would be the new and exciting applications that are emerging in manufacturing, humanitarian operations, biomedical technology and entertainment industries.

The worst thing about Mechatronic engineering is when you spend a few months working on a PCB design and you send it for manufacture. You wait with anticipation for your new design to arrive. It finally arrives. You plug it in. It starts to smell like burning plastic and broken dreams. Then it dies because you labelled the power connection backwards. It's like pancakes, you always burn the first one.

In 10 years from now what would be the best thing to work on?

The future of engineering is bright due to the environmental and social hardships that the world is likely to encounter in the coming years. The world needs some serious solutions to its serious problems. Ten years from now the best thing that I could be working on would be something that is aiming to solve these problems to hopefully leave the world a better place than I found it.

The best thing about working at Dandelions?
The people that I have the pleasure of working with are absolute humble gems. They are all incredibly capable, knowledgeable and really care about Dandelion's mission. This is not just a 'nine to five' for anyone who works at dandelions.

Secondary to my new family, the work is incredibly rewarding. I have been tasked with doing some circuit board development for an upcoming satellite payload. I doubt that many engineers have had the amazing opportunity to get some of their work into space!

If you could give one piece of advice to someone in school who wanted to become an engineer, what would it be?
Engineering is a great career for anyone who thinks things could be better for people and the planet. Sick of seeing plastic waste on beaches? Sick of unreliable public transport? Do you see a better way of building houses? Or communicating with people over long distances? Or mixing a cocktail?
Don't be scared to dive into whatever project you have been thinking about starting. The times I have learned the most is when I failed at something.
And finally: Don't worry if math isn't your strong suit… Your high school teacher was wrong (maybe).. You walk around with access to a supercomputer in your pocket. What else do you need?