We’re back! New PEN Committee

After a brief interlude the PEN word press site is being updated!

Following PEN’s Annual General Meeting at the end of semester 1 2016, an entirely new committee was elected and we’re all looking forward to getting to know you all over the next semester! Come say hello to us in the OEP!

President -Oliver Hill
Treasurer – Tim Shue
Vice President- Kieran Sullivan
Social Chair – Anastasia Gramatakos
Education Officer – Michelle Colin
Outreach Officer – Wenjing Xu








Contribute with your #LifeAfterOEP story

We are looking for OEP graduates who want to share their story with other fellow graduates and students. By publishing these stories, PEN seeks to promote networking among former and current OEP alumni. Plus, we love reading all the amazing things OEP graduates are doing around the world.

Sharing your story is very easy: just follow this link and fill out the form. You can also contact PEN via email (contact@pen.net.au) or social media. PEN will share the stories in this website and social media channels. The following image will give you an idea of what #LifeAfterOEP stories look like.


LifeAfterOEP 00 sample Mona Lisa

#LifeAfterOEP: Lorena Gallardo

LifeAfterOEP 01 Lorena Gallardo


Lorena graduated in December 2014 from the stream “Energy Efficiency, Modelling and Implementation”. Nowadays, she works as a professor at a public university in Ecuador. She is also involved in “ReciVeci”, an inclusive recycling project in Quito, Ecuador. She agreed to answering some of our questions, so here is the first #LifeAfterOEP story based on her experience.


What is your current job? And how are you applying what you learnt during the program in your everyday life and your professional life?

Currently, I am working as a professor at a public University in Ecuador. It’s the “Escuela Politécnica Nacional” and I work for the “Technology of Water and Environmental Sanitation” Degree. I use readings and cases from the Masters to prepare my classes. However, the most valuable contribution from the program is that the knowledge I obtained inspired me to create new projects, like ReciVeci (“Recycling Neighbour” in Spanish). ReciVeci is an inclusive recycling initiative in Quito, Ecuador, carried out by a multidisciplinary team of volunteers and waste pickers.

In Ecuador, people do not segregate their waste, which means almost everything goes to the landfill. Waste pickers are the only ones that recover recyclable materials: their work consist in digging in trash cans to obtain materials under unsafe conditions, putting their health at risk.

ReciVeci aims to create a human bond between waste pickers and the rest of Ecuadorian citizens, so they can segregate their waste and give it directly to the waste pickers. We have developed an app that teaches people how to segregate their material and connects them with their local waste picker. By doing this, waste pickers can improve their work conditions, earn more money and receive positive social recognition for their effort. The project is now being tested in a pilot area. We are also doing crowfunding to expand it: we want to replicate it in every neighbourhood of Quito and Ecuador.

Learn more about ReciVeci at www.reciveci.ec and Facebook.com/reciveci.


What pieces of advice would you give to current students?

I would advise current students to take advantage of all the opportunities that the Masters of Environment provides, such as internships, research projects, field visits, etc. And to get involved in PEN!

I regret not doing an internship somewhere else in the world. The Master of Environment gives a lot of opportunities to work in various international organisations and gain broader experience.

I would tell someone doing a research project not to worry too much about the results that will be obtained, but rather to focus on learning how to actually do research and write about it. I learned more from the process than from the results themselves.


What were the most valuable lessons you took from your experience during the Masters of Environment?

I had the opportunity to work in very multidisciplinary environments with people with different academic and cultural backgrounds from whom I learned a lot about their professional and personal experiences. Also, I improved considerably my writing skills and learned to have a more critical thinking about different topics since most of the subjects required us to write essays.

The Masters of Environment gave me the opportunity to learn from real examples about sustainability in the built environment through the various field trips and visits that the subjects included.


Interesting Note (or “dato de color” in Spanish)

Lorena’s picture was taken on Cartagena, Colombia, where she recently attended the wedding of her first and dear friend from the Masters. BTW, Pablo Devis, congratulations!!


OEP Networking

You can connect with Lorena via LinkedIN and Facebook.


If you want to share your story of #LifeAfterOEP, please follow this link.


PhD Scholarships 2016! Apply Now!

Thinking about starting a PhD in 2016? Join an outstanding team at the University of Melbourne exploring networked-localised solutions for future low carbon cities. 

The CRC for Low Carbon Living and the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) at the University of Melbourne have five PhD scholarships to investigate dimensions of new distributed infrastructure approaches in Australian cities. Research projects will cover: technical and engineering systems; urban design; planning; social and cultural, dimensions of lifestyles, behaviour and consumption and economic and social policy (including health and equity).

Continue reading “PhD Scholarships 2016! Apply Now!”

PEN Elections

Thank you to everyone who was able to make our SGM and End of Semester drinks at the Clyde. We had a great night and a well deserved break amongst assignments.

As Hector and Alex are graduating this year we had two spots to fill on the executive committee.

Ben Ross was nominated and voted as Treasurer. Adinda Aksari and Eric Ma were both nominated for outreach, we went to a vote and Adina was elected Outreach Officer. Eric has given some great advice to PEN over the last few months and we looking forward to his continued involvement. We are really excited for next year and have already started planning some exciting new events.

Joe Glesta was also nominated for the non-exec role of Burnley Outreach Officer. A newly created role that seeks to encourage ties with the Burnley Campus and hopefully provide coordination on social/networking events in the future. Joe is actively engaged on the Burnley campus and is a real asset for members who want to know more about how they can get involved at Burnley or about specific courses on offer.

Ben Ross - Treasurer
Ben Ross – Treasurer
Adinda Aksari - Outreach Officer
Adinda Aksari – Outreach Officer

Careers Workshop – Tuesday 13th October

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend last nights Career Workshop. We hope that you took away some hot tips! For those were unable to attend the slides are accessible here.  A few key points made on the night are summarised below:

  • There is most likely going to be someone else with more experience – To get to the next stage you need to make your resume pop to gain a hiring agents attention. You can do this by quantifying success and matching your volunteering experience with a strong career objective and tie it to the organisation to which you are apply.
  • Do not use the same resume for all jobs! You need to also address key selection criteria in your resume.
  • “Tell me about yourself” – This is an opportunity to demonstrate how your path has lead to the organisation.
  • “What are your weaknesses?” – Demonstrating self awareness and whether you have strategies to overcome this. Ability to indicate that you are able to take on feedback and improve because no one is perfect.
  • 50-80% of job opportunities are hidden and are only available through networking.
  • Recruitment agencies are a great way to gain access to hidden jobs.
  • Think outside the box when addressing key selection criteria, there are many ways you can learn these soft skills that you may not directly recognise.
  • Use linkedin to assist with networking and to follow the path of others who have your dream job.

We hope to see you at our next workshop!

Michelle Wilson