Environmental Engineering

University of Waikato engineering student Ashleigh Dick is passionate about the environment and is in her final year of her studies, which she juggles with two part-time jobs in the industry. She has her sights set on a career abroad, working with impoverished communities to help some of the thorny challenges they face.

“I love the thought of being able to give back to communities in a way that can benefit them in the long term”


Needless to say, finding ways to protect the environment and give back to the community is Ashleigh’s sweet spot, and she is a part of multiple organisations that fit into this mantra. One of these is the Waikato chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), which she co-founded in 2019.

The group’s major achievement so far is sending a group of students to the Solomon Islands, where they worked with a school to construct a sustainable electricity network and taught them how to maintain it.

Ashleigh is also involved in The Wonder Project which aims to inspire children about STEM subjects.

It doesn’t stop there! Ashleigh is also the President of the Young Engineers Society (YES) which provides a range of social and networking opportunities for engineers.

She is also the student representative for the Waikato chapter of Engineering NZ. She says ‘This involves visiting schools and talking about my studies and job, as well as teaching them Newton’s Laws of Motion as we build a rocket together.”

For all of her efforts, Ashleigh was recently selected for the Y25 programme led by the YWCA. The programme identifies and supports 25 young, Kiwi women doing amazing things – change-makers who are passionate about making a difference and inspiring other young women to follow their lead.

Ashleigh’s passion is palpable and her proactive approach is already opening doors for her future career. “As an environmental engineer, I believe we need to look more holistically at society, through the lens of poverty and education, to truly affect change for the environment.”

Click here to learn more about Ashleigh on the University of Waikato website.


Ashleigh Dick


  • Bachelor of Engineering Honours 


  • Environmental Engineering


  • Waikato chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB)
  • President of the Young Engineers Society (YES)