Department of Engineering Science

Kim Noakes

Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Biomedical Engineering (BME) Class of 2005

Project Researcher / Coordinator (2009)
Crosslinks (Netherlands)

At school I was involved in everything, from the classroom to the sports field. I juggled my main academic interests - physics and maths - with my love of sport, in particular, my hockey commitments.

On finishing school, an Engineering degree seemed the natural choice for me as it included all my favourite subjects and appealed to my practical mind by focusing on real world problems rather than purely theoretical ones. My years of hockey training had fostered in me an interest in how the body works, which helped me decide on Biomedical Engineering. This allowed me to study the practical mechanics-based subjects I enjoyed, along with maths, computing and the more medically-based subjects of anatomy, physiology and biosciences.

I went on to do my masters with the aim of creating an anatomically realistic model of the male and female pelvic floor regions. This enabled me to study the highly prevalent problem of incontinence in conjunction with a surgeon from the Auckland School of Medicine and Auckland Hospital.

The flexibility of the masters programme allowed me to pursue my sporting goals in tandem with my research. I handed in my thesis a day before the New Zealand national squad trial in January 2007 and after ten days of flat out hockey I was selected into the Blacksticks team. I reached a lifelong goal of representing my country in the sport I love most.

The summer of '07/'08 was extremely hectic. I juggled part time work at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute with massive amounts of training and international hockey commitments. 2008 saw me reach another personal milestone when I was named in the New Zealand Olympic Team for the Beijing Olympics.

Following the Olympics, I joined my partner in the Netherlands where I played a season of semi professional hockey for Hockey Club Rotterdam. While there, I was lucky enough to find part-time work with a "small to medium enterprise" called Crosslinks - a spin-off company that started out of the Bioinformatics Department of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam.

Crosslinks delivers advanced visual informatics software services, product solutions and technology consultation for life sciences companies, biomedical research and other markets, and, at the end of the hockey season they asked me to stay on working in a permanent, fulltime role. I am working on a number of projects for Crosslinks and enjoy the atmosphere of a small business where everyone is involved and has responsibility.