Department of Engineering Science

Jesse Collis

Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Engineering Science (2012)

Photograph of Jesse Collis
Jesse at a brewery north of Melbourne

Studying for a PhD in Mathematics (2012)
University of Melbourne, Australia


During my final year of high school I decided I wanted to do engineering so I could use my passion for mathematics to solve interesting as well as practical problems. After completing a year of general courses I realised Engineering Science was going to be the perfect specialisation to achieve this. In my second and third years I took all my electives through the mathematics papers, something you can only do in Engineering Science. I even managed to maintain a work-life balance with roles in UniQ Auckland and a involvement with various music programs.

That was until the release of the Part IV project list which begins an exponential decay of your social life. Luckily, this social life was replaced with a project which really jumped at me, improving success rates of in vitro fertilisation. The project involved predicting swimming patterns of sperm cells within IVF devices in order to capture motile sperm cells. I proposed a new model of sperm cell transportation using a torque balance between the sperm cells head and tail. The highlight of the year, coming as much of a surprise, was being awarded with best Engineering Science project poster and project presentation at the Part IV project dinner.
I decided I wasn’t ready to finish studying and begun looking into postgraduate opportunities. I eventually set my sights on the University of Melbourne and am now working towards a PhD in mathematics. My current project involves studying particle trapping devices using microvortices in collaboration with ETH Zurich[1]. The devices involve rotating a microscopic rod around its minor axis to attract nearby particles which can then be transported throughout a fluid. My role is to create a mathematical model of the device so we can better understand the physics underlying its operation.

My Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Science has given me a solid ground for postgraduate and I am excited by the opportunities it will give me as I continue on into the workplace.

[1] Petit T, Zhang L, Peyer KE, Kratochvil BE, Nelson BJ. Selevtive trapping and manipulation of microscale objects using mobile microvortices. Nano Lett 2012;12:156-60.