Name: Karen Yevenes
Position: Academic Course Advisor and Lecturer in Industrial Design
Company: Western Sydney University
What do you enjoy the most, working in the field of construction & development?
I think it is a privilege to work with our creative, innovative, and talented industrial design students. I find it very rewarding to see students overcome their own perceived limitations. The students may struggle with CAD programs, hesitate to operate machinery, or are challenged by complex design problems, and yet when they persevere, they realise they can create a truly inspiring and intelligent design. I enjoy the variety in my working day, each day is filled with a variety of tasks, sometimes I am lecturing, other times I am making models in workshops with my students or drawing live demonstrations on zoom. I also connect with a variety of industries from local manufacturers and community organisations to prominent design companies and studios. These networks are incredibly important to our student program as students need to be learning from specialists in the field.
Where do you see your life in the next 5 years, what possibilities are ahead of you?
In my capacity as Academic Course Advisor, I will continue to enhance the Industrial Design course to ensure an excellent student experience that produces industry-ready graduates. In 5 years, I will be completing my PhD (which I began this year). I have enjoyed the early stages of my research on investigating how products mediate our sense of well-being. I am focussing my studies on older persons with arthritis of the hands, where there are so many opportunities for creating domestic products that can better address the needs of the aging population. I hope in 5 years, there will be a stronger focus on looking after our older population, as my goal is to make an impact in this space.
If you could write a letter to a 13-year-old ‘you’ what would you say?
I would most likely advise myself to begin my PhD a little earlier, however in saying this, I am also bringing new experiences and angles to my research that I may not have considered when I was younger. I would not change my journey as I am lucky to have had a great education, a supportive workplace, a loving family, and I am now enjoying an added dimension in my research. From growing up as a migrant child in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, to working at Western Sydney University, I have a lot to be grateful for and my 13-year-old self was as lucky back then as I am now.
What are 3 skills you have had to develop to get to where you are presently?
I have learned to be resilient and to learn from my mistakes, I have learned to move forward rather than look back, and I have learned that it is never too late to start a PhD!