Griffith engineering student building strong foundations in Mumbai

31 March 2015

Traveling from the sheltered western world to Asia’s poorest slum, fourth-year Griffith Civil Engineering student Giovanni Rapana put down his iPhone, rolled up his sleeves and got to work. With the assistance of the Industry Affiliate Program and a Griffith University Scholarship, Giovanni completed a six-week project in the Shivaji Nagar slums of Mumbai, India.

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Working with a research based urban development company, Giovanni participated in a project investigating the structure of the slum’s concrete foundations in an attempt to find low-cost alternatives that can better survive the harsh conditions. He gained new knowledge on construction techniques and the subsurface profiles of slum areas. The program offered Giovanni a fantastic opportunity to explore the world and his field.
The Industry Affiliate Program (IAP) is a work-integrated learning program that is tailored for placing undergraduate and postgraduate students into relevant industries. It provides students the opportunity to participate in real-world projects and develop the discipline-specific skills through industrial projects. The IAP is different from an internship or a summer job as it usually requires the students to work two to five days a week throughout a whole semester.
“The IAP project was definitely beneficial to me. Without this internship experience, I wouldn’t have realised that there is still so much more to learn. I know how to do assignments but applying those skills to the real world can be challenging,” said the Griffith Civil Engineering student.
Giovanni not only acquired academic advantages from the internship, but the whole experience of staying in India has added a fruitful page to his life story and was an exceptional experience.
“India was such a different atmosphere, such a different lifestyle… Seeing children who, instead of playing with phones are throwing rocks and sorting trash was challenging for me as I’m also a father… But, overall the whole experience was a blast. I even attended two Indian weddings which was the highlight of the trip and one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.”
The IAP offers different projects to suit the students’ profession, and provides direct benefits and industry insight to the students through the practical placements.

Civil, structural and geotechnical engineering at Griffith University

As we face mounting environmental and infrastructure challenges, civil engineers of the future will have an enormous impact on our communities. Griffith Civil Engineering courses offer an innovative and creative engineering experience by equipping you with a basic foundation in science combined with an integrated knowledge of multiple engineering fields. The schools’ post-graduate engineering management major equip students with the managerial skills needed to run complex projects smoothly, a quality highly valued by employers.

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Contact OzTREKK for more information about engineering programs offered at the Griffith School of Engineering. Email OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.