Sherri Hsu is a Specialist Application Engineer for 3M Australia, based in Sydney. Her work has a strong sustainable focus, dictated by a belief that we have a responsibility to improve our processes and minimise the harm we are causing our planet.
"At school, I was always interested in Science, Maths and Visual Arts (my creative outlet)," says Sherri.
"I was a little confused as to what I wanted to do and what career would suit my passion. Halfway through Year 12, I decided I wanted to create innovative products that could improve the lives of others around me and from there, I decided to become a chemical engineer, taking the path down the research route."
Going on to obtain a Bachelor of Engineering through The University of Queensland, Sherri also completed a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Her PhD work involved creating a plastic film that breaks down with sun and oxygen exposure. The film was predominately designed for agricultural applications used to create more favourable conditions for crop growing.
Sherri says her St Aidan's Maths teacher, Mrs Gamble, influenced her way of thinking in and out of the classroom from Years 9 to 12.
"It was the way she taught Maths, where within it, she taught us some life lessons (like if you thought you were going to be sick, then you will get sick). She worked hard, and acted by example," says Sherri.
"I guess she was always honest with us, and didn't see us as kids, but young adults who were responsible for our own future. She saw the potential in me and pushed me to challenge myself one equation at a time. This then reflected the way I work and live today."
The opportunity to give anything a go has also been a strong factor in Sherri's later life, she says.
"There were more opportunities to enter in competitions and to get involved to make an impact (at St Aidan's)," she says.
"I think this mentality stayed with me to this day."
"I always remembered a motivational speaker was talking to us about life after school and he said that only 2% of us sitting here today will end up with our dream jobs. I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to be in that 2%. No matter how true that was, what mattered was, St Aidan's created the environment that anything is possible if we worked hard to chase our dreams."