BRIGHT SPARK: Rockhampton Engineering graduate Mattison Rose is off to study his Masters in the US with a focus on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.
BRIGHT SPARK: Rockhampton Engineering graduate Mattison Rose is off to study his Masters in the US with a focus on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Allan Reinikka ROK190717aenginee

Rocky whiz kid's robotics and artificial intelligence US move

BACK to the Future predicted flying cars, but it's automated cars that are inching ever closer.

And when you're driving, or rather riding, in one in decades to come, it may just be Rockhampton's Mattison Rose who had a hand in designing it.

The CQUniversity graduate is set to get off to the United States, where he'll study a Masters of Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan with a focus on robotics and artificial intelligence.

Engineering was a natural fit for Mattison, who enjoyed science and maths classes in high school at Heights College.

"I picked engineering as a sideline," he said.

"I wanted to do physics and applied physics is basically engineering, so that's how it came about."

After finish school with an OP1, he studied at CQUniversity.

Mattison said the ability to stay in his hometown for a few more years, as well as the university's renowned engineering program was the selling point for studying in Rockhampton.

In the second year of his degree, Mattison earned a scholarship with Anglo American which helped him finish his studies and saw him work at the company's German Creek mine for a year and a half following graduation.

"I was getting some hands on experience and doing some projects with them, which was really good," he said. Mattison finished his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering with high distinctions and first class honours and was recently honoured with the University Medal for his work in the field.

Although he's been working in control at Anglo American, Mattison had always planned to return to study and jumped at the chance to head to the States.

"I'm excited about getting the contacts involved in the research and development over there," he said.

"Australia's great, but the edge of development is in the States with regards to robotics and AI so I'm really looking forward to getting towards the edge of things there. During the Masters, I hope to be involved with research at the university.

"Post-Masters, I'd hope to be involved with a leading tech company over there specialising in electrical engineering or robotics.

"Either that or if the opportunity comes up to go into consulting or a start-up, that's something I'd consider too."


CQUniversity Engineering students (L-R in the FIRST IMAGE) Angus Hughes, Jessica Kahl and Mattison Rose are looking forward to the national final of The Big Idea competition on December 1.
Mattison Rose (with Jessica Kahl and Angus Hughes) won the national final of The Big Idea in 2014. contributed by Peter Lawrence

With his visas all sorted and accommodation booked, the reality of life in the US is starting to hit Mattison, who knows he won't be enjoying the same winter in Michigan as he does in Central Queensland.

"I'm definitely packing a coat, so I think I'll be alright," he joked.

"I'd love to get up into Canada as well as over to the east and see New York."

During university, Mattison was part of a team which won the national Big Idea competition for The Shelter Project, which saw low-cost temporary housing built from recycled pallets.

Mattison said going beyond the books and being involved in extra-curricular activities was key for students looking to pursue an engineering career.

"Try and get involved with as many extra-curricular things as you can," he said.

"Trying to get good marks is fantastic, but employers look for so many more aspects to your personality and your interests and that's really helped me along.

"Getting involved with clubs and societies and fiddling around with your interests outside of university work is something I'd definitely tell someone to do."

Mattison jets off to Michigan at the start of August.