Hamish Laing

With a natural curiosity of the world and a love of challenges I have just completed four years of a Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Canterbury. Living in Christchurch, the gateway to the Antarctic, has grown my passion for the outdoors and exploring the South Island has given me a great appreciation for New Zealand's natural beauty and why we should do our best to conserve it.

In New Zealand, the Antarctic has always held a certain aura and mystique being so close yet so inaccessible. While the suburbs of Wellington, where I grew up, are a far cry from the white desert of Antarctica, the desire to explore and discover has been with me for as long as I can remember. I have been lucky enough to see a lot of New Zealand and I'm always blown away by all there is to offer.

It's hard not to be motivated by the likes of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Peter Blake and I can still remember the excitement that the America's Cup victories brought to the whole country. Being able to follow in the footsteps of those great leaders and other explorers such as Scott and Shackleton, will be incredibly humbling. These people have had the ability to inspire generations and of course myself included. With so few able to experience the wonders of this alien land I will certainly be making the most of every second down there.

I believe that thinking outside the box on climate change, sustainability and the environment is essential and this was one of my goals as vice president of the Engineers without Borders Chapter at University.