Aminu Danladi Usman
- Course: Chemical Engineering MSc
Why did you decide to study a Masters at the University of Leeds?
The foremost factor was the programme. As a Petroleum Chemistry graduate with non-engineering background, I have always dreamt of enrolling in a postgraduate programme that will provide me with sufficient knowledge of both the core and advanced aspects of chemical engineering. I searched through the postgraduate prospectuses of the top-ranked UK universities and, apart from that of the University of Leeds, I could not find any other MSc Chemical Engineering course that was perfectly suited for non-engineering graduates like myself. Hence, I had no hesitation in choosing this university, in addition to the fact that it has a very high reputation globally.
What has been the best aspect of studying on your course?
It is undoubtedly the opportunities the programme and university have opened for me to work, interact, and share thoughtful ideas with a diverse community of students. I have built friendships with people of different backgrounds and have become exposed to different cultures and traditions.
Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed
I played a key role in a team product design project spanning about four months. We generated a business plan based on innovative technologies introduced to the manufacture of a skin treatment emollient product. The scope, science and business trends of the product were critically studied in a diverse team whose goal was to make an innovative product that will yield high returns on investment.
The second project I carried out was also a team design project. It was aimed at designing a chemical plant to manufacture 50,000 tons of acetone per year. These two projects are industry focused, helping me to build teamwork, communication, report writing and interpersonal skills, while also enabling me to apply a lot of my science and engineering knowledge towards designing practical processes and products.
The final project I am working on is the individual MSc research project. My work is on the catalytic pyrolysis/gasification of creosote contaminated wood for the manufacture of bio-oil and tar cracking. It is an exciting project with a focus on producing biofuels that are cleaner and more efficient.
What does the city of Leeds have to offer students?
It is a very big and nice city with lots of interesting places to visit. It is a student friendly city and – because the university is situated very close to the city centre – it is easy for students to access any services they are in need of. In addition, the city is beautiful and green, and the people are among the best you can ever think of living with. They are very accommodating, friendly, and always willing to assist when needed.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I plan on pursuing a mutually rewarding career in the energy, chemical or related industries. I believe all of the skills and competencies I have been equipped with at the University of Leeds will help me in fulfilling both my short and long-term goals.
What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?
Critical thinking, ability to work in a diverse team, problem solving skills, and ability to work under pressure are among the core skills I have been taught to utilize while at the University of Leeds and I strongly believe these will come in handy to me in my future career.
What would you say to students coming to do the same course?
They should look forward to having nothing but the best education you can possibly think of having. The MSc programme is very rigorous and challenging. It requires you to put in a lot of effort. On a whole, this is the perfect institution to help you achieve both your academic and professional aspirations, as such there is no reason not to be excited about coming to one of the best universities in the world.