Andre gachette

André Gachette

Why did you decide to study MSc Chemical Engineering at the University of Leeds?

After completing a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering, I wanted to further my knowledge in the subject. A Masters degree is a requirement for attaining Chartered status with the Institution of Chemical Engineers, so would be extremely valuable to me in the future.

I chose the University of Leeds because of its reputation as a well-respected school for Chemical Engineering. This fully accredited degree will also provide the opportunity to undertake a significant project in an area where research is currently limited.

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course?

The best aspect of studying this course has been the broad scope of the programme. No two modules are the same, which keeps things interesting as well as expanding your knowledge across a range of subjects.

With regard to the University in general, the facilities at The Edge campus gym are amazing. It is an extremely well-equipped sports complex that includes a swimming pool, climbing walls and an abundance of strength and fitness equipment. It also runs a range of classes, so there’s something for everyone. Overall, the university ranks very highly for student satisfaction and it’s easy to see why.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed

Projects often present the opportunity to develop an intimate knowledge of a specific subject area by studying it in detail. Recently, I completed a group project themed around delayed coking – a thermal-cracking process used in petrochemical refineries. The project culminated in delivering a group presentation and preparing an informative poster that was displayed in the department.

I am currently researching the potential for using glass doped with rare earth metals to non-invasively monitor the concentration of specific molecules in the human body. It’s a relatively new and promising area of research, which is exciting to be a part of.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds is a fantastic city with a great deal to offer. It has a large student population and there’s always something interesting to do. The shopping district is great with all the brand names you would expect and more. For entertainment, there are countless bars, clubs and music venues. If sport is more your thing, it’s home to Leeds United Football Club and Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club. The university is in a brilliant location, just a stone’s throw away from all the excitement of the city centre.

What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?

My role as a course representative has certainly helped me develop my leadership abilities and communication skills. I have gained confidence in speaking on behalf of others through raising important issues with members of staff.

The MSc course has required me to develop my time management and independent learning skills because much of the degree is assessed by coursework. Being able to plan, organise and execute a research project will definitely reinforce many of the skills necessary to succeed in my career. We also receive brilliant exposure to a range of software packages used throughout industry, which is a bonus.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I aim to find an engineering graduate scheme that will support my ambition to become a Chartered Chemical Engineer. Ideally, this will be in the energy sector as I have always been most interested in this area.

What would you say to students coming to do the same course?

It’s a highly rewarding course with lots of diversity among the taught modules. There are certainly times when the course can be demanding so be prepared. Make sure that you get involved in activities outside of your lectures – whether it be playing a sport, volunteering or joining a new society. Find something that you enjoy to help relax and refocus your mind. The staff is friendly and there’s an excellent network of support available to help you succeed.