Julio Chavez, master's student in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Leeds.

Julio Giuseppe Vazquez Chavez

Why did you decide to study a masters at the University of Leeds?

Before I was completely committed to pursuing a career in industrial inspection, I performed NDT inspections in oil refineries and chemical plants for 3 years. Nevertheless, I required to update myself since my background in process engineering was not fully complementing my needs at work. Then, I was awarded a full scholarship to study in one of the top 200 universities around the world, where I chose the University of Leeds due to their MSc of Material Science and Engineering. As a matter of fact, I was persuaded by the structure of the academic program and modules of crystallography, failure analysis, and metallurgy.

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University so far and why?

I came to the University of Leeds expecting high quality facilities and a challenging postgraduate programme. Even though, my expectations were never disappointed, I was pleased with the amazing environment of support and unconditional assistance from the staff in my program. In addition, the university always provide access to top-quality facilities around the campus, such as comfortable accommodations, accessible sports facilities, enormous libraries, efficient health services, and modern classrooms.   

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed.

I have been assigned researches about steel, alloys, glasses, refractories, polymers, and composites materials. Every case study was challenging in a different aspect, but all of them provided a deeper understanding of the properties, processes, and applications of those materials. However, I found my final assignment for material selection and failure analysis extremely beneficial since our critical thinking and knowledge were assessed with real cases on forensic engineering.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds as a city has an amazing architecture, several museums, landscapes, coffee shops, restaurants, parks, and numerous nightclubs to give it a go during the weekend. In addition, the location of the city allows students to buy relatively inexpensive train tickets to visit major cities in the UK, such as York, Manchester, Birmingham, or London. Furthermore, upcoming students must be aware that Leeds offers daily activities in town, where is possible to meet new people from all over the world.

What are your ambitions for the future? 

My plan for the short term is to obtain satisfactory results and complete my master’s degree in Leeds. Then, I will pursue a PhD in Material Science at the University of Toronto, where I plan to engage the research of production and refining of high-quality metals and alloys. Eventually, I want to return to Mexico to contribute with the educational and energy sector.

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

I believe most of my modules and research project will provide me enough metallurgical knowledge, improvement in writing skills, and awareness of time management to succeed as a PhD student in Material Science. Furthermore, the experience to study abroad has taught to embrace changes and stay away from any comfort zone in life.

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

Material Science and Engineering is a challenging academic program, where students must commit to work long hours and avoid continuous distractions during the term. Therefore, I strongly recommend future students to make sure this program suits their professional career since having a pleasant time in school reflects positively in your personal life.