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

Julio Giuseppe Vazquez Chavez

Why did you study a Masters at the University of Leeds?

Before I fully committed to a career in industrial inspection, I had performed inspections in oil refineries and chemical plants for three years. However, I still needed additional study as my background in process engineering was not enough for my needs at work. I was awarded a full scholarship to study in any one of the top 200 universities around the world. I chose the University of Leeds due to 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?

I came to the University of Leeds expecting high-quality facilities and a challenging postgraduate programme. My expectations were never disappointed. I was pleased with the amazing environment of support and unconditional assistance from the staff. Additionally, the university always provided access to top-quality facilities around the campus – such as comfortable accommodation, 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 research about steel, alloys, glasses, refractories, polymers and composite 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. I found my final assignment for material selection and failure analysis extremely beneficial, since my critical thinking and knowledge was assessed with real cases on forensic engineering.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds as a city has amazing architecture, several museums, landscapes, coffee shops, restaurants, parks and numerous nightclubs to give it a go during the weekend. Additionally, you can easily buy train tickets to visit major cities in the UK – such as York, Manchester, Birmingham and London. Leeds also offers regular events in town, where it’s possible to meet new people from all over the world.

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

I believe most of my modules and research will provide me enough metallurgical knowledge, writing experience and time management skills to succeed as a PhD student in Material Science. Furthermore, the experience to study abroad has taught me 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 programme where students must commit to long working hours and avoid continuous distractions during the term. Therefore, I strongly recommend future you make sure this programme suits your professional career, since having a pleasant time in school reflects positively in your personal life.