Nourhan Ahmed ElShatlawy, BEng undergraduate in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Leeds.

Nourhan Ahmed ElShatlawy

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

The University of Leeds has one of the most prestigious Chemical Engineering courses in the UK, which is one of the reasons why I chose this university. Aside from that, I wanted to enjoy an authentic overseas experience here – particularly seeing the English culture and the opportunity to make friends of different backgrounds.

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

Studying abroad at the University of Leeds has allowed me to familiarise myself with a variety of cultures and introduced me to students from around the world. Living here has also taught and encouraged me to be more independent and responsible. Moreover, the modules and the variety of classmates challenge and intellectually stimulate me, which allows me to grow as a person. 

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed so far

One of the projects I worked on was to select the best material required for building a turbine engine. We compared various materials based on their microstructure and properties. By using a software known as CES EduPack in cohesion with some problem-solving skills, a conclusion was attained to select the most accurate material required for the turbine engine. 

What does the city of Leeds have to offer students?

Leeds is a very lively city that is very much equipped with everything – from a fantastic choice of food markets to a range of different nightclubs. It is a place where you can study, party and relax. As an international student coming from Dubai, I had no trouble fitting in or getting to know the city. The people are very friendly and helpful when needed and – since the city is full of students – it’s rarely that you would feel left out or homesick.

What are you ambitions for the future?

The world is progressing at an extremely fast pace, so there is no room for ignorance. The population is growing exponentially and its demand is never ending compared to the scarce resources available. This has been a critical issue for past decades. Therefore, my utmost aim is to conceive and design outstanding projects that would allow me to leave my imprints on the world.

I understand that not every answer will be easily found from the books surrounding me, and that it will take a considerable amount of persistence and tenacity to test every idea until it reaches perfection. However, there is no greater joy than the feeling of fulfilment and accomplishment when observing how my idea has assisted the lives of many – whether that is economically, socially or even technologically. My main concern is in the energy and renewable sector in order to ensure that the resources are used efficiently and yet remain in abundance.

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

The coexistence of multicultural students and my involvement in societies help me extend my networks, as well as better my organisational and communication skills. My adaptability has also improved due to these same reasons and the circumstances of living alone. The workload and modules I learned, which are intellectually challenging, improves my time management and problem-solving skills, too. All of these would help my future career.

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

Chemical Engineering is definitely an intense course. Be prepared to sometimes pull an all-nighter to get through projects but the results are always worth it. This is a course with many students so you are faced with chances to meet many more of your fellow course mates, be ready to socialise with them and you'll sure enjoy your university life.