Shu Qin Wan, Chemical Engineering sudent at the University of Leeds

Shu Qin Wan

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

I’m good at Chemistry, Physics and Maths, and I’ve undertaken these subjects in my A-levels. That’s why I chose to do Chemical Engineering as to me, it’s the most interesting field of all the branches of science. I’ve always wanted to study in a foreign country, especially in the UK where high quality education is provided. The University of Leeds is one of the top universities in the UK for Chemical Engineering, and I was attracted by the fact that it’s in the top 100 universities in the world from 2015-2017 (QS World University Rankings). The University also offers a wide variety of clubs and societies for students to engage in, from culture groups such as the Malaysian and Singaporean society (MASSOC) that I joined, to sports and welfare groups such as the Cheerleading Society and the Leeds Nightline.

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

The lecturers are all very dedicated in teaching. Detailed notes are given and lectures are delivered at a suitable pace in a comfortable learning environment. During the first semester of the course a wide range of optional modules were offered, some were related to topics in nanotechnology and petroleum engineering. I chose the Introduction to Management module as I wanted to challenge myself in a subject that is not directly related to science. It turned out to be a wise decision because I got to expose myself in topics that I’ve not learnt before! It was a really exciting experience as I had conducted a survey, along with my teammates, to get information from managers all around the world on their experience in managing a team. We had also analysed the feedbacks and did presentations to show the result of our analysis.

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

It would be from the fortnightly lab sessions under the Technical Skills and Applications module. We did experiments on fluid flow and beam bending, and had to submit reports a week after. Though we were given briefings by the module leader before every lab session to ensure we had enough knowledge to perform the experiments, it was still quite challenging for us as they were related to topics that we were yet to learn. Luckily the lab assistants were always very friendly and helpful when we faced difficulties. Another one was the Material Selection Assignment which we were supposed to come up with an optimum material for different components of a stirred tank photo-bioreactor respectively. We had to do a lot of research on our product and had to construct charts to determine the most suitable material using the CES EduPack software.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds is a student friendly city as it has a large population of students from different colleges and universities. For an international student like me, there are direct flights to Leeds Bradford Airport which makes things easier and more convenient as it saves a lot of time. The city has a number of shopping malls such as Trinity Leeds and Victoria Leeds for people who love shopping. For quick grocery shopping, we have places like Morrisons, Tesco, and Co-op. Otherwise the Leeds Kirkgate Market offers a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables along with fresh meat and seafood, some of them even have student discounts! There are also Asian supermarkets located in the city centre which sells imported food and groceries from Asian countries like Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong at affordable prices.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I wish to improve the the quality of people’s lives using my knowledge and ability no matter which field I engage myself in, as chemical engineering offers a wide variety of career paths ranging from pharmaceuticals to petrochemicals. I look up to becoming a chartered chemical engineer in the future. It will not be easy but I will definitely strive hard to achieve my goal.

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

I believe through what I will learn upon the completion of this degree program will provide me with great career opportunities. By adapting to different cultures when meeting people of different ethnicity and races from countries all around the world, hopefully I will become a better person with good communication skills. Through various activities I will engage myself in within these 3 years, I aim to be more creative and innovative. Though everything I’ve mentioned is yet to happen, one thing that I can be sure of is that all the experiences in Leeds will definitely make me a well-rounded person.

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

Just like how the public presumed, engineering is always a course which is quite stressful and it comes with a heavy workload. However, I believe everyone is capable of sorting things out by themselves. It takes time, but it’s part of life. Work hard, play hard! It will definitely be an enjoyable journey with lots of precious memories which you will cherish when you look back later at some point of your life.