Eleanor Franks

Eleanor Franks

Recommendations are always a good way to make choices and Eleanor decided to study at the University of Leeds because she had heard good things from previous students – she was also aware of the University’s excellent reputation for chemical engineering. It was a gut feeling too as she explains: “I loved the feel as I walked through campus on the open day, and the look of both the modern buildings such as the Laidlaw Library and the more historic buildings such as the Great Hall.” 

Ultimately, Eleanor chose chemical engineering because she liked the varied course content and the fact that it brought together all the aspects of A-levels that she enjoyed. Looking forwards, a degree in chemical engineering is an great way to launch a career in the chemical industry or elsewhere; and the MEng is the start of the most straightforward route to becoming a Chartered Chemical Engineer.

A variety of group work, projects and research

A key aspect of this modular course is that it includes multiple opportunities for group work. This was one way in which Eleanor formed friendships with lots of different people, whilst also improving the teamwork and communication skills which are crucial for most future careers. And she also points out that  “it has also been good to be lectured by professors with industrial experience who are experts in their fields.” 

One of Eleanor’s favourite research projects involved looking at polymer synthesis. “I like it because it has given me the opportunity to study independently and choose the direction of my work based on my own interests. I also like that I have been working in a research group for this project, so I have gained some insight into what studying for a PhD could be like.”

“I have been course representative in my third and final year of university. This has given me the opportunity to represent student views in the student staff forums, developing my confidence and giving me valuable experience talking in front of large groups of people. “

For prospective students thinking of coming to Leeds to do the same course, Eleanor admits: “although this course can be hard work at times and requires lots of perseverance, it is also very rewarding and prepares you well for a career in the real world.” 

A great place to live and study

Eleanor also says Leeds is a great place to be a student. “Leeds as a city has something for everyone! There’s lots of lovely restaurants, music venues, shops and cinemas, as well as a varied nightlife. Plus, there is excellent public transport so it is easy to get out and explore the rest of Yorkshire.”

Studying a degree in Chemical Engineering at Leeds has proved an effective start on the career ladder for Eleanor who has now secured her first graduate job. 

“I am looking forward to starting my graduate role as a project engineer in a water, waste, and energy management company, initially based out of Edinburgh. My experiences at Leeds were fundamental in me securing the position and I look forward to applying the knowledge I have gained while studying.”