- Course: Structural Engineering MSc
- Nationality: Guyanese
- Job title: Senior Engineer
- Company: Ministry of Public Works Guyana
What have you been doing since finishing your studies?
Since completing my studies at Leeds, I have been engaged in preparing a conference paper for the Nordic Steel Construction Conference 2015 which will be hosted in Finland. This was done based on a request from my supervisor Dr. Tsavdaridis whom I enjoyed working with. This paper has been accepted and completed.
With regards to my career in Guyana, I am currently assisting in executing a bridge's programme that involves the construction and rehabilitation of all bridges across our country. In addition, as the department is concerned with the technical developments of our country, I've also been reviewing designs of highway extensions and structures from contracted overseas based consultants like IMC Worldwide. Other activities to date include intersection improvements, the design of a pedestrian ramp at one of our speed boat docks and attending numerous stakeholder meetings.
What company are you working for, what is your role and what does it involve?
I work for the Ministry of Public Works here in Guyana and am specifically attached to the Work Services Group: Technical Services Department. My job designation is described as Senior Engineer. I am responsible for planning, directing and coordinating all activities funded by the Government of Guyana and international funding agencies such as the (IDB, IDA, etc.) involving the design, construction and rehabilitation of major public roads, bridges, sea and river defences in Guyana.
What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career/will help with your future career?
Being able to use state of the art technology and software which are not always available in developing countries like Guyana has stimulated a great passion for structural design for me. From this, I've already consulted with my higher authorities in finding out how to procure relative software to improve our designs and by extension, my career.
In addition, up to date literature available at the University and the teaching methods of staff like Professor Forth, Professor Garitty, Dr. Tsavdaridis, Dr. Nikitas and Mr. Richardson certainly encouraged me to approach engineering problems in a more mature manner.
Looking back, why did you choose to study your particular course and why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I choose structural engineering firstly because of my love for it when I initially started my technical diploma studies. Whilst pursuing my undergraduate degree, I realised the love for structural systems and forms had remained unchanged. The internal passion for structural engineering was confirmed during my industrial training and later confirmed at my first place of employment as a structural engineer.
After being informed that I was a potential Commonwealth Scholar, I scoped all UK universities with commonwealth agreements and the University of Leeds stood out for many reasons. Firstly, it was highly ranked and it was known for its excellent research facilities. In addition, upon reviewing the modules, I realised it captured everything a structural engineer should know which coincided with scope of structural engineering projects in Guyana, i.e. advanced steel and concrete designs, design optimisation, structural engineering design project, etc.
What was the best aspect of the course/the University and why?
One of the best aspects of the course was when I was able to organise my classmates as the structural engineering course rep for the Masters Challenge in the School of Civil Engineering; more specifically, because we, the participants of MSc. Structural Engineering, won this challenge.
Another highlight included being the only distinction student on the course and winning three awards. I also enjoyed being able to use the student membership in professional bodies to participate in site visits to engineering firms around the UK.
What other activities outside of your studies were you involved in?
I was a member of the Leeds University Union Cricket Club, training both at The Edge and Headingley Stadium. I also did hosted activities at the HopeCity Leeds Church on York Road.
What would you say to students thinking about studying the same course at Leeds/thinking about the same career?
I will always promote studying structural engineering at the University of Leeds because of its staff who are always willing to ensure students grasp the advanced principles within the field. Also, the staff present in the School of Civil Engineering bring field experience into the classrooms which helps you to understand the concepts even better.
As an international student coming from a region of no seismic activity, studying at Leeds has helped to understand structural engineering projects that are affected by dynamic loads and how to respond to such. That said, one can be able to manipulate themselves around foreign engineering conditions which they were never once exposed to before. This is what Leeds has done for me.