- Course: Transport Infrastructure: Design and Construction MSc
Why did you decide to study a masters at the University of Leeds?
I was lucky in the sense that I knew which area of civil engineering I want to be specialised in at the time I completed my Bachelor's. By all means I wanted to obtain a Master's degree with modules related to both highway and railway engineering, although it was difficult to find any as most MSc programmes at other institutions only include one of these. I therefore decided to wait with the applications and started to work for an engineering consultancy as a Graduate Highways Engineer in Leeds. A year later I found out that the University of Leeds introduces a brand new programme which not only meets my preference of modules, but I can also obtain my degree without affecting my full-time work.
What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University so far and why?
I really enjoy that lecturers always provide time to have additional discussions about the lecture's topic and that they share their previous work experience. This way, students can take away some information that are usually not in the text books. This makes the lectures much more enjoyable as different solutions to real-life problems can be debated and the answers to numerical examples can be questioned.
Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have been involved with.
All projects I was working on are actual, existing schemes with real-life issues. Of course we (the project team) are focusing more on the technical solutions at the university rather than the available budget, allowing us to unleash our imagination a bit, resulting in future-ready solutions. In one of my favourite projects, I had to analyse the condition of an existing highway's pavement, using the data received from a site survey. It was amazing to see how much information can be extrapolated by only comparing the visual inspection survey data with other details which of course affected the types of my recommended treatments.
What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?
What I love in Leeds is that you can find everything you want without the need to travel far. There is a large selection of pubs, restaurants, bars, shopping and other entertainment facilities in the city centre, but I can also reach the countryside within minutes using the public transport system.
What are your ambitions for the future?
Broadening my technical knowledge in my areas of interest opens up a lot of questions to what the industry cannot yet provide a definite answer. This makes me consider to undertake an extensive research in a railway related topic in the next few years. Parallel to this, obtaining this MSc degree will be a milestone in the journey of becoming a chartered engineer, which these days starts to become less optional decision.
What have you learned on your course that you think will help you in your future career?
Creating a combined 3D model of buildings or other developments is a commonly used tool during the design process these days. The spread of virtual reality puts the technology under a different light, opening up endless opportunities to designers and constructors. One of its greatest benefits is that the final outcome/ other alternatives of the project can be easily communicated to non-expert stakeholders whether it is the client or an end user. For my university work, I continuously experiment with producing such 3D models in my free time, as in many occasions visualising the surrounding of the infrastructure helps to identify potential issues or highlights a better solution to a particular problem.
What would you say to students coming to do the same course?
I definitely recommend the course to anyone who is looking to broaden their technical knowledge in the fields that the programme covers or working towards chartership. For the latter one, as the majority of the coursework is directed to finding solutions to real-life issues similar to a working environment, they are great to be included in the evidences submitted for the ICE attributes. Thanks to the flexibility of the programme, part-time students have the option to attune the lecture times with the working hours by choosing which modules they wish to take in each year.
I wish everyone a successful year and to enjoy their time spent at the University of Leeds.