- Course: Structural Engineering MSc (Eng)
- Nationality: Romanian
Why did you decide to study a masters at the University of Leeds?
During my final year of bachelor’s studies, I had often found myself thinking about what the next best move would be for me. I knew I was going to pursue a Master’s degree, but I was not sure which one would suit my high expectations. I really needed a great challenge and after doing some research on available courses, it felt like the Structural Engineering MSc (Eng) offered by the University of Leeds was the best fit. The impressive results from UK and world university rankings were also appreciated incentives.
What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University so far and why?
I was very impressed by how much effort Professors put into supporting students to innovate and how passionate they are about their fields, engaging everyone rather than making you feel like you are just there to listen and take notes. Socially speaking, I really appreciated the opportunity to meet people with very different cultural backgrounds than mine. It really broadened my perspective about the world we live in.
Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have been involved with.
Most modules had their fair share of excitement, as they effectively depicted design scenarios which are relevant to real world design problems, yet this year’s design project was the most captivating as it required delivering a structural solution for an 85-metre-tall maritime port observation tower.
At the moment, I am working on my thesis about connections for modular buildings. This has been by far the most exciting and challenging project I have ever been engaged with. I had the opportunity to devise a new connection system by adopting topology optimization approaches in the conceptual design stage, which was a fascinating and insightful process.
What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?
Leeds is an amazing city, undergoing steady and healthy development, especially in the construction sector, which should be encouraging especially for students who think about starting their professional career here after the course ends. Other than that, the on-campus facilities are impressive and well-thought for the needs of students, while the students’ union does a great job in making everyone feel like they belong here. As well as this, there is an abundance of green spaces, which are perfect for coffee breaks and chats with friends.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I plan on staying in Leeds for at least a few more years. I will be looking for Structural Engineering roles and will continue my professional development as I intend to become a Chartered Engineer here in the UK.
What have you learned on your course that you think will help you in your future career?
Besides all the course material and lectures, I learned to trust my own engineering feeling and developed a thorough and sound decision making process. I consider these to be crucial attributes of any Engineer, never mind a Structural Engineer, who has to be confident in taking decisions which could ultimately affect the integrity of valuable assets or even the safety of people’s lives.
What would you say to students coming to do the same course?
I would advise anyone thinking about starting this course to equip themselves with a lot of ambition, enthusiasm and patience. Also, do not hesitate to contact Alumni for more information; sometimes small details about the course could prove meaningful for someone undecided.
Overall, as with all good things in life, it gets tougher before it gets easier, and with this course in particular, it never really gets easier. The field of Structural Engineering can be very challenging, especially as you can often get lost in so many technical details. Nevertheless, anyone who is passionate about finding solutions to complex problems, will most definitely find a lot of satisfaction by the end of this course.