Susannah Billig

Susannah Billig

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

I’d been living in Leeds for a few years having moved from London. I really liked the city and decided I wanted to stay round here. I chose the University of Leeds due to its great reputation both nationally and internationally, and I liked the links to industry the School of Engineering has.

Why did you choose this particular course?

Growing up in London, I was fascinated by the Underground. This led to an interest in infrastructure. I also was interested in bridges and buildings, so decided Civil and Structural Engineering was the perfect combination.

What have been the best aspects of studying your course, and why?

My favourite part was the Constructionarium week. It’s an optional module in third year, where students go and work on a construction site for a week building replicas of real engineering projects.  It taught me a lot about the engineering industry, and has helped me to design structures that are easy and safe to construct.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed on your course?

Other than Constructionarium, I also enjoyed the research project in third year. It was great to contribute to the academic research of the University, and to work independently. My project was looking at the way tunnels respond to seismic activity, by using a computer program to build models.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds has a great nightlife, both in the city centre and at the University. There’s also a lot to do if you’re not a party person too- bowling, minigolf, cinemas, escape rooms and restaurants. As a southerner, Leeds seems really cheap too!

What are your ambitions for the future?

I’ve been offered a job with a company I completed two summer placements at, mainly focusing on Railway infrastructure. My aim is to work there, whilst gaining experience towards Chartership with the Institution of Civil Engineers.

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

The Independent Design Project in third year was based around the design of a High Speed Railway. This helped me confirm that the railway industry was where I wanted to work in the future. Also as part of the Design Project, there was a section that was completed in groups. Although a struggle at times, the group work helped prepare for working in industry.

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

I would say definitely try and get experience, either through a summer placement or a year in industry. A lot of the people I know who did them got job offers from the companies, meaning a lot less stress in fourth year.