fauzia amao

Fauzia Amao

Why did you decide to study MEng Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Leeds?

To be honest, I hadn't initially considered Leeds. My friend who wanted to study languages invited me to go with her for the open day. We had some time after, so I decided to pop into the School of Civil Engineering and whilst I was there, I had a nice chat with a staff member who ended up becoming my Geotechnics lecturer. I asked about studying abroad, module combinations, group projects and lab facilities and was very impressed by what I learnt about the course structure and opportunities. I was surprised that Leeds hadn't ever crossed my mind before that day. After more research, speaking to students and seeing how great the union was too, I was convinced that I wanted to be here.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed so far?

I attended the Constructionarium field course at the National Construction College in the summer after year 2. I was part of a team coordinating the construction of a scaled-down version of Naples Airport Underground Station. We were presented with technical drawings, materials order forms and construction tools and were responsible for assembling the structure within five days. It challenged us to put our theoretical engineering knowledge to the test, but by working as a team we succeeded in our mission.

What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career/will help with your future career?

I attended a summer school in 2013 at the Centre for Global Development on the UN Millennium Development Goals. I did an industrial placement after the third year of my degree within Atkins' Highways and Transportation division.

Looking back, why did you choose to study your particular course and why did you choose to study transport engineering modules?

The international development aspect of engineering initially attracted me to choose the Civil and Structural programme. In early years, I chose elective modules on Environmental Sustainability and Environmental Health Engineering in Developing Countries. Following my placement year, I took a transport module (this semester) titled 'Deterioration and Maintenance of Pavements' and did a transport-related individual research project on school travel modes, routes and air pollution.

What was the best aspect of the course/the University and why? Any highlights?

My study abroad year in Hong Kong sparked my interest in transport and my industrial placement with Atkins allowed me to work on real transport infrastructure projects.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Great places to eat (and lots of Halal options.) Students are extremely proactive and organise a lot of alternative entertainment events including open mic nights and panels with renowned speakers, artists and activists.

What other activities outside of your studies were you involved in?

STEM Ambassador, Islamic Society Interfaith and Campaigns Officer, African Caribbean Society Cultural Events Coordinator, I stood in the student union elections for the Equality & Diversity officer position and came in second place, I have been appointed a University delegate at various national student conferences, I have spoken at and delivered a workshop at two NUS conferences and I have mentored with Leeds City Council. I am currently working part-time in the Faculty of Engineering Employability Suite as the Placements Support intern for my school (running CV clinics and drop-in sessions).

What would you say to students thinking about studying a civil engineering course with  at Leeds/thinking about the same career?

I would definitely recommend the programme for the wide choice of modules and the opportunity to do an industrial placement/year abroad. Leeds is a wonderful city and the student union has a lot of extra-curricular activities to get involved in.