Lakshit Kumar

Lakshit Kumar

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

Having done a diploma course in mechatronics, I knew that I wanted to continue in the same field. When I was selecting my university my main requirement was the availability of mechatronics as a course, which only a handful number of institutes offered. The University of Leeds stood out as the best option for me as it offered my desired course and had a solid student satisfaction rating.

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University and why?

The opportunity to apply the knowledge I learn in classrooms to actual applications through various projects is the best aspect of my course. Working on these projects has helped me further the knowledge that I take away from my classroom sessions. In addition, working with other individuals has helped me to broaden my horizons.

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

I was given the opportunity to represent the university in an undergraduate design challenge set by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). The challenge required us to design and manufacture a repeatable vehicle, capable of moving four metres back and forth and ensuring that it stopped at the exact point it started at. The determination of distance had to be entirely mechanical, meaning no sensors were allowed, and the project followed a design specification and a tight budget.

There were four aspects to the competition - presentation, poster, performance and peer review. As we had a limited time period to work on this project, it was vital for us to delegate tasks and get them done promptly to ensure that we were in the running for every aspect of the competition.

As a team, we won the Yorkshire Regionals and went on to represent the region at the Nationals Competition, which was held in the IMechE Headquarters in London. We put up a good fight against winners from other regions and we were placed 3rd for the whole of UK. The competition gave me lots of experience in different aspects of engineering that we don’t get to learn on a day to day basis in a classroom environment. It also highlighted the importance of teamwork and the different challenges involved in bringing an idea to life.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

I personally believe that Leeds is the perfect destination for students. It is safe, beautiful and has tons of things that you can do to cool off from the daily hustle. Pubs, restaurants, museums, you name it, we have it! Compared to other big cities, the living expenses are lower, so that is always a bonus!

What are your ambitions for the future?

Because my course is interdisciplinary, it will allow me to apply for a range of jobs across the different engineering fields. Personally, from looking at the different projects people have been working on, I have become interested in working in a field related to autonomous systems and human-robot interaction. Upon my graduation, I hope to contribute to those fields.

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

I think the biggest experiences I have gained are through the projects I have been part of. Working on projects with different individuals has helped me to understand team dynamics. These are experiences that can’t be quite taught in a classroom environment. Employers often look for candidates who are not just good in technical knowledge but rather those who could fit into their teams seamlessly. In that regard, University of Leeds has helped me develop myself as a person to be the perfect candidate for employers.

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

Doing a course like mechatronics will mean you may have almost twice the number of projects as those on other engineering courses that you would have to work on, but don’t be put off by that! The amount of experience you gain while doing projects is invaluable and makes great conversation for your interviews.

Also get involved with what the university offers apart from just the course – societies, events, scholarships. Last but not least, don’t forget to enjoy what the city has to offer!