Matthew Masters

Matthew Masters

Why did you choose to study Civil Engineering at Leeds?

One of the reasons I chose to study at Leeds is due to its great campus and friendly, vibrant atmosphere. The Union is second to none with countless societies that cater for all interests, and it hosts many events throughout the year. The main reason that I chose Civil Engineering at Leeds is because of the 6 common modules that are taken in the first year, which make it easier to switch between courses if I decide at a later point that I want to change. Also, the fact that all of these courses are accredited will help with my hopes of becoming a Chartered Engineer.

What’s the best aspect of your course?

What I like most about my degree is the ability to practice the theory that we are taught in practical sessions. During my first year I took part in a week long Engineering Surveying Camp at the purpose built Construction College in Norfolk. Whilst there, I was able to use the knowledge that I had gained during my lectures in a practical environment using the same equipment that would be used in a real construction project. For me this is an important part of the learning process as it enables me to see how these skills are used in everyday civil engineering.

Tell us about some projects you’ve undertaken during your course?

My first year integrated design project involved working within my tutor group to analyse a brief from our client and produce a feasibility study on the electrification and upgrading to dual track of the York to Harrogate railway line. For this we were required to research the whole length of the track with regards to the structures that are present along it and alterations to them, how the upgrade would affect the surrounding public/environment both during and after construction, and any other hazards that could arise due to the upgrade. With considerations to these aspects we were required to design a preferred option and produce a final report, which justified why this was the most efficient and cost effective option compared to other design options.

Tell us about your role in the Civil Engineering Society at Leeds and how do you promote Industrial links?

I am the Industrial Secretary for the Civil Engineering Society and my role is to organise site visits for the society members, as well as attracting guest speakers from civil engineering companies to come to the University and give presentations about their career experiences. In addition to this, I liaise with civil engineering institutes and the Engineering Employability Team to establish employability events where students have the chance to speakwith civil engineering firms and build important industrial contacts.

What are your ambitions for the future?

My long-term goal is to become a Chartered Engineer. I also want to specialise in sustainable engineering and it is my intention to choose modules during my degree that help me to achieve this goal.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer to students?

Leeds offers great nightlife, cuisine, tourist attractions and shopping centres. Also, the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District Nation Parks are only a short train journey away if you prefer a more picturesque way to spend your weekend.

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

The University regularly organises large career events, which attract some of the industry’s big names. Having the opportunity to attend these events and speak to these companies has given me a good idea as to what they are looking for from a potential graduate employee. Additionally, certain companies will advertise their jobs and placements exclusively to Leeds students and graduates giving us a better opportunity in securing them.

What advice would you have for any prospective students?

Make the most of your time at Leeds. Obviously the course is very important but make the most of the extra curricular activities that are available to you like societies and volunteering. The skills that you gain with these activities are important in helping you stand out in the ever-competitive graduate job market!