Kudakwashe Chingono (Kuda)
- Course: Chemical Process Engineering MSc
- Year of graduation: 2020
- Nationality: Zimbabwean
- Job title: Innovation Consultant
- Company: Moralitas Group
Why did you choose to study your course and why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I had done Applied Chemistry in my undergrad and wanted to progress my career in the direction of Sustainable Process Technology development. Doing an MSc in Chemical Process Engineering was quite the logical next step, and I was supported by the Beit Trust-University of Leeds Scholarship to do just that. I chose the University of Leeds because of the high university rankings, which translate to great learning facilities with experts in the field and being part of some great research.
What were the best aspects of studying on your course?
I came in with an intention to learn and grow, and my course facilitated that. There was always something new to grasp and a way to apply it. This was one of the best aspects. I also enjoyed the exposure on how real-life problems were solved from an engineering point of view.
Did you work on any interesting projects at university?
Definitely, my thesis was one of those. It involved attempting to use a new software to model reactions in a type of chemical equipment, a photo reactor. I enjoyed how it challenged me to bring together knowledge from courses I had done as well as bring me closer to my work in sustainable processes. It exposed me to challenges faced in equipment and process development, and offered insight into how to tackle these with the right tools.
What experiences at Leeds have particularly helped with your career?
The highly collaborative and engaging learning environment has helped a lot, as it taught some key soft skills that have been useful so far. Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, I was part of the Leeds University Consulting Society and I gained some exposure to business and consultancy in doing case studies. It was interesting.
What company are you working for, what is your role and what does it involve?
I have been working as an Innovation Consultant at the Moralitas Group, a firm committed to supporting the growth of SMEs and other innovators. It involves partnering SMEs, Inventors and other innovators who have a diverse range of great ideas for their growth and development. I then work within a team of business researchers, experts in strategy, bid writing, proposals and tender writing, collaborating to deliver great projects.
What’s the most important thing you learned during your time at university?
It definitely has to be that a well-coordinated team always produces outstanding results.
Would you recommend your course to others?
The MSc Chemical Process Engineering is well-rounded, and I highly recommend it. The different courses give a good grounding in chemical processes and applications especially if one is coming from a related course such as chemistry or material science. We were quite a blend of backgrounds there and everyone brought a different perspective.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with new students?
The university has a lot to offer – from support in settling in right, to life after Leeds. There are also awesome opportunities to help shape your career, and there is no harm in trying out new things, and getting some great experiences along the way.