Dimitrios Kafetzis

Dimitrios Kafetzis

Why I chose to study Embedded Systems Engineering

During my BEng course in Electronics and Nanotechnology at the University of Leeds, I was very interested in the field of embedded systems. One of the most important reasons for studying this at MSc level was the satisfaction I got from the embedded systems projects in both the second and third year of my course. Embedded systems are in the gap between hardware and software. I’ve always had an equal interest in both fields and embedded systems combine these together in one programme. A second very important reason to me for choosing this course, was that embedded systems are everywhere in our daily life. The field of their applications is infinite and the industry is extremely interested in this field internationally.

WhyI chose to study at Leeds

I came to the University of Leeds as an undergraduate student in 2009 and was particularly interested in the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. Initially, the main reasons for choosing the University of Leeds were based purely on the rankings of the school. They were in the top 5 schools for electronic and electrical engineering in the UK and the number 1 school for research, in the RAE of 2008. The University is a member of the Russell Group, amongst other top universities in the UK, proving that they deliver an outstanding level of research in electronic and electrical engineering.

My favourite part of the course

I think there was more than one great aspect of the course but if I had to choose only one, I would say my MSc research project. It took almost the whole academic period to complete! I worked as a member of the I3S Ultrasound Group at the University of Leeds. We worked as a team and I had full support from everyone. This gave me the opportunity to explore areas of engineering that I hadn’t already, during my previous academic years. The work in an R&D team, such as the Ultrasound group is an incredible experience. I found this to be one of the most beneficial aspects of the course in terms of securing and sustaining a future career in industry.

My MSc Project

My MSc project was in the field of advanced hardware design for high-end devices used in the development of the new Ultrasound Array Research Platform (UARP 2.0). The project was full of challenges because the devices needed a complicated design and different technologies were implemented for both high and low voltage and pure digital design in high frequencies. I learned plenty of methods and techniques, which helped me gain a strong foundation of knowledge in hardware design. I also had the opportunity to work in a team based project in an R&D group. For the whole project I used a professional design package called Mentor Graphics Suite, which is used by most electronic design professionals in industry. During the interview I had with my current employer Desoutter Medical, I presented part of my project and it was recognised and appreciated that I had experience with the Mentor Graphics Suite. On reflection, I also think that the whole postgraduate course in embedded systems engineering was appreciated, because embedded systems are at the core of the company’s projects.

Life after graduation

I am working as an Electronics Design Engineer in the R&D team of Zethon ltd, which is a daughter company of Desoutter Medical. I am working on projects in the field of medical electronics, where embedded systems play a prominent role. The medical electronics market is an ever growing field that has plenty of opportunities for an engineer, either in software or hardware design. An Embedded Systems Engineer is at the heart of designing teams in this field.

My advice to prospective students

It is a wonderful course, especially for every electronic and electrical engineer who has a passion for both software and hardware design. I think that every student studying this course will really enjoy the practical side and project based modules, which this master’s degree is full of! The knowledge background in theoretical base is also very strong and is complemented with the related laboratory based projects. My main advice to prospective students is to make sure they definitely want to do this MSc course because it has a high degree of difficulty and a lot of hard work is required to achieve top results on these modules. However, they will of course have the best support from staff at the University, as I had anytime I needed it.

Finally, aside from studying, I am confident that students will really enjoy life in Leeds and I can say after 4 years of being in Leeds, it is a really fun and friendly city!