A portrait photograph of Eduards Butans.

Eduards Butans

When Eduards Butans was looking for a course to study, he found one that succeeded on multiple levels at the University of Leeds. “I joined Leeds for the Mechatronics and Robotics course, which I found appealing back when I was applying due to its apparent diversity. Mechatronics brings integration of both mechanical and electrical worlds of engineering – exactly what I believe young engineers either fear or have not been exposed to. University of Leeds has managed (and hopefully will continue) to give me the tools to appreciate numerous of engineering disciplines, opening doors to vast range of career paths. 

“Moreover, Leeds stood out with what is most relieving to see as an international student. It is recognition of non-UK format exam score requirements and general recognition of students coming from different educational systems. It had been extremely frustrating trying to negotiate away from physically impossible exam score offers. Leeds was the only University that gave me a fair UCAS conditional offer on the spot.”

A portrait photograph of Eduards Butans wearing sunglasses stood in a carpark.


A New Culture to Explore 

Of course, travelling to another country for study was a daunting prospect – but one that wielded unexpected rewards. “What scared me most just before starting University was not knowing anyone there. The fact that I was about to travel 2000 kilometres away from home made me believe that I might be in some way alien to the environment there. To some extent I really was. The culture, every day rhythm, and language was all different. Perhaps it was also the thing that excited me to travel here – new experiences.   
“It took me a good while to get used to little things like small talk and different cuisine, but more significantly, it took me even more time to get comfortable with English language on a daily basis and socialising. It was hard to talk with people when you had extremely little to share that they can make sense of. Fortunately, this was more of a wrong assumption that I had made up from having to move away from my home and the right people actually loved to hear about all the foreign. And so did I.” 

Preparing for the Future 

Eduards’s studies have given him key knowledge and hands-on experience. “For an industry field as practical as engineering, it is an absolute must to experiment with what you have been taught in books and lecture notes. What I have seen both in University and industry is that sometimes engineers try to distance themselves from a technician role. They argue that the job they do is only design of systems in complex software and have no time to do the “easy and crude” job of assembling products. That is dangerous pitfall for young engineers – they do not realise how theoretical computational simulations can be or that their design work overlooks practical implementation flaws.  

“My course has done an amazing job of providing me with meaningful lab work, however, even better are opportunities like Formula Student, LURA, Robot fighting league that University of Leeds supports. I am grateful for that and would recommend these to anyone looking to becoming a notable engineer.” 

A group photograph of the LURA team with their rocket.


What advice does he have for future students? “Most importantly, get involved. University years are the best time to discover what exactly you love about engineering and get emerged into this passion. All it takes for you is to be proactive and find the right motivation. There is so much engineering projects, societies, organisation to join. You will find fascinating on-of-a kind opportunities as long as you look for them.”