Michael Fraser

Michael Fraser

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

As part of my Chevening scholarship application, I was required to familiarize myself with universities in the UK and identify the three most aligned to my academic interests.

The University of Leeds captured my interest first because of its engineering ranking and second because of the core and optional modules of the University’s electronic communication programme.

I was eventually convinced that I had found my ideal university after perusing the research profile and publications of academic staff members within the Electrical and Electronics Department.

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

I was particular pleased with the design, execution and administration of the Communication and Signal Processing programme.

The lecturers I've encountered have been knowledgeable and approachable and they've demonstrated deep commitment to facilitate learning. Each module provided updated and properly prepared lecture notes and support materials which greatly accelerated and enhanced my learning. My learning experience was further augmented by the well-equipped laboratories and libraries on campus.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed.

To match the trend of ever increasing demands for greater data throughput and reliability, the engineering community must continuously enhance and expand the pool of available communication techniques and technologies. The most exciting projects were therefore those aimed at providing a deep understanding of the performance bounds of key techniques and technologies deployed in communication systems. With this understanding, the stage was set for us to begin thinking about how we could meaningfully contribute to the field.

One of these projects involved using MATLAB to design and investigate the performance bounds of various modulation and channel coding schemes. Another MATLAB project was to investigate network security by designing a cryptographic algorithm and testing its effectiveness by attempting a hack. After being introduced to the theory behind High Speed Internet Architecture, we were tasked with developing and testing (either hardware or software) our own algorithm for a high speed internet switch or router.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

I was pleasantly surprised with the ease and cost effectiveness with which one can travel around the city of Leeds. The city is ideally situated to allow day trips to some of the most beautiful destinations in the UK. There are a wide variety of affordable gyms, restaurants and bars spread across the city that cater for students’ entertainment and relaxation.

The cost of living in Leeds is well suited to students’ budget. Many stores and supermarkets also offer regular student discounts.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Working on electronic communication systems has always been a passion of mine and as such, I aspire for a career in electronic communications. This course has allowed me to refine and narrow my interest and to focus on communication systems research and design. In the short term I intend to work in the design department of a communication firm. After gathering sufficient knowledge and experience, it is my vision to create a company specializing in communication systems research and design.  

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

While lecture and tutorial sessions were tremendously helpful and effective in assimilation of knowledge, the carefully selected reading lists for each Module provided an even richer learning experience.  However, the most interesting part of each module was the opportunity it presented to accommodate, internalize and personalize the acquired knowledge. The opportunity to test established, as well as new, ideas within modern hardware and software environment has greatly enhanced my competence in and understanding of Electronic Communications.

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

If you have an interest in Electronic Communications, even with the most basic background knowledge, the University of Leeds is well positioned to assist you in creating a solid platform from which you can launch a successful career. All that is required on your part is the desire to explore, good time management and the commitment to continuously challenge and push the frontiers of your knowledge.