- Course: Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc
- Year of graduation: 2013
- Company: Bentley Motors
I joined Bentley Motors six years ago. I was headhunted straight after I’d completed my Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc at Leeds. I work in computer-aided engineering (CAE), which increasingly leads the vehicle design process to reduce weight, design cost and development time.
It’s an exciting time to work in the automotive industry, with the focus on green energy and electric cars. Weight is a big topic because if a car is too heavy it consumes more fuel and emits more carbon monoxide. I use mathematical modelling to make sure vehicles are designed in a more weight-efficient way.
Before my Masters I was already working in the car industry and with mathematical modelling, but I didn’t have enough knowledge of the fundamentals. I wanted a course that would help me fill this gap and the course at Leeds offered this. I also received an International Excellence scholarship from the Faculty of Engineering, which was good news!
My course let me choose modules that related to automotive engineering, so I could tailor my studies. Two modules in particular really increased my technical knowledge, and a whole range of industry-standard software was available in my School, which was a massive plus.
A key thing about my Masters is that it was a good mix of theoretical and practical. I was part of a team working on the development of a Formula Student Race Car. With my mathematical modelling skills, I helped design a chassis that was lighter and stiffer than the previous one, and so improved performance. I wrote my dissertation on this project and now I use the skills and understanding I gained all the time in my job.
What’s really exciting is I’m now doing a part-time PhD with the University, funded and supported by Bentley. My PhD topic is on minimising noise and vibration from brake discs and I’m working with the same expert academics I met studying my Masters. The quality of the lecturers is the thing I value most about my Masters at Leeds – highly qualified and experienced teachers with close links with industry. You can tell they’re teaching about things they’ve actually worked on. They’re always conducting research with industry and their knowledge is very current.
I’m now an alumni mentor for the University. I answer questions, mostly from Mechanical Engineering students, about my role or give advice on their job applications. The University played an important role in helping me get where I am today and I feel giving something back is the least I can do.