Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson

Why I chose to study for a PhD at the University of Leeds

I chose to study my research degree because tissue engineering is a very exciting developing field. Also, I wanted the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary field and learn new skills outside my current knowledge base. Additionally, I was also attracted to my degree as it is provided in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and the University of York so I have the opportunity to work with many different academics across three fantastic universities.

Tissue engineering and medical engineering at the university of Leeds are world leading. I wanted to be part of a department whose research is really making an impact on the world stage. Also I wanted the opportunity to interact with researchers with a high level of expertise and experience, which Leeds certainly provides.

About my research

My research is going to be focused on the development of bioreactors suitable to grow bone in. Hopefully we will be able to design a system in which bone can be co-cultured soft tissues with a built in on-board imaging system, which can be used as a simulation tool.

My favourite part of studying at Leeds

The best aspect of my degree has been that I have had an opportunity to really investigate my project prior to choosing it. The structure of my course means that I am currently in a training year and I've had lots of support to help me make the right project choice. In terms of the best aspect of the university I'd say that it is that social life and facilities are great.

Activities outside of my studies

At the moment I'm not involved with many university activities outside my studies. However, I regularly go skiing with other students on my course and I've enjoyed a lot of what the city of Leeds has on offer from the theatres to the Christkindle Mark at Christmas.

My ambitions for the future

I'm not sure at the moment, I've got three years to work that out! However, I think I'd like to take a post in a clinical science role or a research post in industry.

My advice to prospective students

I'd definitely encourage anyone thinking about doing an engineering research degree to go for it and apply. I think that now is a great time to develop your skills and to push yourself to achieve as much as you can. I'd also tell students to seriously consider coming to Leeds, as it boasts fantastic facilities, a great environment and phenomenal research staff.