Isaac Caculo, an Angolan 
international student studying MEng Mechanical Engineering

Isaac Caculo

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

I had the chance to experience a bit of what being a mechanical engineer is like while in secondary school and it made me aware of what is needed to reach there. Thus, when I was selecting which university to go to, I focused heavily on institutions with a rich program for my course, great reputation and also good employability rate. The University of Leeds scored highly on these three categories and automatically became my first choice. However, my last decision was effectively made after going to an open day where I had the opportunity to see all the facilities the institution has.

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

Without a shadow of the doubt, the quality of the teaching staff has been simply outstanding. The support provided has been exceptionally helpful. I have had the privilege of being taught by people who are not only knowledgeable about their respective subjects but who are also actively working in the dynamic field of engineering. Thus, I feel that I have been equipped with the most updated tools which will help me to face future challenges in my professional career.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed so far?

Working on projects has been an important part of my learning process as I find it to be a great opportunity to put into practice the theory I have learnt in lectures and also get hands on experience.

In first year, in a team of 2, we developed a program in both Matlab and Labview capable of detecting tumours around a tissue. A graphical user interface (GUI) was created to enable interaction with users.

In the second year, as part of a team of 7, we built an autonomous buggy which had to be both self correcting its path and able to stop itself in the correct area. A Ni cRIO was used to control the buggy, however the rest of the buggy design and the programming was done by the team. I was particularly responsible for the calculation of the suspension system of the buggy.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

As an international student, I have found Leeds to be the perfect fit for me due to its diversity. I have met people from all over the world in Leeds and this has enabled me to learn a bit about other cultures. Leeds is also a vibrant city and there is always something going on. The city center is really close to the University.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I have always been interested in renewable energy. Therefore, I am looking to pursue a career in the energy industry.

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

I have developed invaluable skills such as team work and time management through group assignments. I have also experienced how to implement a project and meet milestones. Although those tasks are nothing when compered to what I expect to see in an organizational context, but they were structured in such way that I could understand the underlining concepts which are applied in real world situations.

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

There isn’t a better place to do mechanical engineering than Leeds University. The combination of the well structure program and the facilities it has will provide you an unforgettable experience. Therefore, make the most out of your time in Leeds.