Mechanical Engineering internship student Sophie Hutchinson

Sophie Hutchinson

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

I chose to study at the University of Leeds because of its Russel Group status and also due to its research excellence, particularly in the field of Medical Engineering.

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

I have really enjoyed the projects that bring together aspects from all different modules and provide opportunities to really test your engineering skills within a supportive team. It has also been invaluable experience to get involved with the research that the university does through the summer internship scheme.

Tell us about your summer internship.

My summer internship was looking at improving the safety of a device used for keyhole surgery in low resource settings particularly in rural India. I worked in a multidisciplinary team with students and researches from the school of medicine as well as from mechanical and electrical engineering. Together we designed and manufactured a prototype and then conducted a cadaveric study which involved inviting surgeons to test the use of our prototype.

The summer internship gave me a great opportunity to work in a varied and talented team and I know I have learnt skills which will prepare me well for my third and fourth years of my degree as well as influencing my career decisions.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds is a great city for a student! Its proximity to the university means that everything you need is on hand and the variety of things to do is amazing. My favourite thing about Leeds is how easy it is to get out into the Yorkshire Dales, a great way to really escape from the pressures of university life.

What are your ambitions for the future/what are you going on to do next?

I am just starting my third year and will go on to complete my masters degree in Mechanical Engineering. My summer internship has confirmed my interest in pursuing a career in the medical engineering field.

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

My summer internship has given me a great insight into a career in research and alongside doing a year in industry it has shown me the variety of careers available. Team projects throughout the first and second years have also taught me how to approach projects in the most efficient way.

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

Make the most of your time in Leeds. There are so many great opportunities available so try to get as involved as you can. Make sure you maintain a good work life balance though to ensure you make the most of the opportunities from within mechanical engineering.