- Course: Mechanical Engineering MEng
- Company: Summer internship: Design of Grip Sensing Joystick for the MyPAM system
Why did you decide to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds?
I enjoyed mathematics and science at school, in particular physics and so I was always heading towards a degree in a physical science or engineering. Mechanical engineering seemed to suit me well as it’s quite broad and so I would have plenty of options once I graduated. I chose to study at the University of Leeds because it’s in a great city and is one of the best universities in the country. The course structure also appealed to me a great deal. I liked how I would have the option to change my speciality after second year. This allowed me to make a much more informed decision on what area to specialise in during my third and fourth years.
What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University and why?
The breadth of modules you study here at Leeds has definitely been one of the best aspects. You get exposed to a great deal of subjects which helps to widen both your knowledge and interests and also helps keep things exciting.
What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?
Leeds is a great place for students, there is no shortage of things to do and new places to go. The city centre has an abundance of restaurants, bars and clubs and so no matter what you are interested in, there will be something you’ll enjoy.
What are your ambitions for the future?
After my degree I hope to study for a PhD. I’m still unsure as to what area of engineering I’d like to go into but I really enjoyed my summer research internship at the university and that has led to me wanting to pursue a career in research.
What would you say to students coming to do the same course?
I would advise future students to be as committed as possible to studying. The course moves quickly and if you fall too far behind it’s very difficult to catch back up, therefore it’s best to try keep on top of the work. Also I would strongly advise them to attend the examples classes, these are a great opportunity to get one to one help from the academics on anything you may be struggling with.
Tell us about your Summer Internship
I was working on redesigning the handle/joystick for the second iteration of the MyPAM system. This is a rehabilitation robot that has been developed at the university to assist the recovery of upper limb movement in patients following a stroke. The new handle was to improve on the old one in a number of ways, the main improvement being the addition of a grip sensor. Thus my project was to design a new handle that would incorporate sensors capable of measuring changes in the grip force applied by a patient. The addition of this force feedback would be useful in a number of ways. One possible use would be for health care professionals to assess the effort that is required by a patient to perform a specific task. Exercises could then be tailored to a patient’s needs and thus increasing the effectiveness of the treatment and accelerating recovery.
I applied to do a research internship as I was interested in pursuing a career in research and also because relevant work experience is very important when it comes to applying for opportunities after graduation. I thought a research project at the University of Leeds would be a great way to learn new skills and enhance my CV with relevant work experience. During my internship I was required to use various software packages such as SolidWorks, LabVIEW and Matlab to design and test components as well as analyse experimental data. As a result, my skills and confidence using these software packages improved immensely.