How the opportunities at UWE Bristol have helped Kirsty to get a Women in Engineering scholarship.

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By Kirsty, Mechanical Engineering student.

Our final year student, Kirsty, tells us about studying Mechanical Engineering at UWE Bristol. She also shares her experience of her engineering placement year and how she achieved a space in Santander’s Women in Engineering Scholarship Programme.

Hi, I’m Kirsty and I’m a Final Year Mechanical Engineering student at UWE Bristol. Throughout school, I knew I wanted to study something hands-on and practical. I was always more engaged in lessons where we did experiments and could see the applications of what we were learning.

I was also good at maths, so when looking for a university degree, I decided I’d like to study a practical course with a maths application. I chose to study Mechanical Engineering as it fitted these criteria, and I liked that it involved logical thinking.

Why I chose UWE Bristol

I applied to study at UWE Bristol through Clearing. I was made to feel very welcome by all the lecturers and student ambassadors when I arrived on my first day. They were all so friendly and excited to have us on campus.

“Once we’d had a tour of the facilities, I knew then that I was in the right place.”

I chose UWE Bristol because of the practical opportunities on offer within the course, and the variety of subject areas you can study. The course is focused on preparing you for the professional aspects of a career in engineering, which has also been hugely beneficial.

My degree opportunities

The staff on the course specialise in a variety of disciplines, allowing you to begin exciting research in an area of your choice. In my final year, I became interested in Medical Engineering, so I had the chance to learn more about this field.

I’ve been developing a bio-inspired prosthetic knee joint, with help from the staff and resources at Bristol’s Robotic Laboratory. Located on Frenchay Campus, Bristol’s Robotic Laboratory is the biggest robotics lab in the UK. It’s equipped with the latest technology and equipment, including drones, AI machines and more.

I also applied for a placement during my degree, and I started my placement year with EDF Energy at the end of second year. Thanks to the preparation my course gave me, I was able to take on responsibilities and tasks not usually offered to placement students. My manager was shocked by my level of professionalism and how well I adapted to the working environment.

Santander’s Women in Engineering Scholarship Programme

The opportunity to be involved with projects at the forefront of the engineering industry has been so exciting. It’s also helped me to stand out to future employers, as well as award and scholarship schemes.

My experiences and teaching have enabled me to successfully achieve 1 of 30 UK spaces in Santander’s Women in Engineering Scholarship Programme. This has been one of the best opportunities to come out of the course, and one of my greatest achievements.

Not only will the scholarship provide funding for my final year, it’ll also give me exclusive access to events in the industry. These include events run by WES (Women’s Engineering Society), WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) and IMECHE (Institute of Mechanical Engineering).

The opportunity I’m most excited about is gaining overseas experience with the other scholarship winners. In summer 2021, we’ll have the chance to visit NASA, Apple and other leading companies in the industry. This overseas experience will enhance our professional engineering profiles, as well as show us the incredible opportunities available to women in engineering.

My highlights of studying at UWE Bristol

Mechanical Engineering is a challenging degree, so you’ll need to work hard, but there are many support systems on offer to help you succeed. These support systems offer one-to-one support if you’re struggling with any aspects of the course content. For example, you can get involved with:

– PAL (Peer Assisted Learning).
– Espresso Maths.
– Espresso Engineering.
– Espresso Coding.

“I’m excited for everyone who chooses to study at UWE Bristol. I’d encourage you to make the most of the opportunities available to you.”

During my degree, I’ve been able to get involved in STEM (Science, Technology and Maths) events at local schools and colleges. I really enjoyed sharing my passion for learning and showing students the practicality of a career in engineering.

These opportunities sparked my interest in teaching, inspiring me to apply for a PGCE course. I’m excited to start my PGCE in Secondary Maths in the near future. This shows the Mechanical Engineering course at UWE Bristol can set you up to do anything you want to. I hope this course and the University itself will be an engaging and exciting place for you too.

Find out more about studying Engineering at UWE Bristol.

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