Aidan Kelly MEng Mechanical Engineering
Year in Industry placement: Structural Design Engineer, Matchtech Engineering Services
could not recommend doing a work placement highly enough. It is good to be able to put all of the knowledge gained at university into real world applications and solving real problems.
"I have always been quite interested in how things work and at school my favourite subjects were maths and physics so engineering was a pretty logical next step.
I live fairly locally so having one of the best universities in the country practically on my doorstep was one of the main reasons why I chose to study at Southampton, I'd also seen what the Bioengineers at Southampton were doing which really interested me.
So far I have found the variety of subjects really interesting. Even now, three years into the course, I'm not 100% sure which industry I would like to go into when I graduate so being able to keep my options by doing a range of subjects is a bonus. As I mentioned before I am quite interested in bioengineering so I have enjoyed the materials and biomechanics courses I have done. I also enjoyed my third year project, I created a program to simulate bone remodelling in a femur.
It is good to have lecturers that are enthusiastic about the subject they are teaching, it helps to keep your interest. On the whole the quality of teaching has been very good and most lecturers are happy to speak to you after lectures about any problems you may have.
In the engineering buildings there are usually computers free and they pretty much all have all the required engineering software on them. The computers are all pretty powerful and have handled most of the Solidworks CAD files and Mathcad programs I have come across.
I am currently spending a year in industry working as a Structural Design Engineer for Matchtech Engineering Services. They are an engineering consultancy firm that carry out packages of work from a number of companies around the country. Most of the work I have been doing so far has been structural design work, for example I recently worked on a design project for the aircraft carrier that is currently being built for BAE Systems.
The placement has been really interesting so far. I could not recommend doing a work placement highly enough. It is good to be able to put all of the knowledge gained at university into real world applications and solving real problems. The team at Matchtech are great too and there are some really accomplished engineers, some for example are fellows of the IMechE. All of the people on the team are happy to help you when you encounter any problems and point you in the right direction and to be able to draw from their wealth of engineering experience is invaluable.
I'm hoping that there may be the opportunity to return and work at Matchtech once I have graduated (fingers crossed!). Regardless of that it is also a benefit to have some form of work experience helping to put your head and shoulders above of other applicants when applying for graduate positions. I have also gained more confidence in my engineering and problem solving abilities."