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The University of Southampton
EngineeringUndergraduate study

Freya Malcher MEng Acoustical Engineering

Current student

Freya Malcher's Photo

I chose Southampton because it is one of the best places to study acoustics in the UK, with the world-renowned ISVR (Institute of Sound and Vibration Research) on campus and fantastic facilities available to go with it.


Why did you choose to study at the University of Southampton?

I chose Southampton because it is one of the best places to study acoustics in the UK, with the world-renowned ISVR (Institute of Sound and Vibration Research) on campus and fantastic facilities available to go with it. The city is also just the right size, not as big and crowded as London, with plenty of green spaces and excellent transport links.

How do you feel that the University has supported you so far (for example, offering careers information, extra support from tutors)?

The University provides plenty of support. All students are assigned a personal tutor at the beginning of the course who is happy to help with any problems, and a student buddy to help you settle into student living. The Careers department is also really good, providing drop-in sessions to help you write a CV, and employability lectures to help with applications for placements and jobs.

What has been the highlight of your time here so far?

The highlight of my time at university (aside from studying) would have to be participating in the student societies. In my first year I spent much of my social time playing in pit bands for musicals and light operas. I played flute for the “Pirates of Penzance” at the Nuffield Theatre on campus which was such a great experience and loved playing Reeds for “Footloose” in my third year.

What do you enjoy most about living in Southampton?

The thing I enjoy most about living in Southampton is how close everything is to you. I can get to everything I need (University, shops, nightclubs, friends etc.,) within a 15 minute walk which is really convenient and means I don’t need a car to get around.

What have you enjoyed most about your course so far?

The most enjoyable thing about my course so far was my individual project in my 3rd year. I was working on an ultrasonic floor cleaning device which utilised technology from “StarStream®”, a device invented by Professor Tim Leighton and Dr Peter Birkin at the University. This was one of many exciting opportunities I was offered; I had never even thought about working on ultrasound when I started the course. I really enjoyed the project and worked so hard on it that I won a prize for the best project by the IMechE (Institute of Mechanical Engineers) and the “Prosig Acoustics Project Prize”!

Can you provide a summary of your Group Design Project?

For my GDP I am designing and building low noise ducted propellers for UAVs (drones). This is particularly prominent in industry at the moment with companies such as Amazon researching the use of drones for delivering packages. However, these drones need to be quiet if they are to be used in residential areas so the noise does not disturb people. For our project we are 3D printing propeller and duct prototypes to test in the anechoic chamber. This will enable us to see which design features can reduce noise whilst maintaining aerodynamic performance.

How have, or will, the facilities available at Southampton help you with your project?

I have used almost all of the engineering facilities in the University from the EDMC (Engineering Design Manufacturing Centre) to 3D printers and the design workshops. Workshop staff are always helpful and support you in making sure your designs are realistic and can be built easily.

What are your lecturers and supervisors like? Have you found them supportive?

Lecturers and supervisors can be very supportive, provided that you are proactive in finding help and approach them with questions, showing you have thought about your problem beforehand. You also build relationships with lecturers throughout your degree - they become more helpful when they know who you are!

If you could offer prospective students one piece of advice, what would it be?

University is not just about your degree! Spend as much time as you can (especially in first year) enjoying yourself, trying out new things and making friends, because this is probably the last chance where all those opportunities will be easily accessible. However, you do need to make sure you understand all that you learn in your first year, as having a strong base will make further years easier.


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