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University of Southampton Malaysia

Aria Vitkova PhD Candidate, University of Southampton

MEng Aeronautics and Astronautics/Spacecraft Engineering, 2018

Aria Vitkova's Photo

The driving force of my decision to study at Southampton was to learn more about what I was interested in and what I could see myself enjoying even after years of practice and in many years to come. The Spacecraft Engineering course at Southampton seemed to fit these requirements the most.

The most enjoyable aspect of my internship was the group of people I got to work with. Both the supervisors and the other interns made the whole experience so enjoyable and valuable.

What is it like studying Aeronautics and Astronautics at Southampton?

I found the course very enjoyable because of the wide spectrum of exciting and challenging assignments and projects I was involved in.

The course was challenging as there were a lot of assignments and it was not easy to cruise through all of them with excellent marks all the time, but I came here to learn so I found it enjoyable.

At Southampton, students are able to use very expensive equipment and facilities for project work.  It was easy to take this for granted but looking back, I realise it was a privilege to have this level of access as an undergraduate student. 

The course was full of individual and group projects, which provided a lot of useful experience. The course was quite practical, so you would generally spend a lot of time working on your projects in the design studios or student workshops with other students on your course, which I much preferred to sitting in a lecture room taking notes all the time. Some of my group projects led to long lasting friendships and a lot of fond memories.

 

Tell us about your summer internship

I did a summer internship between Years 3 and 4 working on the UoS3 CubeSat at the University, specifically the antenna deployment and shaker interface.

The aim of the UoS3 project was to design, manufacture and launch a small satellite that would collect position data during its lifetime and re-entry, and downlink it back to Earth. It was designed to help verify space debris re-entry models, which are currently a hot topic in the space industry.

The project also served as a learning exercise for MEng Aeronautics and Astronautics/Spacecraft Engineering students (as well as students from other faculties and societies) since it involved real industry-level engineering experience.

My specific role on the project during my internship was mechanisms engineering. This mostly involved the testing of the antenna deployment mechanism, however, I was also in charge of dealing with our non-compliances and overall testing specification and procedures.

The most enjoyable aspect of my internship was the group of people I got to work with. Both the supervisors and the other interns made the whole experience so enjoyable and valuable. As there were no interpersonal issues, we could focus solely on the engineering problems we were facing and that made the work so much easier and so much more fun.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved in this project. It puts all the theoretical knowledge we learnt on the course into perspective and it was reassuring to find out that the modules we took throughout the course actually helped to build a solid base for our future careers.

One of the most inspiring features of my whole university experience. I found myself enjoying things I would never even imagine myself doing before coming to Southampton, simply because the Students’ Union runs an incredible amount of societies and anyone can get involved. This allowed me to try out a lot of new and interesting things and meet many fascinating people, while also broadening my horizons.

 

What was life like as an undergraduate student in Southampton?

Getting involved in a variety of student societies was definitely one of the most inspiring features of my whole university experience. I found myself enjoying things I would never even imagine myself doing before coming to Southampton, simply because the Students’ Union runs an incredible amount of societies and anyone can get involved. This allowed me to try out a lot of new and interesting things and meet many fascinating people, while also broadening my horizons.

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