Despina Polykarpou

Why did you decide to study an MSc in Electrical Engineering and Renewable Energy systems at the University of Leeds?

I chose to study at Leeds University as it is one of the best universities in the country for the electrical engineering sector.Additionally, I have completed my bachelor degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Leeds University, therefore I was aware of the great standard, the outstanding academic staff and the excellent organization that this university is able to offer.

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University so far and why?

The best part of the course is that it balances the theoretical and practical aspects of engineering. The school is able to offer outstanding equipment and labs that help in developing your practical knowledge and although, it requires hard work, the academic staff is always there happy to help so you get plenty of support. The journey has been tough at times but I was in a great environment where I’ve made fantastic friends, gained knowledge and been prepared to take on big challenges.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed.

Doing projects as part of the course have given me the opportunity to deal with real life issues and get prepared for the job market. For example, one of our projects was to simulate a wind turbine system, which has to be connected and synchronised to the grid. Another project was about the design and build of a PWM to drive a three-phase converter. This kind of projects involve in getting expert with the lab equipment and the programming/coding part of the electrical engineering. Additionally, on my final project I have been dealing with the partial shading effect on photovoltaic systems and I had the luck to explore some aspects of artificial intelligence.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds is a great city for students as it has something to offer for all tastes, whether this is a night out in town, a relaxing walk by the river or an afternoon coffee/tea with friends in the city centre. In my opinion, Leeds has one of the best nightlife in UK and a variety of shops with the Trinity shopping centre to complete the scene and offer a great shopping experience.

What are your ambitions for the future?

In the future, I am hoping to have a key role in a company, and become a chartered engineer (The MSc program is accredited by IET organisation, which involves in becoming CEng). Additionally, I would like to inspire younger women to think outside of the box and become engineers as well, so that at later times the electrical engineering sector will be equally formed from both male and female engineers.

What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?

The course develops the ability to wisely manage time in order to be able to meet all the deadlines and have a balance between the studying time and the social life, which in my opinion is important for my future career. Moreover, all the practical projects that I have completed will be a great experience, worth having, which will enhance my career.

What would you say to students coming to do the same course?

Studying here is a great experience, which can provide you with knowledge and confidence to get in the market and build a great career. The MSc programme requires hard work, but it is very interesting and as long as you do it with passion, success is guaranteed.