Lewis Wooltorton

Why did you decide to study at the University of Leeds?

I decided to study at the University of Leeds for a number of reasons, including location and the nature of the course. I very much wanted to move further from home to somewhere completely new, as this would push me out of my comfort zone and into a fresh and exciting environment. Leeds is an exciting city, and the University has a very good reputation for Electronic Engineering and is on the cutting edge of research; all these along with other contributing factors influenced my overall decision.  

Why did you choose this particular course?

Throughout my A-Levels, I became very fascinated with electronics through physics. I began investigating the complex world of analogue design in my spare time, looking at how electronics could be used to create musical technologies at first (such as synthesisers). Over time I learnt there was far more to electronics than circuits alone, and saw the many different sub-fields of which it encompasses. I began to appreciate the mathematics and physics behind it all and discovered an enjoyment for it along the way. A course in Electronic Engineering covers a broad range of the various sub-fields from semiconductors to communications and more, hence it was a very good choice for me to make.  

What have been the best aspects of studying your course, and why?

So far I have very much enjoyed the in-depth modules in the theory of electronics. In particular, I have enjoyed learning the mathematical tools used for understanding and modelling communication systems, as I feel I am developing fluency in how to analyse systems on a theoretical level and then implement them in practice. I have also found the semiconductor physics aspects of the course to be very interesting and engaging, including the introduction to quantum mechanics and understanding of the fundamental principles of how these day-to-day devices actually work. This opens doors to the exciting area of research into these new devices.    

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed on your course?

The first year buggy project was a lot of fun, where we were tasked with building a remote control buggy to drive successfully round a track. I learnt a lot about the practical realisations of implementing an electronic system to achieve a task. The embedded systems gamepad project is also very valuable, as I feel I am thoroughly improving my coding skills through implementing an arcade style game in C++ on a small soldered gamepad. I am very much looking forward to future larger scale projects in my third and fourth year, where I can really test my ability to solve a real practical/research problem both as a team and on my own. 

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds as a city has a lot to offer, there really is something for everyone. It has a fantastic music scene for anyone interested in any genre, including local and larger scale bands playing live. There is vibrant nightlife and plenty of other activities to do.

What are your ambitions for the future?

In the future, I hope to pursue research into the theory of new emerging quantum technologies, including fields such as quantum information, quantum computation and quantum communications. This presents opportunities such as postgraduate study and research in the industry, both of which I am very enthusiastic about and I am looking forward to seeing where this interest takes me. 

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

Aside from the from the pure academic and professional development delivered by my course, I feel that the strong communication, social and time management skills I have learnt from working in teams and frequently meeting new people will be very valuable in the future. Being at the University of Leeds has strongly developed my work ethic and mentality, making me more rounded as a person and better equipped to tackle challenges in the future. 

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

I would say that it is very important (if you haven't done so already) to spend some time really looking into the field of electronics, both from the industrial and research perspective. Along with looking at the course description, getting a sense of the exciting places a degree in electronic engineering can take you can be highly motivated and allow you to see if the nature of the course is really what you want. I am by no means saying to decide your future career! That will come as you experience more and more of the vast field and see what really grabs your interest; I am simply saying begin to engage with the electronics more and more, be that by doing your own individual projects or by simply reading into any subject area that may interest you. The most successful students are always the ones who are genuinely motivated by what they study!