- Course: MSc Electrical Engineering and Renewable Energy Systems
- Nationality: British
- Job title: Graduate Electrical Engineer
- Company: Northern Gas Networks
What have you been doing since finishing your studies? What are you doing in terms of your career?
I graduated in 2014 and was soon after accepted onto the Northern Gas Networks graduate programme.
What company are you working for, what is your role and what does it involve?
In Northern Gas Networks I am part of the major projects team. The team is involved into projects which are above the commercial pressure. Therefore, dealing with medium and high pressure systems, require careful planning and safe work of operations. This is why, from day one until the end of my graduate program, I will be called to complete a series of compulsory safety training courses.
Everyday activity may vary according to deadlines and projects; however, this usually involves meetings with professional engineers to organize how the upcoming projects will be handled, site visits every two weeks in order to assess the progress of the works and reviewing and evaluating electrical and instrumentation drawings.
As part of my technical development, I am called to prepare a set of detailed reports regarding the core aspects of the business like pipelines, internal management processes with the aim to, upgrade my knowledge, identify any pitfalls in the current procedures and suggest potential solutions. And my professional development program, allows me to participate in projects from another discipline (ie. Marketing) which expands my knowledge about the company and the people involved.
In the upcoming months I will be assigned my first solo project in which I will have to evaluate the existing facilities and organize their potential upgrades.
hat experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career?
The laboratory sessions were probably one of the determinant factors that secured my existing job. At the University of Leeds we had the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with engineering equipment and systems such as transformers, micro-controllers, renewable energy sources and PID controllers, which are considered essential in almost any electrical engineering sector.Additionally, the theoretical knowledge gained from modules such as advanced control, electric power generation by renewable sources, programming and Grid Connected micro-generation systems helped to build on my problem solving capability and unique know-how. Moreover my degree included interdisciplinary modules aiming at increasing the students’ commercial and industrial awareness on Electrical Engineering matters as well as advancing our general intellectual capacity. I strongly believe that the skills I learnt through these modules allowed me to excel in my current job's interview process. Lastly, the demanding assessments’ such as report writing, presentations, lab projects and written examinations, helped develop excellent time management and organisation, which in Northern Gas Networks are highly valued and appreciated skills to have.
Looking back, why did you choose to study your particular course and why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I chose to study electrical engineering because I consider it to be a highly creative and innovative discipline and the knowledge gained from this degree is relevant to multiple industry sectors. In addition to this, University of Leeds is a respectable university with global reputation especially in its engineering degrees.
What was the best aspect of the course/the University and why? Any highlights?
When I decided to do a Masters (MSc) degree I browsed through several Universities' courses catalogues looking for a course that could provide me with both advanced theoretically knowledge and practical experience. Leeds was the one that caught my eye mainly because it gave students the opportunity to experience first-hand the real engineering practices through several lab sessions equipped with advanced and innovative technologies.
What would you say to students thinking about studying the same course at Leeds/thinking about the same career?
I would advise the new students not to get frustrated by the workload and to seek the support of academic staff, when appropriate, which are extremely helpful and knowledgeable people. Moreover try to get the most out of this amazing and intellectual stimulating course, because it is designed to make you a master's level engineer. Lastly, I know that career hunting is a very stressful period in our lives but I want to assure you that there are plenty of opportunities out there when you are an Electrical Engineer.