Arturs Grigals

Why did you decide to study Mechatronics and Robotics at Leeds?

I chose to study in Leeds because it has one of the top 10 Electronic and Electrical engineering schools in UK. The Mechatronics and Robotics course stood out particularly because of the amount of hands on work that was provided. Mechatronics students undertake twice the amount of projects that others do therefore gaining valuable practical skills, which was very important to me to gain besides engineering theory.

What has been the best aspect of studying at the University of Leeds and why?

I find that the best aspect are the opportunities that the university student's union provides. There are a vast amount of activities and sports to participate during your degree. “Give it a go” sessions have been an astonishing opportunity to try activities you have never done before. Scuba diving, martial arts are cultural events are just some of the things I experienced whilst studying here. 

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed so far?

In the first year of my course I built a control system for a traxter buggy, programmed a small buggy to follow a track autonomously and designed and built a rubber band powered buggy.

In the Second year, we designed and build an autonomous buggy and waterwheel in a team project. Along with that I designed and programmed a distance measuring device that played a role in a job interview I had.

Have you undertaken a placement? What do you think you have gained out of the experience?

In the summer after my second year I took a summer placement in an automation systems company near Leeds as a software intern. This opportunity was organised by the university carreers centre. They guided me all the way from writing an application to signing the contract. One of the projects I did whilst studying in Leeds played a role in my interview and helped me to get the job.

During the internship I gained valuable skills and experience such as problem solving and commercial awareness. I worked in a team of engineers and learned about the use of PLC’s in automation machinery. I got an insight into how projects are executed in the real world and worked on current company projects. This gave me an edge when organising my third year individual project.

Tell us about some of the facilities in the school and at the University?

I personally find the university bike hub very useful. It is free of charge and an opportunity for the students to use tools or to be taught how to fix any bike problem.

The university sports centre is on campus with state of the art facilities where students can enjoy going to the swimming pool, fitness suite or book different activities in the halls just to relax form studies.

What other activities outside your studies are you involved in?

I have a part time job on University campus. I work at the Edge sports centre as a Recreation Assistant. The university provides job opportunities to those who want it. This experience has given me valuable skills that enhance my CV, such as communication and teamwork.

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

I have gained a vast amount of skills whilst working on projects, gained experience in job applications and now have the understanding that there are opportunities everywhere. After I finish my degree I want to work on humanoid and general robotics research. I feel that Leeds has provided me with the skills I need to be able to tackle new challenges.