Shyama Ramjagsingh

Why did you decide to study an MSc. in Medical Engineering at the University of Leeds?

I completed my undergraduate degree in the United States so I wanted a change in environment for my postgraduate degree. The UK has always been a place I wanted to explore, so I began looking at universities here. I chose the University of Leeds because the School of Mechanical Engineering is highly ranked in the UK. I was also very intrigued by the outstanding research being carried out in Medical Engineering at the university and the close relationship it has with the industry.

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

There are so many great aspects of studying at Leeds, which makes it difficult to choose just one. The school genuinely cares about the success of the students so your personal tutor and module leaders are usually quite willing to assist in whatever way they can. One of the advantages of studying here is that the professors are also actively doing research so as a student, you gain this insight and you are constantly learning about the newest medical developments in the modules. Leeds is a global hub for the medical device industry, mainly in the field of orthopaedics, so there are many opportunities to visit local companies and hospitals which may not be available elsewhere. 

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

My favourite project is definitely my thesis project, although it is still in progress. It deals with assessing the tissue damage caused by laparoscopic graspers during Minimally Invasive Surgery. The project is very hands on so I have to go into the lab and carry out some experiments. It is a very exciting opportunity to actually be involved, rather than to just analyse other people’s work and develop your thesis from it.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds is an amazing city, particularly for students. With Leeds Beckett University being our neighbour, most of the city’s population are students. The university is situated 5 minutes away from the city centre so everything, from shops to bars to restaurants, are all located right on your doorstep. There is always something going on for when you want to take a study break!

What are your ambitions for the future?

In the near future, I would like to work in the industry, either with medical devices or pharmaceuticals. I would also like to pursue a PhD at some point later on but I want to get the industrial experience first. Either way, I want to be able to make a difference in someone’s life, despite the role I take on.

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

At Leeds, you learn many skills. With very little contact time during the MSc. programme, you naturally become a self-starter and work independently, which are qualities many jobs require. Another experience is being able to interact and work with people from multiple backgrounds and at different levels. From working with faculty members and other students from multiple backgrounds, I have learnt to communicate effectively and maintain a certain level of professionalism, which will certainly be useful in my future career. 

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

Take advantage of every opportunity and make the most of all the resources available to you. The programme is only one year which will go by quickly. The Medical Engineering Department is quite small so it is beneficial getting to know each other. Every month, the department organises meetings with all levels of the Medical Engineering students, where research professors and industry experts are brought in. By attending these, you increase your network, build a closer relationship with your academics and gain a greater insight into research and the industry. These also help if you are not exactly sure what you would like to do after your course. 

Also, make use of the facilities provided by the university and more specifically, the faculty. For example, the Writing Skills workshop for Masters Students given by the Library was very helpful for me in my coursework report writing. The Employability Suite is also a great place to seek advice for Graduate jobs and perfecting your CV. 

Finally, I think the best advice you can receive is to have fun throughout your programme and enjoy every minute of what you are doing. Although challenging at times, this field is extremely interesting and immensely rewarding.