Vishal Persaud

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

The Faculty of Engineering at Leeds is renowned across the United Kingdom. They offer a more holistic approach toward their curriculum. For example, the masters I am studying in Energy and Environment looks at world issues for pollution and alternative energy, how the technology has advanced over the years and what to look forward to in future. Another key aspect that solidified my choice to come to Leeds, was the fact that their masters courses are all accredited. Mine is accredited by the Energy Institute, which makes graduates more marketable as they enter the working world.

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

There have been quite a few things that have made this course an enjoyable one - from the knowledgeable professors (who have always made time to answer my questions), to the friendly colleagues that I have made along the way. The course offers a diverse learning environment drawing from experiences from all of the world. However, I would say that the best experience i have had so far is all the practical experience I have been exposed to over the year. From laboratory classes carrying out pollution analysis; to software training for atmospheric modelling; and most off all the field trips which enlightened the class to the field of hydro solar and bioenergy technology.

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

Over the last year there has been a number of assessments that were done and the use of different methods to carry out each one was very different. One that will stay with me is the use of atmospheric dispersion modelling system (ADMS) software, which helped us model boiler emission and see how it will affect the residence living in the vicinity surrounding it. In my final thesis I was able to work with pyrolysis and gasification of plastics for the production of Hydrogen rich syngas. This has been an amazing experience especially as the world is considering Hydrogen to be the fuel of the future.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

The city of Leeds is an amazing one and as I leave this year - it’s a bitter sweet feeling. It has so much to offer the students studying and living here, from vibrant night life to the wide range of bar for all the outgoing people. Leeds offers a diverse culture from the Royal Armouries to Kirstall Abby. And for the days where the sun is out in all its glory, Hyde Park and Roundhay park offers amazing picnic areas. For people like me who love trying new foods or the same foods with a different twist, Leeds offer some of the best eats in all of West Yorkshire from Reds BBQ to The Library wings and Zaaps delicious Thai Food.

What are your ambitions for the future?

As I complete my masters, I am currently looking towards continuing in this research field and applying for a PhD in alternative energy and policy. I can see myself being one of the leading researchers in energy filed for the future.

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

The things I am learning in each module - especially in advanced renewable technology and energy management will definitely be a great asset as I pursue my PhD. The skills that I have gained over the last year from the presentations to writing and communicating reports and proposals that are of publishable quality.

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

As you enter you masters or undergraduate degree, keep your minds open as you will have an amazing journey at the University (both academic life and social one). Be eager to learn and don’t be afraid to ask questions as the staff are always helpful and professional. Be sure to enjoy the numerous societies and events that the university has to offer, go for a swim, wall climbing in The Edge, rent the University Cabin with your friends in Selside and enjoy the Yorkshire Three Peaks. Be sure to check out the City of Leeds light night festival, the Caribbean carnival, and the Dock festival amongst many others. As your journey begins, be sure to always have with you, your camera, a notebook, an umbrella and £1 for the bus from the City centre on those days you don’t feel like walking home. Most of all, have fun and enjoy each moment the University of Leeds and the City - I guarantee you won’t regret it.