What our students say
Current students and alumni share their experiences of studying Engineering at Exeter.
MEng Civil and Environmental Engineering with Industrial Experience, 2019
Why did you pick your programme at the University of Exeter?
The University of Exeter stood out on the open days, everyone was so friendly and I thought the campus was beautiful. Exeter offers a general first year for all engineering disciplines and so I did not have to decide exactly how I was going to specialise right away – choosing the course and university was already a hard enough decision!
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Last year I was nominated by one of my lecturers to be entered into the Women in Property Student Awards. The competition consisted of a presentation to a panel of judges followed by a round of questions. I presented a piece of coursework (my second year independent project) about eco settlements and sustainable solutions in cities. I was awarded second place in the regional final.
How has the university prepared you for life after graduation?
With the support of the university and the experience I have gained here, I successfully found an internship last summer. This provided me with valuable knowledge on the real working life of an engineer, taught me skills that have increased my employability, and also ensured I am pursuing the career I will enjoy.
The university also has strong links with academic institutes, for example the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) often give talks here. This makes them really accessible and it is a great means of networking.
What advice would you give a student starting your programme?
Try and use first year to find a good balance between work and social/extra-curricular activities. The people who do well in first year generally stay at the top throughout the course, but you also should be enjoying yourself and making the most of the university experience. Also remember everyone is in the same boat as you - so don’t worry!
MEng Mechanical Engineering, 2018
"I chose Exeter because of its reputation and student satisfaction rate. My student experience during the past 3 years did not disappoint. The courses are challenging, and students are expected to work hard, but all academic and support staff have always been supportive and approachable.
They provided opportunities where students learn not only the technical aspects of Engineering, but also the process of transforming information into knowledge. The courses have been designed to have continuity, where any theoretical knowledge gained from modules is applicable to future practical work, and vice versa.
My advice to students joining Engineering at Exeter would be to plan ahead, and carefully allocate priorities of your student life.
Embrace group projects and different group mates. These can be challenging, but are great resources to gain experience and understanding on facilitation skills, team dynamics and reconciling different opinions and working habits.
Be involved in extra-curricular activities, such as societies and academic representation early on in life at university. These are great for experiencing life outside course-specific topics, for learning from others, and have the added bonus of meeting new friends outside your college or course."
BEng Civil Engineering, 2014, MSc Engineering Management, 2015
I found the University of Exeter’s Career Zone brilliant. They offered all manner of support, from mock interviews to summer placement opportunities. I took part in the ‘Career Mentor Scheme’ - a programme which pairs students with people working in the industry they wish to go into. I got partnered with a fantastic senior executive at a FTSE250 engineering organization. The advice he gave me was invaluable and it definitely helped me boost my confidence and land my dream job.
I would really recommend studying a STEM subject. The world of engineering is so varied; there really is something for everyone. Stick with it throughout university and you will be able to pick and choose a path which is tailored to your interests. Go into the industry with an open mind and be prepared to ‘go where the wind takes you’.
Exeter had everything I was looking for in a university: great reputation of educational excellence, passionate academics and support staff and a friendly, open, collaborative environment. It also happened to be situated in a really beautiful part of the country, which was an added bonus!
MEng Materials Engineering, 2020
"I like that Exeter has a general first year for all the engineering disciplines. It means that you get more rounded knowledge and a better understanding when working in interdisciplinary teams.
If I could offer any advice to future students it would be: don't worry about being out of your depth when you start the course. People come from many different backgrounds, with many different qualifications so the lectures makes sure that everyone has the same foundation knowledge needed for the course.
The lecturers are all academics working on various projects, and their passion for their chosen area of study comes through in their teaching. We have practical sessions which relate directly to what we're learning, allowing us to see and understand how theories are put into practice. We also have tutorial sessions, which involve working through problems with your lecturer or a PhD student. It is an opportunity to ask questions, and discuss in more detail the content that you're covering in lectures.
Once I have completed my degree, I hope to go into further study – I would love to do a PhD and be at the forefront of research into new and exciting engineering materials."
I am currently the Innovation & Technical lead at AECOM Water UK. My role focuses on promoting idea generation, knowledge sharing and the application of new technologies to solve AECOM’s water industry clients' most complex challenges. My degree programme helped in a number of ways, from raising my profile across the industry to delivering tangible research outputs – all of which have provided an excellent platform to launch a career. My advice to new students would be to seize the opportunities that head your way!
MEng Civil & Environmental Engineering
I initially thought that studying an engineering degree at a university with such a high calibre would be incredibly tough and leave me out of my depth. However, at Exeter, the lecturers and staff are extremely friendly and make it their job to ensure that you settle into university life smoothly and are never left behind.
I chose to study a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering because I liked the module choices at Exeter, such as Pollution Control, but also because it will help me in achieving chartered status. There is a good mix of teaching styles, which I find great because the information I learn from lectures I can put into practice in the labs and workshops.
I also enjoy the social side of Engineering at Exeter; the Engineering society run many social events and have various sports teams including the Engineering football team which I am a part of.
MEng Mechanical Engineering, 2019
"I like the flexibility of the course and the ability to tailor my work towards the areas of study that interest me.
The university life at Exeter is brilliant; there are so many extras (sports, societies etc) that you can get involved in that don’t put pressure on your academic performance.
My advice to future students would be to get involved as much as possible. The services the university provides, such as the Career Zone, are excellent! You only get out what you put in!
The teaching structure here is varied with lectures, tutorials, workshops and lab work, meaning that you're always learning in new environments and in different ways. Being taught by researchers means that we are learning from the best."
BEng Engineering Science, 1986
I am now a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) at Three in the UK, where I am responsible for the strategy, development and delivery of the UK’s most reliable mobile network which carries nearly 40% of the UK’s mobile internet data.
My degree course at Exeter gave me a solid foundation in all aspects of Engineering. In years 3 and 4 I focussed on electronics, which provided me with the fundamentals to move into communications. I started out as a firmware programmer for telecommunications equipment suppliers utilising the skills I gained at the University of Exeter.
I always remember my communications course where we covered Cell Phone technology, which at the time was still in its infancy, however we thought might become big!
My advice to future students would be: choose a course you are interested in and know you will enjoy. Then it will be easy.
From a course perspective, my favorite thing about studying at the University of Exeter was my two projects, one to design a hybrid car, the other to design a touch screen for a computer. Neither technologies existed at the time. From a life perspective, it was the post-punk era and Exeter managed to get all the best bands at the time.
MEng Mechanical Engineering, 2014
I'm currently working in the Environmentally Sustainable Design team as part of the Sydney Buildings Group at Arup.
Studying at Exeter provided me with the foundational technical knowledge and understanding that I required to enter the engineering profession. Moreover, I learnt how to apply this technical knowledge to problems that I hadn’t encountered before.
In my current role at Arup I’m constantly faced with new and complex challenges. My degree from Exeter has taught me how to use logic and creativity to approach and resolve these problems.
Mechanical Engineering, 2006
I chose to study Engineering after going to an “Insight into Engineering” residential in year 12 where we had various lectures in different types of Engineering. I really enjoyed the experience and it was good to be with like-minded females.
I loved university from day one. The quality of teaching was very good at Exeter. The course was not as difficult as I expected and I really enjoyed the practical side of it. I made good friends on my course and I am still in contact with them today.
My best memory of university was when I took part in the ERASMUS study abroad scheme and was fortunate enough to work for Ferrari in Italy. We also took a trip to Renishaw in Bristol and after that visit, I was offered a summer work placement in the research and design office. This looked great on my CV! Another high point was getting my results. I remember ringing my parents and crying when I told them I had received a first!
After university I decided that I really enjoyed the materials aspect of my course, so went on to do a masters in Materials at Cranfield. After that, I applied to six companies and got offers from all of them! I think it was my ERASMUS placement that set me apart from the rest and aided me in getting the job. I decided Jaguar Land Rover was where I wanted to be so chose to work for them.
Since starting at Land Rover I have moved to the Body Structures department and was the lead for the launch of the Jaguar F-Type. Last year I was promoted to Advanced Technology Body Manager.
MEng Engineering and Management, 2015
The education I was able to receive at Exeter allowed me to now fulfill a role where I work as the translator between the business and the technical staff, making sure that the strategies that businesses commit to reflect the interests of everyone in them.
Combining my degree with management, and supplementing it further by doing the Exeter Award, Leadership Award and Institute of Leadership & Management Certificate provided the business and leadership context that put strong communication at the forefront of my skillset.
MEng Mechanical Engineering, 2018
What has been the highlight of your time at Exeter?
Meeting many wonderful people, both on my course and outside of it. I have made lifelong friends who I would not have had the opportunity to meet if I had not come to this university.
What did you enjoy about your particular programme?
I enjoyed the variety of topics that were taught over the four-year course. This meant that you were likely to come across a topic that you enjoyed, one which you might not have known about or even expected to like otherwise. Personally, I particularly enjoyed opportunities in which I got to use CAD design software, especially when I was able to use it to create and test a unique micro wind turbine blade design as part of my third-year project.
What advice would you give to current and future students?
Time management is your friend! Managing your time effectively can help to avoid stressful moments, particularly those just before a submission deadline. Put 100% into all your work no matter how much it is worth in a module, as it all adds up and can alleviate some pressure later. However, also remember to balance work with fun stuff! Me and my friends joined the badminton intra-mural sport league in our last year and was something I wish I had done sooner. I would also recommend volunteering for Welcome Team for current students.
What are your plans now that you have graduated?
My plan is to enjoy this last summer of freedom and then really knuckle down in hunting for a graduate job. As to what roles I shall be applying for I am not quite sure – the benefit of having a Masters in a Mechanical Engineering degree is that it not only gives you access to many different and varied opportunities within Engineering, it also opens doors to many other careers as well!
Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) is a national student-led charity aimed at removing barriers to development through engineering. We aim to aid the development of communities where infrastructure is a problem by using our unique engineering skills to do this.
ExENG brings together all four undergraduate years of engineering, for socials, careers events, Institute talks and intramural sports. We also have a relationship with Sanctuary Graduates, a recruiting company that sends us specialised STEM opportunities directly for our members.
The Renewable Energy Society (RES) is a social group aiming to bring together individuals with interests in renewable energies and sustainability. Combining practical workshops and talks with laid-back social events, we have something for everyone across all years and fields of study.