Making the decision to move further away from home for higher education was not easy, but the mindset to push myself led me to the university. The change in lifestyle and culture helped me to become independent and confident in ways which wouldn’t have been possible in India. In India, there is a lack of combined Electric and Electronic Engineering (EEE)+ courses, and the colleges which do offer it have very little incorporation of practical knowledge. The University of Sheffield is ranked third in the UK for EEE(Guardian University Guide, 2024) and has world-class labs in dedicated buildings, where groundbreaking research is carried out.
Leadership experiences in student projects
Student-led projects helped me enhance my creativity and apply knowledge to real-life projects. When I found out about UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS), I worked on developing an avionics system for the rocket. After gaining experience in PCB designing, sensor integration and programming, I joined the Sunsat Satellite project to acquire more complicated and interesting electronic skills. Being a part of student-led projects has made me become industry-ready and confident, which is very important for my resume.
I also earned the privilege to work as the project manager for the wind turbine project by Engineers Without Borders Society, in areas like project timeline, resource management, meeting schedules, budget, outreach events and project advertisement.
Hackathons - a step in learning how to solve world problems
With my passion in programming and its applications, taking part in Hackathons became a very good way to utilise my programming skills, and work on challenging real-life problems or data under a certain time limit. The complexity of the problem combined with the pressure of time fascinated me as it also led me to build my portfolio and develop hard as well as soft skills.
The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) hackathon, which was held at their factory, was focused on the technical data which has been generated from machines in the factories, while the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) hackathon was based on real-life problems faced by refugees in Mozambique, Africa. The EWB hackathon gave me an opportunity to apply my engineering skills to solve the accommodation problem for people from a refugee camp. This involved creating a house design which could withstand cyclones, looking at employability of labour, cost, materials and avoiding corruption. My victory and success in that hackathon further motivated me to apply my engineering skills to real-life problems that can bring about positive change in society.
The author is pursuing BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Sheffield ,UK.