Robots, zero gravity and surfing

I knew I wanted to study some form engineering since my favourite subjects at school and college were physics and maths. After visiting the Eastbourne Air Show and seeing some of the aircraft, including the Euro Fighter Typhoon, I decided that I’d love to study aeronautical engineering.

I visited some universities that offered aeronautical engineering but found that most of their courses were very theoretical based. However, I found that Brighton’s engineering department had a good balance of theory and practical work! The projects such as building robots interested me and after seeing the workshops we had access to in order to build them, I decided to choose Brighton.

If you enjoy practical work and applying your theory to real life situations then Brighton is the place for you to study engineering! The workshops are great and allow the use of lots of heavy machinery and are necessary for several projects you will have during your stay. The style of teaching on my course, Aeronautical Engineerng MEng, is great for how I learn. There is a nice mix of practical and theory work which provides not only a nice balance but also an opportunity to apply your knowledge.

I find the practical side of the course far more interesting and challenging than the theory. Robot building is a good example of this! Actually designing and building a feather weight robot which can fight with in one semester is incredibly challenging! However, I felt more engaged in the course and learnt more in that project than any other simply because I found it so interesting.

I have found that my favourite parts of the course have always come from the people I met. The group projects you complete during the course allow you to bond with fellow engineers and understand a more practical sense of engineering. By far my favourite group projects were building a pasta bridge and building a fighting robot! These were great fun and I learnt a lot trying to overcome some of the challenges they provided. In the end though everyone had a laugh watching the final test days. Turns out you can make pasta very strong and robots can be incredibly difficult to even get moving!

Projects such as the Fly Your thesis and Formula student are also fantastic for any student wanting to apply their skills in a real life situation. These projects are all supported by Brighton’s fantastic engineering department which includes numerous workshops and my personal favourite a 6 axis, VR flying simulator.

Fly Your Thesis is a competition run by the European Space Agency every year . The aim of this competition is to provide the opportunity for a team of Masters or PHD students to conduct an experiment on the Zero G flights. Our team is looking into whether a new form of heat management device called a PHP could be implemented on to a CubeSat and how effective it is. To do this we will be using the facilities at University of Brighton over the next year to build a CubeSat with a functioning PHP on board. Then in November 2019 we will be taking part in the Zero G flight campaign by testing our device on board the NovaSpace aircraft. Our project was selected after we presented to a panel at ESTEC in the Netherlands. We are all incredibly excited to start working on building our project now that we know we have made it through!

I feel as though the University itself is only half the story when you move to Brighton. The city and the people you meet here really make Brighton amazing! The city is incredibly friendly and is perfect for any student. Then the wide range of societies that the University has makes it easy to find people who have all the same interests as you or maybe even help you find a new interest.

The biggest changes I’ve noticed in myself since I started at Brighton are in my confidence and social skills. When I started at Brighton I was quiet and didn’t socialise too much. Now I am currently the President of the University of Brighton Surf Club! The University helped me develop my social skills using group projects on the course and providing the possibility to join societies and make new friends.

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