Student Profiles

Below are profiles of some of our current and recent students.

Emma CoatesEmma Coates

MEng Mechanical Engineering
Graduated in 2014

I chose to come to Newcastle University to study Mechanical Engineering as the course had a good reputation and all members of staff were really welcoming during the open days. The city also seemed friendly so I felt I would be happy here.

All lecturers are very friendly and supportive. There is also a great deal of practical laboratory work which helps to reinforce the theory taught in lectures. I was involved in Formula Student for the third and fourth years of my degree which gives you really useful practical experience of managing a project.

I was the treasurer of the Motorsport Society in my final year which helped me to meet new people from outside my degree and has given me experience of working with external companies.

I have secured a graduate job at Mercedes AMG HPP who design and make F1 powerbrains. I feel my experience as part of the Formula Student team at Newcastle will help me to settle into the job.

Hannah DaykinHannah Daykin

MEng Mechanical Engineering
Graduated in 2014

I chose to study at Newcastle due to the high ranking it had for Mechanical Engineering and the modules available on the course. The course has a large variety of engineering modules with the ability to specialise more if you want. Also the Gear Design Unit housed in the Stephenson building is one of the world leaders in gear engineering and gaining knowledge from them would have greatly helped with my future career.

While studying at Newcastle the thing I liked most was the design and practical side of the course. There are a wide variety of practical labs and design parts of the course that allow your engineering theory to be used and tested.

I am returning back to my sponsor company, Reliance Precision Ltd. Obtaining my degree at Newcastle has helped to open up a lot of opportunities that would not have been available to me without my degree. The module ‘Design of Power Transmissions’ has helped my understanding of gears etc, which helps me greatly in a design role at the company as we design actuation systems with gears.

In first and second year I joined Newcastle Women’s Rugby Union. I was a total beginner and had only watched the sport but with great coaching and links with Newcastle Falcons I was able to progress into the first team and help the squad get promoted to the premier league of BUCS, which was fantastic. Being part of a team, especially when you are away from family and friends, really helped me to adjust to life at university and I had such good support from the other team members that had been at Newcastle for several years. It was great to be part of something and the teamwork I learnt also helped with my degree and improved my confidence.

Newcastle as a city is absolutely fantastic. The shopping is great, it’s easy to get around, the people are friendly and the nightlife is super. It has everything a large city like London has to offer but condensed making it easier to get around. Within 10 minutes drive you can be out in the countryside and go on a leisurely stroll. The beach can be reached using the metro transport system, which can take you to the central station, airport or even Sunderland.

James Cross

BEng Mechanical Engineering
Graduated in 2006

James is now employed as a Design/Project Engineer for a local company that designs and builds mechanical mine field clearance equipment. You can see his case study on the Prospects graduate careers website.

Emma Devlin

Emma Devlin

MEng Mechanical Engineering with Bioengineering
Graduated in 2013

Newcastle University was in the top 10 for my course in the UK according to the league tables and students I already knew here told me they loved it. The University seemed to have a good reputation all round and from what I could see the past graduates were all progressing very well in their careers. I was also particularly interested that I could take a placement year whenever I wanted and that I could study design as part of my masters.

This year I am representing Northern Ireland in the British finals of The Big Bang and running for Britain's Young Engineer of the Year. This has taken up a lot of preparation time but the prospects that may come from it are great. The University has been very supportive of me taking part in this, allowing me time off to attend.

Be aware that the Mechanical Engineering course is a lot of work and you need to be able to balance your social life with work. The course gives you a lot for your money but you have to be prepared to get your head down at times when maybe others are going out for the night. However, the course is very rewarding and in my opinion Newcastle is a great place to study it.

Dorian Walker

Dorian Walker

MEng Mechanical and Low Carbon Transport Engineering
Graduated in 2013

The University has been supportive in allowing me to effectively manage my studies and also pursue my gymnastics career. There are lots of people in the sports hall and people helping with the Elite Squad to talk to if you're having trouble. Also, being on the Elite Squad I have had a lecture/talk about time management to help cope with all the demands on me.

I like my course a lot. Getting up for 9am lectures can be difficult some days, but I think learning how stuff works in real life, not only on paper, is worth it. The practicals are fun as well, because you get to take apart various machines to see how they work.

I think Newcastle's great. It's much bigger than Durham (my home town), and it has so much more to do. In the breaks between lectures I've been in to get food, go swimming, and after lectures on Wednesday I've been in to watch a film at the cinema. The night-life is much better than Durham as well because there's so many more places to go.

Fiona Finlayson

Fiona Finlayson
MEng Mechanical and Automotive Engineering
Graduated in 2009

Newcastle University has an excellent reputation for engineering and had the option of the automotive stream, which really appealed to me. I was initially going to stay in Scotland to do my degree but after having been to the Visit Day at Newcastle, I started to change my mind! It was a really well organised event and everyone made me feel really welcome.

One of the best things about the course is that you are always kept busy: whether it is lectures, projects, labs or exams, so you can never be bored! The course is extremely wide ranging so you learn so much about everything, from structures to engines to air conditioning. Everybody starts off doing the straight mechanical engineering modules for the first two years of the degree and then specialises in the remaining two years, when you are in a position to know what you love or hate!

The sports facilities are fantastic and I have had a great time playing football here. There are sports to suit everyone and playing for Newcastle has been a privilege. Newcastle itself is a really friendly city with plenty of things to do from shopping to clubbing, so it is perfect for students!

James Lord

James Lord

MEng Mechanical Engineering with Mathematical Modelling
Graduated in 2009

Newcastle has a good reputation for engineering degrees and I attended a visit day and really enjoyed it. Newcastle was highly recommended by current students. We’re encouraged to take initiative and responsibility early on. It’s good preparation for a real job, rather than mindlessly churning out work for the sake of work. There are excellent opportunities for experience in industry and a good structure encouraging analytical testing, problem solving and management.

The city is very compact and thus easy to get around. There is a huge range of things to do in a small space. Nightlife is excellent and everything is much cheaper than elsewhere in the country.

Darren Healy

MEng Mechanical and Automotive Engineering
Graduated 2007, now employed as an engineer with Total E&P UK

Newcastle University is ranked as having one of the best engineering schools in the country. The sheer volume of activity in the city is great, especially in terms of nightlife and sporting events. The standard of teaching was also very high with a lot of industry specialists working within the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering. I was part of the Newcastle University Formula Student team, working within a team of 10 students to design, manufacture, test and develop a single seater autocross car for entry into the IMechE Formula Student event. This also formed the basis of my final year project.

The most crucial thing I did was to get some work experience in industry after my penultimate year at university. I initially made contact with Total E&P UK through a mock interview used as an assessment for one of my modules in Stage 2. The result of this was arrangement of a summer placement with the company. Subsequent to this I went along to the Total Recruitment presentation at Newcastle University. I would say that the experience gained in my final year project most definitely helped me to secure employment with Total. I was able to use many aspects of this to answer questions at the interview stage, demonstrating my skills and experiences with practical, real life examples.

Sally Nicholson

Sally Nicholson

MEng Mechanical and Automotive Engineering
Graduated in 2008

When completing my UCAS form, I chose six universities that had a good reputation and a high performing Mechanical Engineering department. I only chose universities that participated in Formula Student, as I knew from an early stage that I would like to be involved in a Formula Student team. When I visited the six universities, Newcastle shone out. I loved the location of the University; a five minute walk from the engineering building and you find yourself in the main shopping area of Newcastle; twenty minutes on the Metro you can be at the beach, and a half an hour drive and you can be out in the county side. The best of all scenarios. I found the students and lecturers particularly approachable and helpful in Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle, which confirmed to me that Newcastle was the right university for me.

All of the staff at the Mechanical Engineering department are very helpful and approachable. If you are keen and enthusiastic about something then you can usually find that one of the lecturers is too and that they will help to point you in the right direction to succeeding your goals.

I was very involved in Newcastle Racing, the Formula Student Team at Newcastle University. We built a single seater racing car powered by a Ducati Monster 600cc engine, which competed in the 2008 Formula Student competition against other Universities worldwide. The project was extremely challenging and fulfilling. It gave me the opportunity to learn a diverse number of skills from design work to management. I definitely recommend other students to get involved with Formula Student as it gives you the opportunity to experience hands-on engineering and it is great for your CV too.

In my first year I lived in a University self-catered flat in Richardson Road, with six girls. I had a fantastic time living at Richardson Road, it was a very social place to be and I made many friends, I lived with the same six girls for a total of three years — we had great fun. From my second year I lived in private accommodation, which tends to be much more spacious and homely but I missed the lively atmosphere of Richardson Road.

I am a keen white water kayaker and joined the canoe club and the canoe polo club. I made many friends through both clubs and had some fantastic experiences. I had never canoed before starting university but will definitely continue canoeing.