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Takudzwa

Takudzwa

Environmental Engineering: MSc.

Choosing Newcastle

As a former graduate from a UK institution, I was familiar with the prestige associated with Newcastle University. I was aware that the University is world-renowned. I also knew about the strong industry links the University has. This knowledge, coupled with my desire to learn from (and with) the very best, spurred my interest in the University. In the end, I also chose Newcastle University from all my other choices because of the city it is in. Having visited Newcastle a few times, I was familiar with the vibrant and lively place. Newcastle is a very welcoming city with lots of activities and many places to visit.

I would recommend Newcastle University to prospective students. It is keen on promoting involvement in extra-curricular activities. It also promotes involvement in charity work, volunteering and other opportunities. I am a Student Ambassador for the MSc Environmental Engineering programme and have been blogging for the School and the course. All these activities have enabled me to build on skills. These skills will be important when writing applications and attending interviews in the future. Newcastle University will help your personal and professional development.

Choosing Environmental Engineering

From an early age, I wanted a profession that would give me a sense of satisfaction by allowing me to improve the lives of people. Civil Engineering contributes to the wellbeing of society. It develops and improves facilities such as homes, bridges, dams, and roads. The fact that the professional engineering discipline was diverse also spurred my interest in the course. It looks into environmental, structural, hydraulic and transport matters. This provides a wide range of activities across different areas.

I wanted to choose a Postgraduate course that specialised in matters that help to protect the environment. I want a career with a global impact on our future and the future of the planet. I want to make it a mission to think and act through respecting and protecting the environment. For this reason, I thought Environmental Engineering would be the best route. This interest was further fuelled by a voluntary project in Nepal that I took part in with other volunteers. The project was part of the Post Disaster Relief building work. It followed the two devastating earthquakes the country experienced in 2015. Building airbag earthquake-proof homes and schools for the local people in Nepal gave me a whole new perspective on life. It felt good to contribute in activities that helped to restore hope for the locals. It was then when I realised that if I could make such an impact on a small scale, how great it would be to do it on a larger scale. Natural disasters have many negative effects on society and the environment. As an environmental engineer, I will be able to help to overcome and prevent these effects.

About the programme

I have enjoyed learning how to study independently in an effective way. The programme has its challenges, but there is plenty of support. Lecturers are always ready to give you a helping hand at any time. The modules quite intensive, but we have a week break between each one. This gives you breathing space and enough time to catch up on other work. The assignments have helped me to explore new options. They have enabled me to try things like using different modelling software packages. I have also enjoyed going on field trips. These have allowed me to see what I am studying in action and have enhanced my knowledge. The course has exceeded my expectations.

The research carried out by the lecturers and Postgraduate (Research) students has been very insightful. It has shown me how what I am studying can bring about world-class ideas and technological innovations designed to aid the industry.

The programme has helped me develop a variety of transferable skills. These include data collection and analysis, which I will be able to apply to the scheme. It has contributed to my interpersonal skills as it has taught me how to work well and relate with others in a working environment. My degree is technically preparing me well for the industry. It is also giving me a chance to maximise my strengths and work on my weaknesses by challenging myself in many ways. This is a personal attribute that will be essential in when I finally enter the industry. The field trips and the use of industry-based software have boosted my employability, as now I have corporate experience too.

Fieldwork

The various field trips have taken me to places I never imagined I would visit. These have included Ancient Roman Vindolanda and a Power-Electricity station. I will leave the university remembering how it has played a key role in my personal and professional development. 

Lab sessions

As part of the MSc Environmental Engineering course, I have attended several laboratory sessions, the most recent one where I had the chance to test the quality of River Tyne water. The laboratory facilities in the School gives one access to research equipment that is at the forefront of technology, which includes a range of apparatus for making measurements and investigating water treatment processes. I find that conducting experiments in the laboratory sessions, with discussions before, during and after the experiments an effective and enjoyable approach of moving from passive to active learning. I feel as if the active learning has exploited my natural curiosity about environmental affairs and what I enjoy about the sessions is that it gets me to think of the questions before they are answered during the experiments.

In general, the course has so far provided me with the scientific skills and the understanding of the fundamental chemical, physical and biological processes fitting for a practising environmental engineer. I have gained experience of practical analytical methods to evaluate pollution of the natural environmental and engineered treatment systems. I have so far developed a good understanding of sciences which reinforce Environmental Engineering and sustainability of the environment. I would now be confident to go out in the field upon completion of my course having gained this experience and I believe that the laboratory studies bridge the gap between analytical models and real environmental issues.

Industry engagement

The programme has guest speakers that come in to discuss their experience in their industry. They help to expose us to real-world life experiences and give us an insight and perspective of their field. It has enhanced my academic experience by linking what I have learned in textbooks and with the guest speaker’s experience.

Facilities

There are many IT resource rooms across the School, so I am able to find somewhere to work at all times. The resource rooms and the library are open until late or 24/7. When the urge to work strikes at a late time, I know that I am able to go these places as they are always available.

Hobbies and interests

I enjoy playing netball and other games that involve teamwork. I am a team player who is driven by targets and I am aggressive in achieving results in a team! I also enjoy travelling, exploring new places and cultures. I find travelling soothing and very relaxing. It also helps me discover new things about myself. 

Support

I have received Maths support in the School. I attended a Maths support session with a tutor to help me improve my numeracy skills. 

Career aspirations

Upon completion of this programme, my main goal is to go straight into graduate employment. In the short term, I intend to become an expert in my field and be able to consult people. In the long term, I hope to grow in a company and become a Project Manager for many large environmental projects. I want to get the chance to lead and guide a team of people. After gaining experience in the industry, I would like to reach a professional benchmark. I would like to become a Chartered Environmental Engineer with an internationally recognised institute.

Remembering Newcastle

Newcastle University has given me exposure to many opportunities. These have included extracurricular activities and the chance to carry out research abroad.