School of Engineering

Johnny

Johnny

Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Industrial Project: MEng (Hons)

The established industrial links that the University has was another reason I was drawn to Newcastle. This has been particularly advantageous when seeking jobs and has even led to my scholarship programme.

About me

To stay active, I play ice hockey for the University team and badminton at my local club. From a young age, I have been an avid reader of a wide range of genres, from non-fiction physics books to sci-fi and fantasy, to Lee Child-esque thrillers. I also have a passion for both acoustic and electric guitar. Recently I have become involved with Street Scientists, which is a group of students on paid placements, attracting young children into STEM subjects through “science busking” and workshops.

When I first arrived at University, my primary interest was in building desktop PCs. Throughout my time at Newcastle University, I have become more engrossed in the endlessly fascinating world of electronics. I continue to build my own workshop at home and regularly design and build my own hobbyist projects, such as a Tesla Coil.

Choosing Newcastle

As a local, I knew about Newcastle University's outstanding reputation, famed for combining both student experience and academic excellence. In comparison to many other degrees, I felt that the broad structure of the course, with the first two years of non-specialised study, would be useful when determining my career path.

From experience, I have found this to be accurate, as entering my third year I felt that I had enough knowledge to decide on my choice of modules based on which industry sector I would enter after my degree. The established industrial links (E3, UKESF, etc.) that the University has was another reason I was drawn to Newcastle, and this been particularly advantageous when seeking jobs and has even led to my scholarship programme.

Having studied Maths and Physics at A Level, I had the option of many STEM degrees; however, I was torn between Computer Science and EEE. In the end, attending an Open Day for Electrical and Electronic Engineering and seeing the numerous facilities and breadth of practical experience that the degree offered, was what made me choose EEE.

Recommending Newcastle

Newcastle University has a city campus, so you are not isolated from the world. As a relatively small city, the University almost seems like the beating heart of Newcastle, with a campus full of energy. The blend between student life and study creates a unique experience, which has been the most enjoyable, exciting and rewarding time of my life.

The pace of life at Newcastle University is incessant and I greatly cherish my time here. In my time at University my confidence has grown with my ability, and whilst I have enjoyed making new friends and having amazing experiences in my student life, concluding my degree, I feel fully prepared to begin working as a professional Engineer.

Studying at Newcastle

There are so many different aspects that culminate to create a degree experience, but for me, the best thing has been the people I have met. There is an abundance of sports clubs and societies, and there really is something for everyone. Through clubs and the shared toil of my degree course, I have made very close friends and have made some brilliant memories both in and out of my studies.

In terms of improving my aptitude as an engineer, the most valuable thing on my programme has been the consistent and wide variety of practical work. In my first two years, I was immersed in projects tied to the lecture content, which helped to cement my learning and improved my general practical ability. When I first came to the University, I did not know how to use a soldering iron. Now, I am able to design and assemble my own custom PCBs.

It is hard to choose from so many memories, but I would have to go with the moment I received my grades in my first year. Having finished my A Levels with AAB, I was expecting to finish in the middle of my class, especially as many of my peers had studied Electronics or Computing previously.

However, I was determined to apply myself to the degree, even though I felt that I had a huge learning curve. I was passionate about this degree and my genuine interest helped me to reach my potential. I was overwhelmed when I finished my first year with the highest grade in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, even receiving a monetary scholarship. This validated for me that the degree I had chosen was perfectly suited to my interests and that hard work really does pay off.

Living in Newcastle

As a local, I would say the people are what make Newcastle. I remember watching a TV show when I was young and Newcastle was rated the politest city in the UK, even if people can’t understand our dialect! Newcastle also feels quite safe, unlike some cities in the UK, and the architecture is picturesque (mostly). 

Newcastle is reputed for its large number and variety of night clubs, bars, pubs and restaurants. There is always an excuse to go out with your mates in Newcastle and enjoy the city, even if you are an engineer.

As a student, the best part of Newcastle is undoubtedly the nightlife. Newcastle is well known for its large number and variety of night clubs, bars, pubs and restaurants. There is always an excuse to go out with your mates in Newcastle and enjoy the city, even if you are an Engineer.

Getting involved

In my time at University, I have been mostly involved with the Ice Hockey club and I have found this very rewarding, but there is something out there for everybody. It doesn’t matter what it is, but I would strongly recommend getting involved in something!

Top tips

In your first year, you will likely find it hard to balance the sheer amount of work, with your flatmates who study Geography wanting to go out every night. ReCap (lecture recording) as a supplement for lectures has saved me many times.

Bear in mind your first year doesn’t impact your final degree, so although I’m not saying go wild and miss every lecture, don’t beat yourself up too much as University is supposed to be fun (even for engineers).

I wish I had known how to properly balance my workload. With a large number of practical projects comes a lot of reports. Combined with coursework, this quickly becomes difficult to manage, and so you will have to choose your battles. Also, the most important part of your day is lunch!

There are many places where you can get a great, relatively cheap lunch (a big queue is a good sign) that will pick you up for those back-to-back two-hour lectures. Most of these are near the Haymarket Metro Station, just a short walk from the campus.

Remembering Newcastle

Academic achievement is great, but my fondest memories are from the friends I’ve made at university. Going away with the Ice Hockey club to a national tournament in Sheffield each year has provided some great memories too.

Generally, it is the people that you surround yourself with that will make your University experience special. Try everything you can and meet lots of new people.

Future plans

After this summer, I will be starting a graduate job as a Hardware Engineer working for Sevcon in Gateshead, Team Valley. This will involve the testing and design of power electronic converters for use in electric vehicles.

Having had the relevant experience to choose the best sector suited to me, I am very excited to begin my work in the professional world and I believe I will greatly enjoy the day-to-day activities. All of my friends have jobs and as there is a high demand for electrical and electronic graduates, it is not likely that future students will struggle to find work.

Johnny: Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Industrial Project MEng (Hons)