I chose to study at Loughborough University because of the incredible reputation of the Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC). I knew that I wanted a change in my career and to pursue a master’s degree in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector. I was able to speak to several WASH professionals before choosing where to study, and all of them pointed me in the direction of WEDC at Loughborough!
The teaching quality at WEDC is fantastic. There is a wide range of lecturers with different areas of expertise and teaching styles, matching the multidisciplinary nature of WASH. They also invite a number of guest lecturers who work in the WASH sector. For me, this was particularly beneficial as it allowed me to see where I might best fit into the professional WASH sector.
The School has excellent facilities for learning, especially for the more practical side of WASH. It was very helpful to put into practice what we had learned in lectures, for example, conducting water quality tests in the laboratory.
I currently work as a Project Lead - WASH Quality Assurance with the NGO Tearfund thanks to Loughborough's excellent industry links. My dissertation supervisor put me in contact with the WASH Lead at Tearfund to discuss my dissertation project, which led me to secure this exciting role. Before my interview, I booked a session with Loughborough's Careers Network who helped me prepare, which was really helpful.
My research dissertation focused on the role of men in menstrual hygiene management (MHM) interventions in emergency settings. It was an incredibly interesting project to work on and allowed me to interview some very inspiring WASH specialists.
My research dissertation is one of my greatest life achievements. It was great to have the support and experience of my supervisor. My research was quite original and hence promoted some thought-provoking discussions with my interviewees, and the results of my research were also quoted during a popular MHM innovation webinar.
I would encourage anyone wanting to specialise in WASH to choose a degree at WEDC. I was fairly new to WASH when I started my master’s degree, and I felt that the programme was the right balance of teaching the basics to start off with and then quickly ramping it up in detail and difficulty to give a good understanding of the myriad of topics that WASH covers.
Everyone I encountered during my time at Loughborough, both students and staff, were incredibly driven in what they were pursuing. The School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering was particularly inspiring, hearing about the new innovations of the students and staff across the School.
I would like to progress into a more emergency WASH role in the humanitarian sector in the future. My degree has prepared me well for this ambition. In particular, the module around humanitarian WASH was very practical, with lots of scenario-based work.
*Formerly named International Water and Sanitation Engineering