Alex Batten

Current student

What attracted me to Loughborough was the high level of academic success seen by alumni and the fact that it’s a well-respected university which is reflected in the university rankings. I knew that I wanted to study at a top-level university and out of all the universities I’d looked at, Loughborough stood out to me as a top contender. When I went for my open day, I realised quickly that the university had a lot of potential due to the vast number of facilities and professionalism shown by the academics and staff.

I’ve always had a passion for cars ever since I was little, and I discovered my passion for engineering whilst completing a diploma in engineering alongside my GCSEs. I decided that I would combine my two passions and Loughborough offered exactly what I was looking for. I was able to learn about engineering in an automotive format which was exciting to me; I could have chosen the mechanical engineering course, but the automotive course sounded more fun and engaging to me.

What I love the most about my course is the broad range of modules and engineering knowledge that it offers. I have gained so much knowledge in many different aspects of engineering over the years. It is nice that once you have learnt the fundamentals in Part A and B, in Part C and D you can start to specialise your knowledge by choosing modules that interest you the most. This allows you to start shaping your career at an early stage which is something I have found very useful in my time here.

My favourite module on the course was the battery technology module which I took in Part C. This was a new module, and it gave me some insight into the current climate of the automotive engineering industry. The course aimed to look at lithium-ion cells on a component level which is something that I hadn’t experienced in any module before. I found it really interesting and engaging so I decided to complete my final year project on the degradation of lithium-ion cells. I would recommend to anyone that you find something that you are passionate about and try and cater your projects to it in future because it makes them that much more enjoyable.

Alex Batten

There are many opportunities for the university and department to support you as a student. The university offers useful resources such as a Maths Learning Support Centre for times when you may be struggling with some of the content on your course. The department will assign you a personal tutor from day one and they support you throughout the entire course. You will have a weekly 1-hour slot in your timetable where you will be able to go and see them with any questions you may have. In my experience, all the academics in the department have always been very approachable and willing to help with any questions that I’ve had to do with their module. You can go and see them in their office or send them an email. Many times, academics have had meetings with me about aspects of their modules and given me advice or clarification on things I’m struggling with which I’ve always found helpful.

I completed my placement year after Part B and ended up working at a brewery doing energy management. My job required me to refine their manufacturing processes by looking for inefficiencies in terms of the electricity, water, gas, and effluent. I was then required to find low-cost solutions to these inefficiencies to maximise energy savings. This was an invaluable experience that required me to draw upon much of the engineering knowledge that I’d learnt in the earlier parts of my course. I was required to understand the flow of energy behind many complex manufacturing processes which the thermodynamics and fluid mechanics modules in Part A really helped with. The course teaches you how to be a good problem solver and this is something that was fundamental to my placement because I needed to find appropriate solutions to the problems I was finding in their processing, working within tight deadlines.

I hope to go into the automotive industry or some other form of engineering in future. I’m currently doing my final year project on the degradation of lithium-ion cells so it would be nice to explore this as a potential career path. What is nice about doing an engineering degree is that it opens many avenues in future and allows you to enter many different industries due to the vast number of transferable skills that you obtain along the way. You can go into professional services, consultancy, finance, and many other career paths all of which I could easily consider when I leave.

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