Jonathan Spencer Balakumar

I chose to study engineering as I have always enjoyed technology, fixing cars and seeing how things work, but I didn’t know exactly what part of engineering I enjoyed. Systems Engineering* allowed me to get a top level (systems) view of engineering which gave me a high appreciation of how systems work.

The teaching methods at Loughborough range between lectures, laboratories and tutorial sessions which aid all types of learning. It also provided a high-quality learning experience, as we were able to apply the theory we had learnt in lecture and tutorials in the laboratory sessions.

I developed a wide range of skills during my time at Loughborough. The key technical skills which I learnt included SysML and UML modelling and requirements analysis, which I use today in my current role. I also developed softer skills such as delivering presentations, problem solving and project and time management having tackled multiple multi-disciplinary team projects, all of which have been beneficial in my current role. 

My best memory of studying at Loughborough was my final year project where I was able to work with the Royal Air Force and my supervisor to put together a paper on a damage scanning drone to detect damage on a Typhoon Fighter Aircraft.

Jonathan Spencer Balakumar

After I graduated, I worked at Lockheed Martin, in the defence industry as a Graduate Systems Engineer, on their graduate scheme. It was rated as one of the best schemes in the UK as it was very well structured with ample opportunity. I was able to work in four different departments for a duration of six months each. This allowed me to gain more experience than an average two years in a job. After two years, I completed the graduate scheme and was promoted to Systems Engineer which I worked as for a further year.

I now work at Thales, which is also in the defence industry as a Systems Engineer. I work within multiple teams; within the modelling team, I work with other colleagues to conduct systems modelling, and with the requirements team, I carry out requirement analysis, decomposition, verification and validation, as well as ensuring traceability.

The course and my job roles go hand-in-hand. All the system engineering specific modules perfectly complement the tasks and jobs I do today. My course allowed me to gain experience in systems thinking and holistic thinking, which is a skill that has aided me in getting to the position I am in now.

Loughborough University allowed me to understand (and have) a perfectly balanced life, which gave me the opportunity to have a work/study life, social life and a healthy lifestyle; It showed that all aspects of life are important and inspired me to thrive in all of the areas in life and not just one. 

*In line with programme reviews, which ensure that our degrees remain relevant to industry needs, the Systems Engineering MEng has been discontinued. Alternative courses include Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering MEng, Electronic and Electrical Engineering MEng and Robotics, Mechatronics and Control Engineering MEng

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