Oliver Riddell

I visited Loughborough for my interview and really enjoyed the feel of the campus and the friendly nature of each of the halls of residence. Loughborough had a good reputation for engineering and the university had a very high student satisfaction rating too.

Since starting at Loughborough, I have had a personal tutor assigned to me who has been there to answer any questions, both academic and personal. I found this really useful when creating placement applications. Being able to just drop into their office for advice is very helpful. The university wellbeing staff have also been a massive help to me later in my studies and are a fantastic resource for students.

I have found that the teaching quality has been consistently high. In particular, when studying more specific modules, such as Food Technology, lecturers who are knowledgeable, subject matter specialists are used to give a much more in-depth course. Alongside lectures, we have more interactive tutorial classes. I have found these particularly useful in helping me gain a more in-depth understanding as the lecturers are able to give more focused help and explanations.

The Chemical Engineering facilities have recently been upgraded and are excellent. The building is equipped with numerous computer rooms all with course specific programs. I found this very helpful whilst on placement as I had already learnt how to use the relevant software. The facilities also provided a good revision space in the run up to exams with lots of computers available and smaller bookable rooms. I have particularly enjoyed the practical sessions learning how to use modelling software. This really brought together a lot of the different modules on the course and gave me a better understanding of what I have learnt.

Oliver Riddell

Once I graduate, I hope to continue working as a Chemical Engineer and work towards Chartership. I spent a year on placement working as a Process Engineer at an oil refinery and enjoyed this field of work. However, as chemical engineering is such a broad field, I would enjoy gaining more experience in different sectors.

Loughborough is well regarded for its sporting prowess, but there is far more than just sport at Loughborough. There plenty of high-quality societies and I play trumpet in the university jazz group, Tuxedo Swing.

Engineering is an unexpectedly unique field of study and everyone learns the content in different ways. If you don’t understand the lecture, that’s fine, but do something about it! Textbooks, classmates, even online animations can sometimes give the push you need. Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of Loughborough are the graduates, who come back ever successful and enthusiastic about their careers. You can tell their time at Loughborough was enjoyed and they are making great use of it in their careers. I hope to be doing the same soon.

The opportunity to have a placement year was one of the most exciting opportunities I've had at Loughborough so far. It allowed me to gain real hands-on experience with what being a chemical engineer is like and really reinforced that it is a job I would like to do in the future. I spent a year working as an undergraduate Process Engineer at Valero’s Pembroke Oil Refinery, one of the largest refineries in Western Europe. The refinery interviews at only a select number of universities for placement students with Loughborough being one. On placement I worked alongside graduate engineers in a range of different disciplines which gave invaluable experience which will definitely help in my final year design projects.

I have also been involved with the Loughborough Students Mountaineering Club since my first year in Loughborough and am now on the club’s committee. With the club, I have been to France bouldering, up to Scotland to learn winter mountaineering skills and to Snowdonia for weekend trips away climbing.

I have started going to the LSU Cook and Bake society where you learn to cook, and of course eat lots of new and different foods. Most of the cooking workshops are located on campus and are very relaxed and enjoyable evenings.

I have had an enjoyable experience at Loughborough and have developed both academically and socially. The opportunities the University have provided me with have inspired me to follow a career in Chemical Engineering. My greatest achievement has been staying on track to obtain a First Class degree whilst also being able to take an active role in the mountaineering society and maintaining a good social life.

My biggest bit of advice would be to do a placement year, it gives you an opportunity to put into practice what you have learnt and gain invaluable experience. It will also set you apart when you apply for jobs in the future.

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