Raiha Shahul Hameed

Subject area

Once I decided to pursue a degree in Material Science and Engineering, I began to look for the best universities for my course. Loughborough held a top ranking for Materials and for student satisfaction. Having visited the university several times for the Open Day, STEM Day, and for my interview, I really liked the campus and all the facilities there and knew it was the place for me.

Being a creative person and having a keen interest in science made me want to pursue a career in which I could tie both of these aspects together. Hence, I chose to do engineering and after much research and attending STEM days and Engineering days, I decided to choose Materials Science and Engineering. This course is a combination of all three sciences and mathematics, all while pushing towards innovation, which is exactly the type of course I was looking for.

I greatly enjoy the practical aspects of my course. Getting hands-on experience with lab work helps me consolidate my knowledge that I gained from my lectures. Additionally, all the modules on the course complement each other really well. I see this the most when different ideas and aspects from various modules start feeding into each other.

Since the Department of Materials is quite small, there is a very good relationship between the lecturers and students, with many lecturers knowing students by name basis. Every student also has a personal tutor who they can reach out to regarding anything, and this is not limited to course-related work. Lecturers are always accessible through email and get back to you promptly as well.

Raiha Shahul Hameed

My favourite project that I worked on so far would be the Group Design Project that I did in my second year. For this project, my group and I had to come up with an innovative design using tinplate and then pitch it to a panel of members from industry. I chose this project to be my favourite as it delved into many different aspects of product design including the design, prototyping, market research, business viability and an actual sales pitch. This experience was rewarding, but also very enjoyable and we emerged with great results.

During my first year, I received peer support in the form of Peer Mentoring and Peer Assisted Learning. Having a Peer Mentor was very useful as it was often easier to approach a fellow student rather than a lecturer, especially during everyone’s daunting first year. Peer Assisted Learning was incredibly helpful to me as it was based on a module that I was unfamiliar with. Having attended PAL sessions, I saw an increase in my confidence for that module and ultimately received a good grade for it too.

I intend to complete a placement year. The university offers so much support with regards to placements and offers services such as CV and cover letter checking. They also offer mock interviews and give feedback, which really help you develop many skills as an individual.

After I graduate, I hope to be working in the field of sustainable materials as this is where my main interests lie. My Loughborough degree has given me many opportunities in my modules and coursework to explore sustainability in materials, which would be very beneficial to me in my future career.

I would definitely tell anyone thinking about studying this course to consider it in a positive light, as there is a lot of support offered by the department, with a very good student to staff ratio. The laboratory facilities are brilliant, and we get a lot of hands-on experience with materials testing equipment. The course has a little bit of everything from design, chemistry, physics, mathematics, modelling and engineering.

I am a commuting student, so I have not had much of a chance to experience the social atmosphere on campus. However, I have been to events, such as International Day, which has given me an idea of how lively the social atmosphere is.

I really like how diverse the university is. I remember attending Fresher’s fair and being overwhelmed by the number of societies and clubs that I could join. These ranged from interests to cultures and there was something for everybody. Diversity in the university was quite important to me since I come from an ethnic minority and it is so pleasing to see how celebrated all the different cultures are here in Loughborough.


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