Loughborough offers a unique course that has shifted its focus from the oil and gas industries to more sustainable technologies, unlike other traditional chemical engineering courses. As someone who is passionate about protecting the environment, this course allows for further development of solutions for the ever-growing global pollution crisis.
The chemical engineering department has made many investments within the course, this can be seen through the newly renovated department building which holds new state of the art lab facilities. Loughborough holds many strong ties with industry, providing wider placement and graduate jobs opportunities. As well as the course, I found campus life provides a sense of community.
Growing up I have always suffered with acne and finding a suitable treatment has always been challenging, thus I found myself constantly researching into different solutions and formulations. This sparked my initial interest in Chemical Engineering, and through research conducted on the course I hope to one day work in the household consumer goods/cosmetics industries. I have chosen chemical engineering because it is a versatile course, where there are a lot of different career paths to go into.
The course provides a broad range of practical modules that is can be applicable for range of jobs within industry. An example of this is the ‘data analysis’ module, which involves teaching us to analyse data using statistical tests through Microsoft Excel and Matlab. I found learning the software to be very useful as this is expected within industry. The simulation modules and the virtual plant on campus allow us to have a ‘physical’ insight of a plant. As a Loughborough student working on my Professional Development Project (PDP), I found that the departments access to useful research papers really aided my research.
I am currently studying for my PDP at Loughborough with the Department of Chemical Engineering. My project involves researching into using Maillard conjugates instead of oil-derived surfactants used to create emulsions. Emulsions are used in various application in daily life, for example, shampoo and conditioner, cosmetics, cleaning products, food/drinks, and so on.
Using Maillard conjugates to create emulsions contributes to a cleaner, more sustainable system. I have developed mathematical models to predict the size of particles needed to create the desired emulsion under suitable condition.
My PDP involves a lot of self-learning and independent working as it is an individual project. The weekly meeting with my supervisor provided insightful feedback which helped me to keep on track, and improve on my work progress. I have always felt supported by my supervisor, who response promptly to any queries that I may have.
I have always kept an open mind with different career paths as chemical engineering opens you to broad and endless career opportunities. This project has helped me to have a clearer idea of what sort of career that I want to go into. This research work has also motivated me to further work as a research assistant with the university in the summer. As I am interested in the production of cosmetics, this project has further supported that I enjoyed learning about innovative formulations.
While the course provides brief project proposals, I would recommend listing topics that sparks your interest as a considerable amount of time will be spent on conducting in depth research on your chosen topic.
The greatest achievement I had whilst at Loughborough was completing a summer internship with ExxonMobil. During my time there I gained a valuable insight into the industry, and how a graduate job would potentially be like as an engineer. I also worked as a research intern with the department, which has allowed me to have a deeper understanding of how a PhD may look like in the future. Both experiences have helped me improve my professionalism and communication skills.
In terms of extra-curricular activities, I have joined the Malaysian Singaporean society. As a sport secretary for the society, I learn to take responsibilities and worked together as a team. Playing netball for the society in various events such as the annual South East Asian games and intermural sports for halls accommodation had been one of my highlights here in Loughborough.