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What it's like to study Electronic Engineering at Queen Mary

Nafia Meem, BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Industrial Experience, is currently in her final year at Queen Mary and is aiming to continue onto a postgraduate degree after graduation. Nafia shared her experience about what she's most enjoyed about her course and during her year working in industry. 

Why did you choose to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering?

When researching programmes at Queen Mary, I was drawn to the versatility of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and its applications in nearly every industry – I knew it would give me a wide range of options post-graduation. My interest in Maths and Physics in school also made it a suitable university choice for me.

What do you enjoy most about your programme?

Nearly every module I’ve taken has had a practical element to it (such as working with the circuits, microcontrollers, FPGA boards, and more) which has meant that my learning and knowledge hasn’t just been limited to theory. I’m also really grateful that practical learning was well maintained throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and whilst doing online learning.

In the lab, work often also involves using software complementing the theory, e.g. MATLAB/Simulink. The content is very rarely only about theory which keeps it engaging for students. Lecturers on my programme have also made a point to talk about the various practical applications of the concepts being taught and encouraged further reading beyond what’s required.

What skills have you learnt whilst studying?

Looking back at my time at Queen Mary, I gained a plethora of technical skills that I’ll be taking away with me when I graduate. I was able to go from having little to no programming experience to now having applied my C programming skills in industry, university modules and personal projects. Circuit design/simulation software, MATLAB/Simulink, VHDL, creating embedded programs etc., are all highly sought-after skills for employers that I’ve been able to develop whilst completing my degree. On the other hand, I’ve also had exposure to technical report writing, conducting literature reviews, and research methods that are applicable to both industry and academia.

Tell us about your Industrial Placement - what was the experience like?

For my placement, I worked in hardware engineering at a multinational defence and aerospace company - it was a highly rewarding experience! I was part of the business unit involved in researching and prototyping new adoptable technology.

I’d advise anybody considering a placement year to go for it as applying your skills in industry, outside of a university environment, really boosts your confidence in your own abilities. Gaining exposure to a diverse range of projects also helped me think about my own final-year project. During my placement year, I came across Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and afterwards, decided to base my final year project on these sensors too.  

What are your plans for the future?

I’m hoping to stay in academia to pursue a master’s degree in a related field. I’d like to gain a deeper understanding of Electronic Engineering, as well as use and develop all my independent research skills to conduct a postgraduate research project on a topic that I find exciting. A postgraduate degree could also open up new career opportunities!

Have you got any advice for future students?

Make time for extra-curricular and social activities! They’re so important for a more comprehensive university experience. QMUL has a whole range of societies and activities on offer that you can explore alongside your studies. Also, don’t underestimate the power of good time management as it’ll not only help you with module workload, but allow you to have a richer university experience.

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