On International Women in Engineering day 2020 we asked Maria, one of our pioneering first cohort of students to describe how Electronic Engineering at Royal Holloway has helped her to find her interests, discover opportunities and prepare for life after university.
Maria working in the labs at Royal Holloway
Maria, how has your time here helped you to find your purpose?
"The academics at Royal Holloway encourage you to find your passion even if it is outside of the teaching of the department. During my placement year I discovered a strong interest in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Vision and Virtual Reality. I believe these technologies will be at the forefront of the technological revolution and will play a large part in our lives in the future. When it came to selecting a third year project I was encouraged to pursue this passion and found a great deal of support from the wonderful staff within the department.
The Department of Electronic Engineering places a great emphasis on encouraging students to be creative during their projects throughout the duration of the course: this prepares students for the work in real engineering companies who will need employees who can think on their feet to engineer a great solution rather than just applying mathematical principles."
How has your learning experience enabled you to discover your passions and grow as an individual?
"My experience at Royal Holloway has been nothing other than positive and inclusive. One of the most unique aspects of the Department of Electronic Engineering is the close relationships students build with the academic staff and the personal interest each lecturer takes with each and every one of their students. The department is an environment where questions are always welcomed and answered, students feel enabled to pursue their passion and creativity is encouraged.
The challenges that Electronic Engineering presents are always interesting and the support of the department makes it feel like no dream is too big.
One of my favourite parts of the department is how students are encouraged to be the catalyst for positive change within the College by encouraging students to raise any concerns during student staff committee meetings and on one on ones with lecturers.
This environment here has provided me with the tools to find opportunities for growth outside of the university and gave me the confidence to go out and pursue them."
How have you found the staff and their teaching – and/or what was the most interesting thing you studied and enjoyed?
"I try to be as environmentally conscious as possible, from where I shop to what I eat – and of course with the solutions I engineer. I greatly enjoyed the sustainability engineering module during my first year. This module covers topics such as renewable energy and eco-robots that are used to help look after the environment. This module is built upon in the second year with the power generation module and is also an option during the third year. I am also looking forward to starting the biomedical engineering course in my third year which explores engineering in the medical field. As well as this, I enjoyed studying software engineering – coding is a skill which is needed in engineers in every field so is fundamental to success, which is why the department places importance in this."
What advice would you say to future aspiring applicants about studying Electronic Engineering?
"If you are looking to study a discipline that will not only challenge you academically but also creatively then Electronic Engineering is for you. It can be difficult to stay motivated during these challenging times, however, if you keep your goal in sight you will be able to achieve it."
The theme for International Women in Engineering day for 2020 is Shape the Future – how do you feel your degree has shaped you for your future?
"Studying Electronic Engineering at Royal Holloway gives students the opportunity to not just watch the evolution of technology but be an active part of engineering it. From learning to developing software applications to using FPGAs in machine vision. The possibilities are truly endless. Studying Electronic Engineering gives you the tools to go out and innovate."