Julie Howes

"When choosing which degree course to take I was undecided between taking Engineering or Economics. I found both subjects interesting, but I did not think that my school studies gave me a good idea of what to expect at university from either of these subjects. I started looking for Engineering courses with a broad module selection, where specialisations could be chosen after I had learnt a bit more about the subject, as I felt that a year or so of generalisation would better prepare me to decide which branch of engineering to pursue. The Engineering Design course at Bristol was perfect for this; in the first year aspects of electronics, mechanical, structural engineering and computer science were taught, along with unique modules created especially for engineering design students. The course then allows you to specialise in second year and beyond.

The course itself is different to other engineering courses at the university because of the small year group, and the core modules taken. Each year core modules are built upon to enhance personal and professional skills using individual research projects, presentations and other types of communication. This broadens the skill set and also builds on real world knowledge of engineering applications. Not only is this useful to learn from and do better the following year, but it also provides experiences to talk about in interviews.

Throughout the course I gained a varied experience in industry, including working in Oil and Gas extraction at GE Oil and Gas, Building Design at Arup, and Defence at MBDA. After the first two placements, I wanted to gain additional experience to aid me with my final year project ‘Design of a submarine payload handling and launch system’, so I branched out from the sponsor companies to MBDA. After enjoying my placement at Arup most of all I realised wanted to work in a competitive industry, where creativity, technically good design, and a result to be proud of at work were key requirements. With all my experience, I felt confident in making my graduate applications to the right industry sector.

While at university I was also able to travel a lot because of the many placement opportunities, as well as the income from the year in industry. I am continuing to travel after I graduate with 3 months in South America before I return to Arup to begin my graduate career in the New Year.

Engineering Design suits many different types of people. It is for those who want to achieve high standards of work and are keen to find innovative solutions to both technical and non-technical problems. There are plenty of opportunities for team work, idea generation and developing interpersonal skills making the course successful, rewarding and unique."

Julie Howes (MEng, 2011), Mechanical Engineer

Throughout the course I gained a varied experience in industry, including working in Oil and Gas extraction, Building Design, and Defence.

Julie Howes
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