James Sweeny

James graduated in 2014 with an MSc Sustainable Engineering: Renewable Energy Systems and the Environment from Strathclyde's Department of Mechanical & Aerospace´╗┐ Engineering.

When did you study at the University of Strathclyde? Where do you come from? What did you study previously and at which institution?

I began my studies in 2013 and moved to Glasgow from Cambridge, where I was employed at the time. Previously I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Glasgow.´╗┐

What do you plan to do after graduation?

I am now working for an engineering consulting practice in San Francisco, USA. The firm specialises in the HVAC discipline and my role is Design Engineer within the buildings department.

Why did you choose Strathclyde?´╗┐

I decided to study at Strathclyde as I was aware that it had a reputation as being one of the top engineering universities in the UK. The course is also long established and approved by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) which was important to me as it would provide the appropriate qualifications for obtaining CEng status later on in my career.

What did you like about the programme?

The course is well structured covering a wide range of topics that are relevant to the engineering discipline. The course encouraged me to learn how to work effectively within a group as well as on an individual basis – these are key skills that employers look for in prospective candidates. The lecturers also had a wealth of knowledge and were very approachable and provided good feedback and advice throughout the duration of the course.

How relevant do you feel your studies are in relation to future employment/studies?

It is very relevant as it not only covers the fundamentals of engineering practice which are inherent to the industry such as thermodynamics, electrical power systems and energy systems analysis but it also touches on very practical subjects such as project management, environmental risk assessment and design management. The mixture of these subjects, coupled with the support from the staff and fellow colleagues, provided me with a very rounded degree at the end of the programme.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship with the Royal Academy of Engineering. This allowed me to take a year off of work to pursue the full time Masters programme.