Mechanical Engineering MEng
Rocío López Pérez

Rocío is studying Mechanical Engineering with us and is in her fourth year of studying. Here she tells us about her experience of our blended approach to learning during the pandemic.

Why Strathclyde

Strathclyde was first recommended to me by my Chemistry and my PSE teachers in High School based on its high ranking for Mechanical Engineering.

I based my decision to study at Strathclyde on a visit I made to the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. I appreciated the effort made by the department towards potential students during the visit. It was also nice to finally see some colour and displays of the students' work across the central department building - James Weir - after so many visits to sad, grey Engineering departments across the country. In the end, I based my decision on whether I could see myself attending this university and living in Glasgow.

Study my course

Rocío López Pérez smiling at the camera

About the course

Rocio sitting on the grass reading a book

I really enjoy the practical approach to learning. Putting the theory into practice can be very rewarding and, although at times I have wished the course was more practical, compared to other universities, Strathclyde does focus on going beyond the theory.

I really appreciate the classes where I get to improve my soft skills while learning about engineering as a profession.

After a mostly theoretical second year, I really enjoyed getting a taste of carrying out a long-term group project in third year. Especially now, during Covid, I look back and fondly remember those long days in the lab with my team trying to manufacture our mini hydroelectric power plant.

Online learning

Challenges

It's been hard to keep motivated as studying from home can be isolating. At times, it can be hard to realise you're not the only one struggling with something if you can't easily talk with many people in the year. For me, online learning has made explaining questions to lecturers more difficult, with questions being left unresolved due to the lack of resources available to answer them and the difficulties that arise due to online communication.

I've been studying from home, only going to the library at a time I was really struggling with motivation and lack of social interaction. I appreciate having better and cheaper food at my disposal but studying, sleeping, and relaxing in one room has made keeping a healthy work-life balance more difficult than when on campus.

I think the lecturers have tried their best to transition to online learning. I expect things will be smoother in the second semester and changes will be implemented faster based on student feedback, now that the department is more familiar with online learning.

Benefits

I really appreciate being able to revisit the lectures, thanks to the lectures being recorded, so I hope this is carried forward post-Covid. It allows me to review the content at my own pace and dive deeper into things I like or don’t fully understand. I like having the opportunity to review the content and the increased use of forums.

In terms of this new semester, I am enjoying having more live lectures where the lecturer goes over the entire lecture and records it for future use. It's brought back more structure into my days, encourages students to ask questions and still gives me the chance to go over and complete my notes if I missed something during the lecture. 

Rocío López Pérez smiling at the camera

Final thoughts

My time at Strathclyde has been filled with loads of experiences ranging from academic, as class rap, to extracurricular, through various clubs and societies. Taking advantage of these opportunities has significantly enriched my time at Strathclyde and helped me develop transferrable skills for the future.

Future goals

I'm particularly interested in heat transfer, sustainable buildings, energy systems and renewables so I hope to pursue a career in the field of renewables and sustainability after graduation.

Recommending Strathclyde

I would recommend Strathclyde as a university to anyone looking for a thorough understanding of the theory alongside practical work.

I think Strathclyde also has a lot to offer in terms of personal development outside of your studies. So, if you are someone like me who likes to take advantage of all the opportunities at your disposal, I can personally guarantee Strathclyde has a lot of them.

Overall, I am very happy with my experience at Strathclyde. There have been hurdles, but what's life without some challenges?

Rocio sitting on a rock in the Scottish hills

Student support

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