Design, Manufacturing & Engineering ManagementYana Li: Studying in DMEM

My name is Yana Li and I’m an undergraduate student at Strathclyde, in the Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management (DMEM), studying Product Design Engineering.

I finished my first two years of university in China at Taiyuan University of Technology, and then came to DMEM (after attending the international summer school) and joined through a 2+2 programme. I'm going to talk about my time studying in DMEM.

Studying BEng (Hons) Product Design Engineering

My degree has a multi-focus across many engineering areas such as maths, mechanics, electronics, etc. My modules have included:

  • Design Interaction
  • Engineering Design
  • Product Development
  • Production Techniques
  • Mechatronics Design and Applications
  • Advanced Design Methods
  • Advanced Product Design and Manufacture

I believe combining lectures, labs and tutorials on this course has enabled me to design products from a wide variety of engineering aspects and through a broad range of skills.


DMEM has well-equipped workshops with facilities including laser cutting and 3D printing machines, which enable us to make prototypes with different materials.

Additionally, computers with professional software are available in labs and studios to support our study. The software options include:

  • SolidWorks
  • Rhino 6
  • Autodesk Inventor
  • Simul8
  • Adobe Creative Suite

We also have access to large and comfortable common space studios, which provide us with places to meet with teammates for team project work. In addition, there are rich online resources and books are provided for self-studying.

Students and staff

Students here are enthusiastic and innovative, equipped with sketching and modelling to time management and team working skills.

The teaching staff in DMEM are professional and patient, delivering us well-structured lectures and tutorials. Additionally, technical staff are also very helpful and willing to give you a hand whenever you have a problem!

Learning style

The learning style in DMEM is very different from the studying experience in China. Here students spend more time on practical learning. Instead of paperwork, most assignments are about applying knowledge and skills to reality, which is both challenging but beneficial. Another difference is there are more group working projects here, aimed at developing our group working, delegation and managing abilities, which give us the necessary experience before we gain careers working in industry.

What I learnt from moving away from home

For myself, I have developed my self-caring ability and financial management skills the most. Leaving home and moving half way across the world means one should take care of himself/herself, from daily life to study or work.

At first, I could barely cook, but now I’m no longer worrying about what to eat every day. Also, I can now balance myself between studying and relaxing. Apart from that, I’ve also learn how to manage my money - by having in mind how much I have spent and how much I should spend every month, I can control my expenditure and spend money wisely.

From the studying aspect, I have improved my self-learning and team working skills. The individual assignments sometimes are difficult for me, thus I need to read more and learn more by myself. Although those can be tough, I appreciate that and gain much from knowing I have tried hard which is a skill of perseverance and determination in itself.

When we work in groups, my teammates always help me and are very patient at listening to me. I’ve always been afraid of speaking in the team at the beginning, but with their help, I think I’m better now!

What I learnt about other cultures

Living here in Scotland, I have learnt about Scottish culture including the different festivals, holidays, the traditional instrument (bagpipe) and clothing (kilt).

By meeting with others and talking to friends, I have a deep feeling that Scottish people are really friendly and humorous.

Additionally, the other students from different countries here enabled me to learn about their cultures as well.

It is worth mentioning that another good way to understand various cultures is by trying their foods. I enjoy eating in different countries’ restaurants and tasting their meals, which is one of my favorite activities in Glasgow


Yana Li

Yana Li, student in the Department of Design, Manufacture & Engineering Management