View of the University of Strathclyde's James Weir building looking across Rottenrow Gardens

Student Profile

Where do you come from? What did you study previously and at which institution?

I am originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland and I graduated with a BEng in Clean Technology from the University of Ulster.

Why did you choose Strathclyde?

I was attracted to the course at first, as there are not many courses that are specific to renewables around the UK. Coming to Strathclyde is an extra bonus as it is a top university and is situated right in the heart of Glasgow city. The university was also awarded the Times Higher Education 2012 best university, which is a fantastic award, and I can now see why this is the case.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I received the ScottishPower Energy and Environment scholarship just after graduating from my first degree. This really helped me focus on my studies, as there was no need to look for a part time job. The course is pretty intense and there is a heavy workload so this gave me the opportunity to really engage in the course and give it my full commitment.

What do you enjoy about the programme?

First of all it has been really good to work with people from all around the world and seeing what ideas they have from their home country. There is quite a lot of group work which is a great way to get prepared for your future job. Secondly, I really like the wide range of topics and modules that are on offer, each one is particularly relevant to renewables and the environment. Lastly, the level of teaching is at a very high standard and the content of work is a suitable level for everyone.

How relevant did you feel your studies were in relation to gaining employment?

Scotland is really the best place for finding a job in the renewable energy sector, so there is no real worry about finding a suitable graduate job. I feel that the modules and work really sets you up well for future employment, as the content is quite broad in relation to renewables. My undergraduate degree was focused on clean energy and renewables so I had no problem with the work content. However if you come with no background knowledge in this particular subject, I wouldn’t worry, all you need is an interest.

What did you do following graduation?

I have been very fortunate to get onto the Scottish Power Graduate scheme, into SP Energy Networks, which will last for a total of two years. I am based in Liverpool and very much enjoying the new experiences that the job is bringing after graduating. Over the period of the next two years I will continue to be a graduate trainee inside Energy Networks and will do a number of placement rotations around the company, everything from asset strategy to electrical network operations. I will complete this programme, in the hope to obtain an engineering role within the company and become a Chartered Engineer.