Thanks to all the experience I gained during my course I left University feeling confident about my knowledge & ready to start my professional career.

Gianmarco Pisanelli graduate profile image
Gianmarco Pisanelli
ACSE graduate
Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering MEng
I'm Gianmarco, I studied Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering and enjoyed it from day one!

Why did you choose to study for your degree at Sheffield?

When I was applying for University I knew I wanted to come to the UK so I started looking for courses that involved Robotic Engineering on the UCAS website. Through my research I found out that the University of Sheffield offered an amazing course in Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering through the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE). I have to admit that I was a bit naive and at the time I was not entirely sure about what Automatic Control and System Engineering exactly was. But luckily I enjoyed the course from day one, in fact in my second year, I decided to move from the BEng to an MEng course. 

What aspects of the degree did you enjoy the most?

What I most loved about the department of ACSE is the amount of practical work that we got to do, and all the opportunities it provided for extra-curricular activities, whose importance I cannot stress enough. Every year I managed to secure a work placement or a summer placement within the department or with the Engineering faculty. In second year, together with 3 more ACSE students and 2 psychology students we investigated Human Robot Interaction Interfaces, and managed to publish our results to the 2018 TAROS conference, which gained us a trip to Bristol. In my third year, I joined Sheffield Eco Marathon team, where we designed an electric car from scratch to compete at the Shell Eco Marathon race. In the summer of the same year I was employed by the department of ACSE to work with local audio-visual artist Mark Fell on a robotic art installation at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield. In my final year, I was working with Sheffield Robotics to create another robotic art installation but this time with a swarm of very tiny robots called kilobots.

How do you think your degree will/has helped your career prospects?

Thanks to all the experience that I gained during my course I left University feeling confident about my knowledge and ready to start my professional career. Moreover, during all the different projects and jobs that I undertook while at University I got to meet numerous very influential people with lots of different backgrounds who either mentored me or guided me towards my professional development. Besides, my final year project secured me my current job. My supervisor invited senior engineers from the AMRC to have a look at my Demonstrator and they were impressed enough to invite me for a job interview.

What did you like best about studying at Sheffield?

The best thing about Sheffield is that although it is the fourth biggest city in the country, it’s not like those isolating and solitary big metropolises where you end up living entirely anonymously. Sheffield has an amazing friendly environment with a great sense of community and no matter where you end-up for a night out you will always end up meeting someone you know. Our students Union has been the best in the country for more than 10 years in a row and we have been the university with the best student experience for many years. No wonder many graduates decide to remain in Sheffield after University!

What are your future plans?

I am currently working at the AMRC in Sheffield and I am enjoying every second of it .I am gaining loads of experience and learning an awful lot every day, so I plan to stay here for a while and pick up as much as I can from my amazing team. Then, maybe, one day I will be able to start my own robotics company.

Any tips for new students?

The biggest advice I can give to future and current ACSE students is to get involved! Try to get busy with as many extracurricular activities as you can. ACSE offers innumerable opportunities and you will be amazed by how much you can learn by getting your hands dirty. Keep an eye on the University website and ACSE page, as loads of new opportunities are posted monthly.

 And finally don’t forget about networking! It is the best weapon to secure your future job. Try to attend all the career fairs held at university, join the ACSE society committee, and become a year rep, you will get to know a lot of influential people that might help you secure your dream job! 

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