Zoë Soothill: MSc Advanced Control and Systems Engineering
I went through secondary school thinking I’d follow my sister into a degree in English so picked English, Performing Arts and Media Studies at A-level, along with Maths because my maths teacher at school was nice and I was good at it. During my A-level studies I realised that out of all the subjects I was taking, maths was fascinating and beautiful, and I ended up doing a BSc in Mathematics.
When you are choosing a university degree subject to study, you’re not often told how much of maths is in engineering, and so for my undergraduate degree it wasn’t really an option. When I finished I got a job in a software company and realised that if I wanted to use my bachelor’s degree, I’d need to specialise in something by doing a master’s. I was searching online for what master’s degrees a maths graduate can do and, always wanting to study at the University of Sheffield, I found the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE). Even the ACSE website welcomed me by showing me a video of how maths can be applied into engineering and how I shouldn’t be scared to apply, so I did and I’m really glad I did.
The sheer level of work in a masters was slightly overwhelming at first, but the biggest challenge for me was the application of what I had learnt from my undergraduate degree. I hadn’t come from an engineering background so although the maths was the same, the applications to systems was so new to me.
The achievement of completing such a specialised and unique degree is really the most rewarding thing for me. I know that I have experience that not a lot of students have, since there aren’t any other courses like the Advanced Control and Systems Engineering course in the UK. The course included so many other disciplines that I wasn’t even aware were linked, such as operational research, mechatronics, and much more.
I’ve always dreamed of working with aeroplanes as they are spectacularly made, and I’d love to be a part of that. The department of ACSE has given me the skill and knowledge I need to move into the aerospace industry and I’m really excited - hopefully soon I’ll be designing aeroplane systems myself!
Zoë Soothill, MSc Advanced Control and Systems Engineering Student
The department of ACSE itself spans so far out into other disciplines that I found so many of the lecturers had such vast knowledge of things not just within engineering, but within its many applications, and it’s been really encouraging to know that I really can do whatever I want with a degree from the department of ACSE because the lecturers have!
ACSE has made me look at the world with fresh eyes. I am more inquisitive about the world around me and how different systems work, and I can appreciate a great engineering feat when I see one!
I love living in Sheffield because of… The green! I have absolutely loved discovering hikes around the peak district, the moors, the forests, even the hills!