Student profile: Roisin Clear

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Roisin is currently studying MSc Advanced Control and Systems Engineering at ACSE. She’d previously studied a Physics-based degree and decided engineering would be a good way to move into a practical, space-related field.

Why did you choose to study with ACSE?

My first degree was in Physics and Medical Physics, and I’d been working for three years. I wanted to change my career into engineering as I was looking for more practical and challenging work in a space or space related field. When I was researching where to study, I learned that the University of Sheffield’s Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering has an excellent reputation for research and links with industry, so it was an easy choice for me.

What was the biggest challenge for you when you first arrived?

The standard of teaching in ACSE in really high, and I feel like there is a lot of help and support available if I need it.

Getting back into the habit of working and studying on the weekends and in the evenings has taken some getting used to, however I can see how useful everything I am learning is, so it doesn't feel like work.

What is your favourite part of studying in ACSE and the University of Sheffield?

Definitely the Sunbyte project. I got involved in early October and thanks to my background in physics I was able to become a team leader for the optical subsystem of Sunbyte III. I've got to know lots of fellow space enthusiasts and will get the opportunity to visit a NASA facility in July to integrate our Sunbyte III payload with a weather balloon platform which will be launched in late August. It has been a lot of work but nothing worth doing is easy, and this has been a very positive experience overall.

Is living in Sheffield different to your home town?

Yes, I lived in Dublin for seven years before coming here, two years of which I spent right in the city centre, so Sheffield feels comparatively small and relaxed, which I really like.

What do you do outside of study?

Study and the Sunbyte project takes up the majority of my time, however I have started bouldering at the university's climbing wall and was surprised to find that I wasn't as bad as I thought I was going to be, and I really enjoy it!

What is your favourite module?

I really liked the Embedded Systems / Rapid Control Prototyping module. As the name suggests, we got to learn about how we would create control system prototypes in industry, and then applied this to the control of a little twin rotor helicopter model. This meant that I was able to apply all of the theory I had learned in the previous semester to a physical system which really helped to solidify my knowledge, and it's always fun to see your maths and coding make something move.

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