Tell us a bit about yourself. What course are you studying and why?

I am an International student from Kano, Nigeria. I am currently in the third year of my MEng degree in Systems and Control Engineering. I have always had an interest in the engineering behind the operation of machines, which led to my decision to choose a course relating to that field.

What made you want to come to ACSE?

After having completed my foundation course with the University College, I became familiar with the ACSE department and the courses they offered through an open day visit. Prior to that, I had done my research on their website to have an overview. The information I received from these showed me that ACSE was offering something I wanted to learn and, therefore, played a huge part in my decision to be a part of this department.

The skills I have gained and improved are also very relevant for Systems Engineers, which I am certain will prove to be very useful in a work environment.

Mukhtar Umar

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

My biggest challenge during my first year at ACSE was the mathematical concepts used in systems engineering. A lot of the methods used, such as Laplace transforms, were completely new to me and I found it a bit difficult to understand at first. Programming is also a huge part of being a Systems Engineer. It was something I also found myself struggling with because I have never attempted it before. However, I was able to challenge myself with the proper guidance from tutorial sessions and lab sessions organised by the department.

What has been the best thing about the University/ACSE so far?

The best thing about University so far is that I have been able to significantly improve as an individual. It has taught me to be a lot more independent and responsible. It has also been good mixing up, interacting and networking with different people from different backgrounds. Each person has a different story to tell and a lot is learned from that. ACSE has been a fun department to be in, largely because of some of the projects we have done during the course. Most notably was the Autonomous Robot project, where we had put together its motherboard ourselves and further program the robot to avoid obstacles.

How will your studies with ACSE help you in the future?

Studying with ACSE has been a great pleasure and I have learnt a lot more than just Systems Engineering. I have taken modules such as Law and Finance for Engineers, which I believe is a huge boost to my process of being an accomplished Engineer. I have also gained a lot of experience in terms of solving real-world engineering problems and carrying out successful projects. The skills I have gained and improved are also very relevant for Systems Engineers, which I am certain will prove to be very useful in a work environment.

Was living in Sheffield a big difference from your home town?

Living in Sheffield is a huge difference from living in Nigeria. A lot of differences could be pointed out due to the two disparate lifestyles. It was difficult to adjust at first because it was the first time I have been on my own away from home and I had to do everything by myself. I had to learn to plan efficiently and to understand how things worked in the country, such as the transportation system. Nonetheless, over time, I continued to learn and adjust to the new environment in order to look after myself as I should and now I can happily say that I am used to it.