Opportunity for collaboration with other engineers teaches you about the way the industry operates.

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Chloe Skidmore
Undergraduate student
MEng Materials Science and Engineering
Chloe has just completed her final year studying for MEng Materials Science and Engineering. Soon she will be starting as a Trainee Patent Attorney in the Engineering, Manufacture and Consumer Products team at Reddie and Grose LLP

Hi, I’m Chloe and I am in my final year of studying MEng Materials Science and Engineering. By the time you are reading this profile I might have already started my graduate job as a Trainee Patent Attorney in the Engineering, Manufacture and Consumer Products team at Reddie and Grose LLP.

When I was thinking about where to study I remember being particularly impressed with the state-of-the-art facilities the University of Sheffield had to offer, particularly for STEM. I have been fortunate to be taught my undergraduate labs in the Diamond Building and have even used the Diamond podcasting studio for my final year project. I was also conscious that the university has strong links with industry and undertaking a well-regarded placement was something I knew would be crucial to future career opportunities.

Some of the things I have enjoyed most about my course are the wide range of modules on offer covering aspects of engineering from all different disciplines. Also the opportunity for collaboration with other engineers through group projects, presentations and skills weeks that teach you about the way the industry operates and allow you to develop project management skills and communication skills beyond the theory of engineering. A highlight has been an industrial training program where a company within the nuclear industry presented us with a real-world technical problem and gave us 3 months to Innovatively present a solution. It was great to see how my fundamental materials knowledge could be applied in a real-world context.

I completed a 6-month placement at Rolls Royce within the Innovation Team within Central Technology. I believe that the placement was important in helping me secure my graduate job by providing me with a real-world experience and the chance to work on live projects across engineering, digital and business functions as well as building upon my existing skill set. During my placement I was involved in giving presentations to colleagues and clients across the globe, arranging and leading meetings and writing reports on the research around new technologies, including battery technology for electrifying flight. I also had the opportunity to gain experience within their IP department which helped solidify my career plan to become a Patent attorney and it provided invaluable insight into the profession for when I was applying to trainee schemes as well as providing me with relevant experience for the recruitment process and interviews.

Alongside my academic studies I was part of the university netball team which has been a fantastic part of my university experience and a great way of meeting people. If netball is not your thing, then there are so many other sports societies (and non-sports ones) you can join. Every year there is a big sports competition between The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam called Sheffield Varsity. It was amazing to be part of this and to have helped bring my university to victory in 2023! 

Sheffield Varsity netball team

Sheffield offers lots of extracurricular activities specifically linked to materials. Alongside my degree, I have had the privilege of being part of the Sheffield Eco motorsports team and believe this was important in securing my placement at Rolls-Royce. The team is a multidisciplinary engineering team currently designing and manufacturing a fully electric, energy efficient vehicle to compete internationally in The Shell Eco Marathon. I am a member of the Body and chassis sub-team, being responsible for designing, testing, and manufacturing the components of the car with a view to non-destructive testing, composite lay-up and using software such as CAD, FEA and CFD. The design process has highlighted to me the complexity behind the design and creation of a product, teaching me the importance of being scrupulous and thorough when developing new ideas. 

The highlight of my degree must be my dissertation project. ‘Materials- a SUBJECT that MATTERs’ was created over the course of my final academic year and forms the basis of my final year project, titled ‘Outreach for Materials Science and Engineering’, focusing on the topic of public engagement, supervised by Dr Julian Dean. For my project I interviewed academics in the Department on key areas in the world of materials science and engineering. As well as creating podcasts I also created educational resources which schools can use for free. You can find out more here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/materials/department/materials-subject-matters

My tips for someone thinking about studying materials science and engineering would be to make sure their organisation and time management skills are good as you will be studying lots of different topics at once. 

Begin to think about the world around them and why things work and function in the way they do - materials is a diverse subject and underpins the fundamental aspects of everything around us.


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