Ellie Baimbridge

Head and shoulders photo of General Engineering student Ellie Baimbridge
Ellie Baimbridge
Ellie Baimbridge
MEng General Engineering (Energy and Sustainability) with a Year in Industry
I can't wait to work with SUEZ for my final year research project and then further on their graduate scheme in 2022. With new legislation regarding emissions & sustainability in the waste industry being drafted all the time, it's a very exciting time to be a part of the Suez Energy UK process technical team.

Why did you choose to take this course and what made you choose Energy and Sustainability? 

"Choosing General Engineering gave me the option to continue learning across a broad spectrum of disciplines within STEM whilst knowing that a specialisation would give me the specific knowledge and skills needed to follow a specific career path. In my case, I was struggling to decide between Materials and Chemical Engineering when I joined, but have now had the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge across more areas of engineering than I'd initially considered. Sustainability in engineering and design had always been a passion of mine and the Energy and Sustainability specialism allows me to continue with interdisciplinary learning across the Mechanical, Chemical, Materials, and Civil Engineering departments with a specific ecological context.

I'm hoping to progress in my career as a Process Engineer working in the waste or energy industries in decarbonisation (think carbon capture), where I aim to gain chartership, but I'm keen to keep my options open too. The skills developed on the General Engineering course mean it's pretty easy to apply yourself to lots of different sectors or roles, engineering or otherwise!"

Why did you choose to include a Year in Industry in your degree?   

"I wasn't initially sure whether to do a year in industry, but it's such a good boost to your employability as a graduate and can help you to decide what career path you would like to take in the future.

My year in industry placement is with SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK, working as an intern Process Engineer across their fleet of Energy from Waste (EfW) sites. I'm fortunate to work for a really small team within the company where I've had exposure to many different types of projects across the country.  These have ranged from creating mathematical models for isentropic turbine efficiency, to analysing contractor tenders for new CapEx projects. It's been a great opportunity to apply my knowledge from university to real world projects. The cross-discipline way of learning that the course offers is useful to my employer in terms of both the wide-ranging engineering knowledge, and also in the project management skills developed."

What have you enjoyed most about your degree so far and why?  

"The General Engineering course has a great sense of community, as the course size is smaller than the typical engineering disciplines, meaning there is always the opportunity to be supported by your course mates who all have different interests and strengths. With the nature of the course meaning we cover lots of different topics, it's great that you know from early on in your university career who you can turn to for help with a hands-on making project, or the content of an electrical engineering tutorial. There could be someone who really enjoys a programming language who can help you troubleshoot a piece of work, or maybe someone did a-level chemistry so can help you understand a part of a research paper. It makes the course a very student-led experience.

Also, the number of short group projects which we had in years one and two of the course give a great opportunity to gain some invaluable project management skills across a really wide range of technical contexts. The second year group project producing a mock tender for an EfW contract in fictitious Doddington piqued my interest in the waste management industry and made a huge impact on my career path, as well as providing the opportunity to develop contract costing, engineering requirements, and social value project skills. Inherently these projects give all of us a real opportunity to move up to project management roles too, which arguably (in my case looking forwards to a career in sustainability) is the position where we can orchestrate the most change."

What are you most proud of achieving whilst at University?  

"I'm probably most proud of representing the university on the rowing team over my time at uni. I started in first year on one of the Give It A Go schemes then trialed for the novice squad and have been rowing ever since (I'm sure that there's literally nothing more exciting/nerve-wracking than sitting on the start line of one of the Sheffield Varsity events!).

I've also had the opportunity to be a part of the huge fundraising and volunteering works which the rowing club do every year on behalf of the Sheffield Children's Hospital and other local charities.

I would really recommend joining a sports team or a different society when at university, especially one which you've never had the opportunity to do before. There are so many to choose from at Sheffield, and lots of people on our course are key officers in society committees as well as being active members, so give it a go!"

Do you have any advice for students considering studying General Engineering?

"My advice for students wanting to study General Engineering is to take every opportunity which the university offers. I think the busier you are at university  the more you get out of it. Get involved with the course society (GEMSoc), get to know your coursemates, find one or two extra-curricular societies, and make sure you leave time to socialise (West Street and the Students Union are calling!!). As long as you work hard and enjoy your time at university then you can rely on all the skills and knowledge which has got you to this course at this university to do well. Essentially, back yourself!"

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