Jacob Ngome

MEng Mechatronics & Robotics Engineering

Before I started my MEng at the University of Sheffield I was doing two out of 4 years of a Bachelor of Science Jacob Ngomedegree at the University of Botswana. The two years earned me a qualification equivalent to A – levels and got me onto the Mechatronics program. I hadn’t been in any formal employment before then.

A bit of research led me to Sheffield University because I found out from the University web pages that I would receive the majority of my modules from one of very few stand-alone departments of automatic control and systems engineering in the whole country. This was particularly important for me because it meant on a course that is itself highly multi-disciplinary I would still get a nearly integrated learning package, cohesion and flexibility between my modules.

The close association with industry between the department of automatic control and systems engineering ensures that I am learning the right skills that industry demands. I also benefit from the guest lectures and careers talks from industry people which are a very regular thing in my department.

The practicals are the most valuable aspect for me; I get to work with sophisticated lab equipment to apply the theory from lectures. The department also provides free Mathworks Matlab software which is a must have for any controls engineering student and practitioner.

I believe the department has struck a fine balance between contact hours and independent study which is quite important. The huge emphasis on coursework also means I get to work in teams a lot, which is a very valuable asset to my professional arsenal, I also get to work alone and that’s when I really discover my shortcomings and my strengths.

The University of Sheffield is known and recognised as a provider of high quality tertiary education, so a qualification from here first of all means employers or anyone I want to get into business with trusts my competence and ability. It also means for me personally that I have stood with a much wider diversity of students from the world over and made it, coming from a developing country this is something I am proud of.

Sheffield is a student city so the opportunity to make good friends goes without saying and also means the nights out are some of the best I’ve been out on. The proximity to the peaks also adds to the quality of life in Sheffield for someone like me who likes long walks on a sunny day.

When I finish my course I hope to achieve a really good grade and a nice paying job to go and make a contribution to the world and my country.

Advice I would give to prospective students is do your research, come to the open days, talk to the staff and students, ask lots of questions and make sure it’s something you are passionate about it because its passion that will get you through that impossible assignment.