Case Study

Name: Gabby Coe
Course: MEng Materials Science and Engineering (Research)

Gabby CoeWhy did you choose your course?

When I arrived at Sheffield I was on the Materials Science with Nuclear Engineering course. However, at the end of second year I decided to switch onto the research stream. There were a number of reasons why I made this decision:

  • More module choice
  • Experience of a wider range of materials
  • Greater emphasis on coursework rather than exams
  • Summer between third and fourth year working with a research group in the department

What have you enjoyed most about your course so far?

The mini-projects during my third year have been my highlight. For each I was working on a different material, using different experimental methods with a different supervisor. Projects 1-3 were worked on as a group with each of us completing our own write-up. The final project was then individual work throughout. I enjoyed forming a good bond amongst the course group and getting hands-on experience with such a wide range of materials and techniques. The skills formed with analysing results data were also invaluable while doing my final year project.

What do you think about Sheffield as a city?

Before arriving at uni I had lived in Bristol for two years and I loved that it was fairly small and made up of many areas with their own character and shops. Sheffield is the same. Everywhere is in walking distance (although also always up a hill!) and it really is difficult to get lost. There are really great bars, restaurants and cafes all over the city, most of which are independent which is so rare in many cities. Over my four years here I have visited a number of other university cities and can easily say I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere but Sheffield!

I enjoyed forming a good bond amongst the course group and getting hands-on experience with such a wide range of materials and techniques.

Gabby Coe

Have you got any particular academic achievements or extra-curricular achievements you’d like to highlight?

In my first year here, I joined Sheffield Formula Racing Team, the university’s Formula Student team. Each year we design, build and race a single seat formula-style race car. We take applicants during their first year only and assess them based on willingness and ability to learn and commitment, then we stay on the team throughout uni learning from those in older years. I have been able to put theoretical learning into practice creating solutions to real engineering problems through my time on the team. Additionally, it has helped me develop other professional skills, including communication as I have spent the last year managing our social media accounts.

Gabby Coe with the University of Sheffield Formula Student CarWhat are your ambitions for the next few years?

After graduation I will be starting a two-year graduate scheme in the nuclear industry, and I will see where life takes me from there!

What would you say to students if they are considering studying Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield?

Engineering, for me, was a way to not give up any of my A-level subjects. If you can problem solve and apply your knowledge to new, potentially complex, situations then you are already an engineer. An engineering degree also doesn’t close any doors; I will be going into the nuclear industry, but I could have worked in any of the steel, automotive, aerospace, construction, power generation (the list really does go on) industries. Obviously, this won’t be exactly true for every engineering degree out there but the fundamental skills are transferable.