Rasan Chandra

Image of Rasan working at British SugarMEng Mechanical Engineering with a Year in Industry


Rasan Chandra studied with us from 2011 to 2016, graduating from our MEng Mechanical Engineering with a Year in Industry course. 

Originally from Malaysia, Rasan was an International Engineering Ambassador during his time at Sheffield and was also involved with a number of other societies.

He now works for British Sugar.

What attracted you to mechanical engineering?

I’ve always been excited by how things work. When I was young, I was given a pen as a gift and the first thing I did was take it apart to figure out how it worked - unfortunately, I couldn’t put it back together again!

As I also enjoyed doing maths, I saw engineering as the logical route for me. However, at the time of applying to university, I wasn’t sure what field of engineering I was most interested in so I opted for mechanical engineering as the broadest of the bunch.

What attracted you to Sheffield?

Sheffield is one of the top universities in the UK for engineering, so it was always on my radar and after applying to a number of universities and receiving offers, it was Sheffield that I chose.

This was for a few reasons. One was cost of living; I needed a balance between tuition fees and living costs and Sheffield ranked well on that. I also read that Sheffield had a great student-led community and Union. This was proven to be the case when I arrived!

What were your favourite things to do in Sheffield?

I enjoyed spending time with friends, attending society events and going to the gym 4-5 times per week. I also played football and even attended tournaments.

As Sheffield is close to the Peak District, I really enjoyed hiking on various treks, some of which were very challenging! There is always something to do in Sheffield whatever your interests may be, you just have to find it.

Did you get involved in any clubs or societies during your studies?

I joined the Malaysian Society and was actively involved in many events such as dancing for the International Cultural Evening (ICE) and performing for Sheffield Malaysian Night.

Additionally, I was captain of the society football team and even briefly joined the Muay Thai Society (a form of kick boxing), though very quickly stopped this - ouch!

I was also involved with Engineers Without Borders and a project to build a wind turbine. This was for a competition in the Netherlands and I was the group leader for aerodynamics and blades, helping to design, develop and build the rotor blades. I was also an International Engineering Ambassador, encouraging other overseas students to study engineering and also helping them to make the most of their time in Sheffield.

What are your best memories of Sheffield?

Spending quality time with friends, many of whom I have built life-long relationships with.

After graduating from Sheffield where did you go?

I joined the Graduate Scheme at British Sugar after graduating from Sheffield. I secured this by completing my year in industry with its parent company, AB Sugar.

When I first joined university, I didn’t consider a year in industry course. However, after speaking with peers and lecturers, by my second year I decided this would be a great opportunity for me. With the University’s encouragement, I dedicated myself to applying for a placement during my third year and was successful, which eventually led to my graduate job.

As a graduate I learned the sugar manufacturing process from a chemical engineering perspective whilst working shifts at the factory and gained experience as a Shift Performance Manager. Additionally, I have undertaken various roles within the Maintenance Process team, including the Mechanical Team Manager role, and I’m now based within the Combined Heat & Power team.

What’s your ultimate career goal?

I wouldn’t say that I have an ultimate goal. I constantly set myself goals as I achieve them and will continue to do so for the rest of my career. However, I do envision myself in a leadership role in the future, helping to develop teams and sharing my knowledge and experience.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self or a recent graduate starting off in their career?

Be ambitious: Have a vision of what you see yourself doing in the future and work towards it. You will not always go down the exact path you imagined, but it is the learning experience that counts. Don’t hold yourself back - take opportunities as they arise and you will see yourself develop rapidly.

Be inquisitive: As a graduate, you have next to no experience in industry. Whichever company you may join, there will be colleagues who have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can gain from. So ask questions and be curious!

Travel the world: I cannot stress how much travelling has opened my eyes to new cultures. Take your holidays and travel. Explore places you have never been to. It is the hidden gem of personal development.

Profile last updated July 2018