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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


Before Cambridge, I went to a small state school in rural Northumberland.  I always enjoyed school, with science, maths and languages being my favourite subjects, and wanted to study at Cambridge since a young age.  I chose to apply for chemical engineering as I was interested in energy production and sustainability, and wanted to do a subject where I could apply my knowledge to solving real world problems.

Some of my favourite chemical engineering topics have been fluid flow and materials; however, if those don’t appeal to you there is a huge variety of topics in the course.  The work is very challenging and there is a lot of it, but supervisors are generally very patient and willing to help you understand the underlying principles.  One of my favourite parts of the course was working on my fourth year research project, where I studied new solar cell materials that would produce hydrogen from the solar splitting of water.

The Department is small enough that you quickly make friends with everyone in your year, and the student chemical engineering society puts on several fun events such as a freshers’ pub quiz and a Christmas dinner.  There’s also a daily break between lectures when you can get a free cup of tea and catch up with friends.

In my free time I enjoy playing piano and guitar, dressmaking, and cooking with friends.  I often work at the college bar or give tours of the city to make some extra money, although this isn’t completely necessary as Cambridge has one of the best bursary schemes in the country.  Being at Cambridge has given me the opportunity to travel the world and work on several interesting jobs during my summers off – teaching English in China, running a summer school in Hong Kong, and working on a sustainable biogas project in Tanzania.

After graduating this summer I’m planning on travelling for six months, visiting Australia, Thailand and India.  In January I will be starting a job with Newton as a consultant.

College: Emmanuel
Route: Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences
A-levels: Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Further Maths