A Day in the Life of a Mechanical Engineering Student

Lois and Rahul take you on a tour of their typical day as a Mechanical Engineering student.


Lois: Hi, I’m Lois and I’m a first year studying Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

Rahul: And I’m Rahul, I’m a second year Mechanical Engineering student.  OK, the first day I had 23 hours of contact time. Now I’m in the second year I don’t have as much contact time; I do more independent work.

Lois: I spend a lot of time here in the design centre. We get to use a range of software from Solid Works for design, Matlab for computer programming and Simulink for modelling systems.  Here, I’m using Solid Works to help me design a two stroke engine as part of my assignment.  Using this software from the first year means that I get a real feeling of what it’s like to be an engineer right from the start. 

Rahul: In labs we get to put the knowledge we learnt in lectures to practical use.  Currently I’m performing a simple vapour compression refrigeration cycle in this piece of equipment out here.

Lois: For me, time not spent in lectures is still time spent in mechanical engineering. This is Birmingham’s former student team, UB Racing and it’s one of the oldest in the UK.  We design and build a single seater race car to compete at Silverstone. There’s also the opportunity to enter the car for circuits abroad.  The team has previously been to Germany, the USA and Australia, to name a few.  The best part about Formula Student at Birmingham is that it’s open to anyone in any degree and any year.  This means that as a first year I can get involved straight away, learning workshop skills and applying the theory that I learn in lectures.  We work with major companies on this project and it’s great networking with people in industry.  20% of this team are women, that’s the highest female to male ratio of all Formula Student teams.  On top of all the clubs and societies that the university offers, mechanical engineering also has its own society – Jugs.  Jugs organises events just for engineers. It’s an opportunity to mingle with your course mates.