My placement experience

Student profile

Alex Gleed

"I found Surrey to be a welcoming and friendly place and immediately felt very at home. The campus is fantastic place to study and live."
Placement company
DePuy Synthes, Leeds

"I chose to come to Surrey because I was immensely impressed with the course layout and the professionalism and enthusiasm of the teaching staff. I knew immediately that I wanted a course with a professional training option and Surrey offered this.

I attended an Open Day and found it very inspiring and enjoyable. I hadn’t had much exposure to what engineering was, prior to my time at university, but left the Open Day confident that this was what I wanted to do as a career, specifically for medical devices.

Alex Gleed
Alex Gleed

The course modules are wide ranging yet have direct relevance to needed industry skills. It is fantastic to be studying a course that is equipping me well to face problems that directly affect engineers working in industry.

I have also found that the staff are very willing to teach you additional concepts and skills that you might be interested in, that related to a specific area of engineering. The facilities are also well equipped and reflect the high standard of the University. The best thing about Surrey, for me, is how interesting and relevant my course is. The teaching staff often talk directly about their research which makes learning classroom theory very enjoyable as you can directly see the application of such techniques and skills.

I lived in university accommodation in first year and found it a really enjoyable experience in which I made many friends from all different sorts of background. My time in student accommodation has left me with a great set of friends that I’m lucky to have.

I am part of the LGBT+ society which has allowed me to make new friends and meet similar like-minded people. The university is a very safe and accepting environment where everyone is respected. 


"The highlights of my placement were definitely meeting and working with the talented and driven engineers who were my colleagues."

I did my professional training year with DePuy Synthes, in Leeds. I was based in the Biomechanics Test Laboratory. I worked on testing surgical instrumentation to ensure that it was fit for purpose and safe for use in a real operating theatre. I performed physical laboratory work as well as technical report writing and test method development. I was also able to gain some shadowing opportunities in other areas of the business as well. I developed technical skills such as use of sensors and laboratory equipment but also a wide range of non-technical skills such as report writing and general communication and teamwork.


I had a fantastic supervisor and manager at the company who really helped me develop as a young professional. I also was given a lot of support by my professional training year tutor at the university who provided me with valuable guidance and advice when I required it.

I would definitely recommend undertaking a professional training year as it gives you so much whilst you are still an undergraduate. I have grown in confidence when dealing with people and technical problems and this is all down to my professional training year.

During my professional training year I managed to get a scholarship with the Royal Academy of Engineering. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support and encouragement of the staff here at Surrey and the development I had received at work. I’m very lucky to have been met with such success.

Surrey is a fantastic place to live and study and I can’t advocate enough how great the university really is. My time has been well spent."


Discover more about our mechanical engineering courses, including our BEng and MEng Biomedical Engineering courses.

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