"I feel empowered by my time at Surrey and feel able to thrive in a challenging but incredibly rewarding field."
CourseSpace Engineering MSc
Why did you choose to come to Surrey?
Surrey was recommended to me by a number of contacts in the space sector as one of the leading postgraduate space universities. For me it came down to Cranfield or Surrey, and it was the teaching style of Surrey that convinced me, as well as some pure luck of it being near to where I had an opportunity for accommodation at the time.
What was your first impression when you got here?
Surrey appeared to be a very vibrant, modern, ‘sunny’ university. It seemed to be a place of inclusivity, opportunity and diversity, with strong academic achievement and a good emphasis on STEM subjects. It’s also positioned in a beautiful part of the country.
Why are you passionate about your subject?
What is there not to be passionate about? It’s space! I am particularly motivated by space exploration – the goals of understanding the solar system around us, and exploring it with future manned missions to Mars.
What do you like about your course?
I like the wide range of topics available that cover the full breadth of the space sector, helping to understand what areas you can work in.
What are the academic staff and facilities like on your course?
The academic staff are amazing. Dr Nicola Baresi and Dr Andrea Lucca Fabris went above and beyond to help and support students through some very difficult content, always giving you their time for what you need. However, all of the academic staff have been very good, and a real highlight of Surrey.
Surrey Space Centre is an amazing resource, although only Space Engineering MSc students that do the Space Avionics module get to properly use it. It’s an incredible facility so it would be great if more students could use it on this course.
"Another best moment was being accepted onto the ESA Clean Space Training Course 2023, which was a fully funded course in Belgium at the European Space Agency that supported my studies and added a lot of value to what I was already learning."
Are you part of any clubs or societies? How have they contributed to your Surrey experience?
I am part of the Mountaineering Society and the Scuba Society but struggled to find the time for them on top of my course. I have served as Space Officer for SurreyEARS, which was a role I was very actively involved in.
I’ve done a lot of work outside of my course in two key roles – one as a Team Lead for Peryton Space which is the University’s rocketry team, and the other as the founder of SurreyEARS IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology) OnCampus.
With Peryton Space I led a team to successfully build and test a rocket to enter into the National Rocketry Competition. We have done one launch, with a final one to come and the conclusion of the competition over summer!
With IET OnCampus, I affiliated SurreyEARS with the IET and organised talks and tours for students of engineering and space pathways. Through this initiative I organised two speakers from Airbus to come and give talks; organised a speaker from a communications firm to give a talk; arranged a tour of SSTL; and successfully delivered a cohort of 30 students to visit the headquarters of Airbus Defence and Space, getting a site tour, a tour of the Mars Yard and a challenge in the afternoon. This entire day was funded by the IET and Airbus.
The University has been very supportive of this work and has made it very easy to show initiative and set things up.
What are the best things about life here?
For me, because I live in London, the best part is the proximity to London. However, the campus is brilliant, with so much green space, and places to relax and study.
Have you used any of our support services?
Yes, MySurrey Hive is an amazing resource. I have used it for a number of queries and it is great to have a central place to go to for anything. The Hive building is nice too - I’ve used it to eat, study and catch up with friends.
What careers support have you received?
My tutor has provided a lot of support, giving me great careers advice and pointing me in the right direction. He has been very tuned in with my goals and helped me from his own experience. He and other faculty members have supported my career with their time and providing letters of recommendation, which have helped me not only get a job, but get a place on a training course at the prestigious ESA (European Space Agency) Academy.
My time at Surrey has hugely impacted my employability. I’ve already landed my dream job!
"There is huge scope at Surrey for you to make the course and the experience what you want it to be, you just need to be motivated and willing to put in the work."
What has been your best moment at Surrey so far?
My best moment has been any moment spent with the friends I’ve made. Walking to lectures and seeing everyone, going for coffees, long study sessions solving coursework problems and revising for exams…. The bonds made in this kind of environment are unique and hard to break.
Another best moment was being accepted onto the ESA Clean Space Training Course 2023, which was a fully funded course in Belgium at the European Space Agency that supported my studies and added a lot of value to what I was already learning. Without the support of my tutor, this would never have happened.
Do you have any advice for students thinking about postgraduate study?
Be ready to work hard and learn fast! Keep on top of lectures, notes and problems week by week as it’s very easy to fall behind and very hard to catch up. Be ready to re-learn how to learn!
Do you think you’ve changed since you started at Surrey? How?
I have grown a lot more confident in my subject area and have built the perfect foundation for a successful career in the space sector. I feel empowered by my time at Surrey and feel able to thrive in a challenging but incredibly rewarding field.
Finally, do you have any other comments you’d like to offer about your time here?
I would say the University is very good at supporting students when they show initiative. There is huge scope at Surrey for you to make the course and the experience what you want it to be, you just need to be motivated and willing to put in the work, and they will encourage and support you to make it happen.