Student profile
Josh Hemmings

Joshua Hemmings

"Try out as much as you can, and you will get out as much as you put in with your time at Surrey."


Mechanical Engineering

Placement company

Gordon Murray Design

"I chose Surrey as it offered everything I want. It competed in Formula Student, was near home, and was a top 10 ranked university for the years building up to my application.

My first impression of Surrey was that it had big lecture theatres and a big campus. It looked like it was going places. It was still modern in places for an old campus. My course is everything I expected it to be and more, and I am learning the fundamental principles for engineering. The academic staff on my course are very intelligent and driven. They will bend over backwards to help you if you ask.

I was a part of Formula Student Society, helping them out in my first years and getting great experience in the meantime to apply to my placement year and degree in general. I have taken part in many sportshere and there, and I would recommend trying as many as possible. I got into cycling and climbing through my time at Surrey.

Some of the best things about life at Surrey are the great sports facilities at Surrey Sports Park and the bustling social scene. The University campus is also very close to town and the transport links to London are quick.

I carried out my placement year with Gordon Murray Design in Shalford (a few miles south of Guildford).

I worked within an analysis team, validating components for live vehicle projects ensuring they were fit for purpose. I carried out new material correlation, which involves modelling the properties of materials to accurately simulate how parts behave in real life, a vital part for predicting the behaviour of a full vehicle model for instance.

I thoroughly enjoyed how involved the team made me, and the social side to the company, especially the team visit to the launch of the new TVR Griffith at Goodwood Revival.

I learned in depth about the use of the analysis software. I learned about the structure of how vehicles go through different phases as the go from concept to production. Most importantly I learned the importance of confidentiality and how to handle sensitive material. I have never had access to sensitive material before in any job, so handling and acting professionally with it is something that I would otherwise be without if it wasn’t for my year in industry.

The workplace gave me the support I needed, at times they would throw me in at the deep end, but I enjoy learning under pressure and tackling problems with knowledge from my course. Surrey gave the support I needed with my tutor helping me get towards one year of the IMechE MPDS scheme to help towards becoming a chartered engineer.

I highly recommend a Professional Training placement to every student to develop their skills for working in industry in the future. Most companies look to have a student with the experience from a placement year as it really rounds you as a student, it is easy to tell who has and hasn’t been on a placement year by how each student behaves, so employers can see this too.

My placement helped me fine tune where I want to pursue my career, and has given me job opportunities out of University.

I have become more confident since starting at Surrey, and believe that from the skills I have been given, and the experience I’ve had, I am able to achieve my goals and build a successful career."


Discover our mechanical engineering courses, including our BEng and MEng Mechanical Engineering courses.