Graduate profile
Lucy Rushbrook, BEng Mechanical Engineering

Lucy Rushbrook

"I was a member of the Formula Student Society in my final year as well as working on it as my group project. This is a great way to really get involved in designing like you would in the real world."

Graduation year


Placement company

Ardingly College
What inspired you to study your subject?

I always enjoyed maths and physics at school but wanted to be involved in a more hands-on and practical subject. After learning about renewable energies during my A level geography course, I realised that this was a field I was interested in, and mechanical engineering seemed the best route to get there.

What were the best things about studying at Surrey?

I enjoyed the product design sessions we had in first year where we were trained in the workshop to use various tools and equipment such as lathes and mills. I hadn’t had much exposure to workshops before so this was a great introduction, and definitely helped me to develop proficient workshop skills for my placement.

I also enjoyed the group projects such as designing and building a stair-climbing robot in the second year and, for my final year individual project, working in Surrey’s nanomaterials lab carrying out research into different types of electrodes used in supercapacitors. For my final year group project, I was part of the Class 2 Chassis & Aerodynamics team in Surrey’s Team SURTES, helping to develop a car which competed at Formula Student, the world’s biggest student motorsport competition.

What did you get involved in outside of your course?

I was a member of the Women in Engineering Society which was great fun and gave me the opportunity to meet female engineers from different engineering backgrounds.

I was also a member of the Formula Student Society in my final year as well as working on it as my final year group project. This is a great way to really get involved in designing like you would in the real world.

Did you go on Professional Training placement? If so, what were the highlights of your experience?

Yes, I spent my placement year at Ardingly College, working as the Lead Mechanical Design Engineer for Ardingly Solar and building a solar powered car. I decided on this placement as it gave me the opportunity to do design work and develop my workshop skills, while working on a renewable energy project.

My responsibilities included designing, modelling and testing parts for the car, and mentoring 50 of the College’s students who were involved in the project. The car was raced in the iLumen European Solar Challenge in Zolder, Belgium, a 24-hour race for solar powered cars, where we came tenth out of 17 – an amazing achievement considering we were the only school team competing.

A highlight of my Professional Training experience was being awarded the Nova Prize which is given to just six female students a year across the UK in recognition of outstanding early contributions to promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.

Do you think you’ve changed since coming to Surrey?

I think I’ve matured and developed a better understanding of the world of work, as well as gaining a lot of confidence. With women still in the minority in mechanical engineering, it’s vital that they have the confidence to believe in their knowledge/skillset and make their ideas heard – and university is definitely the best place to practice this.

And what are you planning to do now that you’ve graduated?

I’m currently doing a summer internship at Veolia SELCHP, working in the District Heating team, before I heard off to Australia in October 2019 for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019, a solar car race.


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