David Kong, MEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering

What do you like most about being a student at the University of Edinburgh?

The University of Edinburgh is an internationally renowned university for research and its engineering department has very close links with industry. This means that Edinburgh provides a fantastic environment for students to learn, grow and make an impact.

During my time at Edinburgh, I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people from all over the world. The University has an extremely diverse community, and this means that you can always learn new things from one another. During my three years at Edinburgh so far, I have made many strong friendships and unforgettable memories that I will always cherish.

The mix of historic buildings, modern architecture and nature also make Edinburgh a beautiful city to live in. It is very easy to get around and there is always something new to explore. All of this adds to the enriching experience of studying at Edinburgh.

How would you describe your programme of study to a prospective student? What is the most interesting thing about this programme?

Electronics and Electrical Engineering is a very broad discipline. Things you could get involved in include firmware, analogue, digital, RF, devices, signal processing or power etc.

The programme at Edinburgh has a good mixture of both theoretical and practical elements. One of my favourite courses so far was the 2nd year Electronics Project Laboratory. In the lab, I applied my knowledge from the analogue circuits class to design a speech amplifier circuit with automatic gain control. This involved choosing components, prototyping the system on a breadboard, designing and fabricating the PCB and then testing.

Another great thing about the degree programme at Edinburgh is the opportunity to study abroad for one year in 3rd year. This year, I have been studying at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in the US. It has been a truly unforgettable experience!

University Clubs and Societies: Describe your involvement in any student clubs and societies. What have you gained from this experience?

The University of Edinburgh has over 60 sports clubs and more than 290 societies. This means that it is very easy to meet people with similar interests and try new things.

Since first year, I have been competing for the University of Edinburgh Badminton 1st Team. This has given me the opportunity to travel across the country and compete against other universities. When I first started, I was daunted by the 6am training sessions on Mondays… but after going a few times, I realised that it’s a great boost of endorphins for a fresh start to the week!

The badminton club has six badminton teams and social club sessions at various times throughout the week. This means that there is something for everyone regardless of experience. Something that I really like about Edinburgh is the team spirit which resonates throughout all the sport clubs and societies.

Is there any advice you could share with new students to help them make the most of their time at Edinburgh?

When I was in 1st year, I found it very helpful to plan for the events that I wanted to participate in during Welcome Week in advance. I think it’s a good idea to try as many different things as you can – everyone is very welcoming so don’t be shy!

After Welcome Week, you should take some time to explore the city and adjust to university life. For engineering students, EngPALS is a very good peer-assisted learning scheme which holds many academic study sessions. Compared to high school, I used the calendar app on my phone a lot more to stay organised. Owning a bike also makes travelling around a lot easier.

When you start to look for part-time work or internships, the Careers Service is very helpful with applications and the My Career Hub website is a great resource for job openings.

What are you hoping to do after graduation?

I have not yet finalised my post-graduation plans, but I believe that my experiences as a student at the University of Edinburgh have prepared me well for whichever path I choose, whether it be working in industry or pursuing a PhD.

One thing that is great about studying Electronics and Electrical Engineering at Edinburgh is the range of opportunities available for students. The University is a partner of the UK Electronics Skills Foundation, which offers scholarships and paid work placements within the electronics industry. Last year, I was selected for a UKESF Scholarship sponsored by ON Semiconductor. This has allowed me to apply my skills to real engineering projects and to gain some industrial experience. Last summer, my internship focussed on developing firmware for one of the latest automotive image sensors.

Over the next two years of my degree, I look forward to completing my 6-month MEng placement and continuing my personal development with my Engineering Leaders Scholarship from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

David Kong
David Kong