Julian Stachura, MEng Mechanical Engineering

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

What I like most about being a student at the University of Edinburgh, apart from studying a subject that I find really interesting, is the vast number of things that I can try through different societies, clubs and events. I have tried things such as Olympic weightlifting with the University’s Weightlifting Club, tutoring with EngPALS, designing and building a race car with EUFS, and competing in a hackathon amongst many others.

What I also enjoy about being a student here is the truly diverse community. People at the University come from all over the world and it is quite an opportunity to learn about other cultures.

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

Mechanical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh is quite challenging but really that applies to an engineering degree anywhere in the world. What is special is the engaging lecturers, interesting assignments and the lab work we get to do.

One of my favourite courses was a first-year electrical engineering course where the lecturer showed us real world applications of problems we solved in class. He also managed to explain concepts from electrical engineering in very intuitive ways which made me enjoy the course a lot.

In order to help us become better engineers, at the University our assignments are often open-ended, just like real world problems are. They are challenging and let us test ourselves in more realistic situations, but we are given some guidance so that we solve the problem and learn as much as we can from the assignment.

Universities tend to focus on the academic side of engineering while a large portion of being an engineer is about building what you have come up with! The University has some great courses like the 3rd year Sustainable Energies Group Project where, as teams we design and build micro wind turbines. Invaluable hands-on experience!

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

Being at the University I was part of quite a few societies and clubs but the one that stands out the most in my university career is the Edinburgh University Formula Student (EUFS). I started out as a Testing Team Member and then I became the Testing Team Manager and now I am The Technical Lead of the Team and oversee the design and manufacture of the whole car.

At EUFS I have learned what it means to be an engineer and what skills I need to be a good one. I’ve learnt how to CAD and run FEA, I’ve learnt how to use a pillar drill, bend sheet metal, weld, use hand and power tools and many others. I’ve also learnt how to be a part of and manage a team, how to budget projects and how to manage my time.

EUFS is an experience that has for sure made me a better engineer and there is still a lot that I will learn from it.

What sort of accommodation are you living in? What do you like about it?

Currently I live in a rented flat with two flatmates. Both of my flatmates are also students at the University of Edinburgh and have most of their classes at the King’s Buildings campus (KB). What I like about my living situation is that I get to live with people that I really like and that I can be comfortable around. The flat itself is in a good standard which is nice and helps with my wellbeing. The building I live in has a garden which is a great spot for a barbeque. The flat is fairly close to KB where I cycle to for my classes.

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

The best advice I can give is to take part in University life. Join clubs and societies, it’s where you will meet people who have similar interests and where you will most likely meet some of your best friends from university. Sports will give you a way to take your mind off university matters and stay fit, and societies will help you develop yourself in unexpected ways.

Another bit of useful advice is to ask questions if you are in doubt and unsure about things. People will be happy to provide answers, help and useful tips.

On a more down to earth notei - do bulk groceries shopping online - it’s extremely convenient.

What are you hoping to do after graduation?

After graduation I hope to secure a job in engineering where I will be passionate about what I do. At the moment it looks like it will be in the automotive sector or in sustainable energies. At EUFS I’ve gain a passion for motorsports and being the University of Edinburgh I have gained a new and deeper appreciation for sustainable energies and the engineering that goes into them. I believe that at the University I’m getting all the experience I need to be well prepared for real world engineering as I receive all the knowledge on the academic side of things while also getting hands-on experience from laboratory work and extracurricular activities.

Julian Stachura
Julian Stachura