Monday, 24 June 2013

Shruti Vasudev, student Bioengineer

BioEngineering student Shruti Vasudev was recently interviewed for the Times of India.  In the article she talks about her experiences at the University of Sheffield and placement at National Instruments.  You can view the Times of India article here: Raising the Bar.

Our own student media Intern, Phoebe Kimble-Wilde spoke to her about why she chose engineering, what interests her most and what she wants to do in the future. She also found out more about Shruti's hobbies and why she likes Sheffield.  

"I would like to tell all the girls out there planning on studying engineering to be certain of one thing: you will never regret this decision."
What are you currently studying at university?
I had initially enrolled for the Bioengineering Beng degree (three years) but after securing a placement, I have now changed to the Bioengineering Beng with year in Industry (four years).

What made you choose this subject? Did anything/anyone inspire you?
During my high school I was very confused between choosing medicine or engineering, because I loved Biology just as much as Physics and Maths. I knew I wanted to do something different, something that allowed me to carry on learning all my favourite subjects together. The best option for this was Bioengineering. As well as taking medicine modules, I also take interdisciplinary engineering modules, which include electronics, mechanics, control systems and software. I have since chosen to specialise in systems and instrumentation and its application to medicine. 

What A Levels did you take before University?
I did Biology, Physics, Maths, Further Pure Mathematics and Chemistry.

Why did you choose Sheffield University?
It is undoubtedly the best university to pursue this course. It is very well renowned globally for its medical school and engineering faculty, and because I was doing a subject that encompassed both aspects, I couldn't think of a better university. When I was selecting my course Sheffield was one of the first few universities to start offering Bioengineering while other universities were still offering the older course called Biomedical engineering. The University of Sheffield was awarded the title of being the Times University of the Year that same year and this was another strong factor behind my choice. 

Other than its superior academic reputation there were many other factors that helped me and my family decide on The University of Sheffield. Sheffield is a beautiful, calm, student friendly city. It is one of the safest cities in the UK and also one of the cheapest. This was why my parents wanted me to go here. The university also offered me an automatic scholarship for studying engineering and this was another motivation. Whilst researching the university I found out that it had fantastic links with industry and I wanted to study at a school where the chances of getting a job would be easier.

What do you like most about Sheffield University?
I love how Bioengineering is taught at Sheffield. It is a perfect balance between theoretical and practical learning. As much as you learn in a lecture, you then get to apply this at a practical session. We also have a very competent faculty. Some of the lecturers here are part of some terrific on-going research while others have written books that we use to study. This makes me feel that I am studying the right course taught by the right people in the right place.

What do you like most about your course?
I love that I get to study a large variety of different modules from different engineering disciplines. I love how the course has been all put together in such a perfect way making it so interesting. I really enjoy certain modules, which allow us to learn about every stream of Bioengineering and enrich our knowledge further.

What is the most challenging part to the course?

Unlike other courses, Bioengineering is not a one track course. It forces you to train your mind to think in many different directions and find ways to eventually connect them all. One minute you are in an anatomy lab full of dead bodies, the next you are coding software and later you are soldering a circuit. This diversity makes the course quite difficult but also the most interesting.

What do you enjoy doing? Hobbies and Interests?

I love travelling and in my free time I often take the train with my friends to visit different cities in the UK. I love dancing and have joined the salsa society and currently learn Kucchipudi dance from a private teacher here. I love to organise and attend events at the University; I was the MC for one of the university's biggest events called World Food Festival. I recently organised the International Battle of the Bands where different students from different countries formed bands and competed against each other and I also helped organise the World Week which is a week long celebration of the diversity of our students at Sheffield.

What do you feel about being a woman in engineering?
I love being a woman in engineering, I understand there aren't too many of us and I am here to change that. Women can study and succeed in an engineering career just as much as men can. Contrary to common belief engineering has nothing to do with physical strength but more with mental strength. I am very proud of the fact that I will be doing a placement year with National Instruments starting this September especially because this is proof of the fact that women have equal chances of getting employment in what is referred to as a ‘male dominated industry’.

What advice would you give to young girls thinking of studying engineering?
I would like to tell all the girls out there planning on studying engineering to be certain of one thing: you will never regret this decision. Make sure you choose an engineering discipline that will keep you interested and intrigued throughout your course. After coming to university try and get involved in as many activities as possible as they are like bonus points that add value to your degree and CV.

What are your future plans/goals?
After finishing my degree I would definitely like to do a master’s degree and then work in a medical device company for a couple of years before starting my very own business someday.

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