Former HND Mechanical Engineering student
Currently taking up a role as a Graduate Engineer in Energy systems with WSP UK.
My name is Lewis Campbell, I’m now 25 and I began studying a HND in Mechanical Engineering at Glasgow Kelvin college when I was 18 and had just left school in 6th year.
I decided to study Mechanical Engineering because I enjoyed STEM subjects at school especially Maths and Physics. I loved to solve problems and think logically and decided that mechanical engineering was the perfect fit.
I chose to study at Kelvin because I was unsure if I would prefer to continue onto further education or seek an apprenticeship or enter the engineering workforce. Obtaining a HND from Kelvin would allow me to do all of these things given the links with universities in Glasgow alongside wider industry. As well as this the engineering workshops at Kelvin were fantastic which I believed would allow me to obtain hands-on engineering skills which are hard to get at university which is mainly theoretical.
Kelvin College gave me my first insight into what Mechanical Engineering was in the real world. We developed theoretical skills in Statics, Dynamics and Design for Manufacture alongside practical skills in the engineering workshop such as component manufacture and pneumatic systems. We also learned interpersonal skills through the 2 Graded Unit projects where we worked in teams to solve an engineering problem. This allowed us to apply the knowledge we had learned in a practical team scenario simulating what it is like to work in industry.
My favourite part of the course was the graded unit projects which allowed us to get a taste of working on a practical engineering problem. Working in a team to apply our knowledge allowed us to consolidate our skills whilst also learning from our peers and gaining confidence in our abilities. The project also provided the opportunity to demonstrate our learning and has been a valuable experience to discuss with potential employers as it demonstrates our ability to work as part of an engineering team on a practical problem.
The course provided my with an excellent understanding of the core mechanical engineering principles which allowed me to hit the ground running at university. The practical skills learned in the engineering workshop also allowed me to interact with manufacturing teams during work placements and enhanced my understanding and learning opportunities at university. Access to high quality workshops and the knowledgeable technicians is not widely part of the engineering curriculum at university and I believe this has been one of the most valuable experiences undertaken whilst at Kelvin.
I also enjoyed the campus with the friendly staff and students. The lecturers at Kelvin are what made the experience so fulfilling. The knowledge that the lecturers brought from their time in industry was invaluable in putting the theoretical engineering knowledge into a real world context. The lecturers have wide ranging backgrounds from Aerospace to Automotive. Their ability to contextualise the knowledge which they were imparting was very inspiring and made it easy and enjoyable to learn.
After graduating Kelvin with a HND I decided to continue my studies at the University of Glasgow where I have just graduated with a Masters of Mechanical Engineering.
In first 6 months of University I received the Autocar Next Generation Award. Due to the short length of time I had been at university most of the skills used to receive this award were obtained at Kelvin College. I later went on to have work placements at McLaren Automotive LTD, Toyota GB LTD, Jaguar Land Rover PLC, Nissan GB LTD, Horiba Mira LTD.
I will now be taking a role as a Graduate Engineer in Energy systems with WSP UK.
My advice to everyone, would be to fully embrace the opportunities available at college to broaden your horizons. The HND programs allow great progression straight into work or onto further education. With a broad degree like mechanical engineering with skills sought by employers both within and outwith the engineering field there is a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop yourself. Regardless of if you want to work on planes, F1 cars or renewable energy, a HND from Glasgow Kelvin will open up a world of opportunities for you.