Fahed Shaikh

Fahed Shaikh

I have always loved Manchester – it's a large city oozing with culture and heritage. With its great transport links to get from end to another, it’s the ideal city for a student.

Being from Manchester, I always had high hopes of studying at a prestigious university in the country. And with the University of Manchester being within the top 5 for Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the time, the decision was a no brainer!

The most impressive aspect of studying at Manchester while I was making my choice for university were its facilities and industrial links – these include links with great companies such as Rolls Royce, National Instruments and National Grid. The laboratory equipment available for students; from the main experimental lab to the high voltage lab are remarkable. That is probably what I enjoy most about the course. Not only is the material intellectually stimulating, but the applied experiments and hands-on tasks in labs really tests and helps to further teach us students the material from lectures. During 2nd year, the embedded systems project of building a buggy with fellow students is a prime example of applied science and the practical work available with this course.

Between my 2nd and 3rd year of study, I successfully completed a 9-week summer internship with power consultants TNEI Services Ltd. in Manchester; based 2 minutes away from the Sackville Street Building! The experience of working with power and technical consultants within the renewable energy and power industry provided me with vital experience on how the Power industry works. I made priceless connections within that firm and the technical work I was entrusted with helped deepen my understanding of fundamental electrical engineering principles.

The experience boosted my CV and helped me secure my dream industrial placement job with Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Technology in Milton Keynes. I worked for 13 months with the team in between my 3rd and 4th years of study. The dream for me since college was to land a job in Formula One, and working with the 4 time world champions is an experience I will never forget. Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport and home to cutting edge engineering on all fronts – from aerodynamics, to mechanical, to electrical.

The bulk of my placement was with the Electronic design team, in which it was my job to assist in the design of various test kit and looms for on-car and off-car parts. I would have to use my initiative and liaise with various designers and technicians, and multitask under very high pressure, to ensure all work was complete before the agreed deadlines. It is very intense to work for a Formula One team, with the job always coming first. The hours can and will be long within the world of motorsport but as always, hard work is rewarded. I was rewarded the success of the 2013 double championship win after being actively involved in the success of the team, and with the chance to go trackside. I was selected to go to Monaco to deliver various car parts that were needed for both cars. I dropped the parts off to the team garage in Monte Carlo and enjoyed the race weekend and hotel facilities provided to me by the team!

It is safe to say that I definitely would not have been at Red Bull if it wasn't for the support I got from the staff at The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and I know that both the summer placement and the year in industry has been ideal preparation for working in the real world as well as for the final year of my degree.

I have always loved Manchester – it's a large city oozing with culture and heritage. With its great transport links to get from end to another, it's the ideal city for a student. Not only is the city amazing, but the ethnic diversity present would make any student happy to adopt the city as their home for student life! I have met people from Russia, Portugal, China, Kazakhstan, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Brazil – the list is endless! I have come across so many different cultures and society groups while studying here and I have learnt so much from outside of my studies.

The University of Manchester is where the best opportunities lie on all fronts for an undergraduate, especially at The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Nothing worth having comes easy in life – if you want to achieve a good mark, attendance is vital. The course is intense and very demanding, with lectures, labs and tutorials crucial to achieving good grades. As Wayne Gretzky once said "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take it." I suggest you take this shot as I have and enjoy your university life in Manchester while it lasts!

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