Engineering success: cycling the way to Olympic Gold

When starting my mechanical engineering degree at Bristol, I would never have guessed three years down the line I would be working with Team GB helping to develop Olympic bicycle technology for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Engineering at university has allowed me to have a real world impact in a sport I am so passionate about. I always very much enjoyed physics and mathematics at school, but engineering stood out to me as it seemed the perfect combination of the two subjects with real world applications.

In my third year of engineering at University of Bristol I was able to start working with the GB Olympic cycling team, researching methods of improving their bicycle design for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

I never would have dreamed that at such an early point in my engineering career would I be able to have such a big impact on a sport I am so passionate about, but the testing my research group produced was used successfully by the GB cycling team helping them to their most successful Olympic games yet.

Whilst the research involved a lot of theory work, it also has also been very hands-on and I have had the opportunity to use some incredibly high tech equipment, such as super high speed cameras and precision laser measurement devices to allow small optimisations in the bicycles to be detected. By studying engineering at university there have been so many opportunities to use state-of-the-art technology and really get hands-on and start making an impact on engineering in the real world.

"If I could say one thing to school children interested in STEM, it would be to make the most of your opportunities. There are so many paths you can follow within STEM and so many ways in which you can have a real impact on the world."

I became a STEM Ambassador because I love my subject area, and I remember at school really appreciating having someone to talk to who was studying engineering to find out more. Being an Ambassador gave me the opportunity to be that person for other school children, and hopefully encourage and enthuse the next generation of scientists and engineers.

One of the best things about working in engineering is being able to work with such a diverse range of people, both male and female, and have such a real world impact even while still in education.

During my studies I have not only developed my technical skills, but also my softer skills such as communicative and presentation skills. Often there is a lot of group work in engineering and this allows development of these crucial skills for later life.

If I could say one thing to school children interested in STEM, it would be to make the most of your opportunities. There are so many paths you can follow within STEM and so many ways in which you can have a real impact on the world.

Share your STEM stories

As the academic year draws to a close, we want to celebrate all of the amazing things that have been achieved this year. If you have an inspiring STEM story that you want to share, contact us or join in the conversation on Twitter, @STEMLearningUK #STEMStories17.

Comments

Add new comment

Log in or register to post comments