Theodore Abbott

Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

MEng Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering

Theodore Abbott

What subjects did you study before coming to university?

Maths, Physics and Chemistry at A-level and Biology at AS-level. I also did an extended project titled 'Multi-rotor Aircraft'.

How did you decide which degree course to take?

Originally I thought about medicine. However, the type of learning required (lots of memorising) made me reconsider. I've always been interested in physics and building things, so engineering was the natural choice.

One of the things I've always really enjoyed about the projects I've undertaken is seeing them through from conception to implementation. During my extended project I developed an interest in control engineering. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of modern products, many engineers find themselves designing very small parts for much larger projects and I knew this wasn't for me. I decided that learning how to design whole systems and tackle whole projects was an appropriate direction. Mechatronics at the biggest (and best) control and systems engineering department in Europe was a perfect fit.

What part of your course have you enjoyed the most so far?

The practical work is always great fun. We've had several projects where we've designed and built hardware and then written code to make it work. The department also runs an extra-curricular activity to design a search and rescue robot, where I found it very satisfying putting skills to practical use. Additionally, I like how the department feels like a diverse but close community.

What has been your highlight so far of your time at university?

One of the things I've noticed about engineering as opposed to other subjects is there is very little learning off by heart. Instead we're expected to develop a problem solving skill set. This means being able to solve new problems, which I find much more interesting than applying the same method repeatedly. Finally getting code to work after spending days on it and seeing your hardware perform for the first time is brilliant.

What are your plans for the future?

Originally I wanted to go into industry and oversee projects. However, as my time at university has progressed I've started to gain an interest in doing a PhD. In the meantime I've deided to switch from the bachelors to the masters degree to check that I really do like research style projects at the university as much as I think I will.

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