University Lecturer - Engineering

What do you do for a living?

A senior lecturer in Electrical Engineering at The University of Edinburgh.

How did you get interested in what you do?

I started out at school being interested in Computing, with a bit of Electronics, so took this at University.  I realised I really enjoyed the electronics so continued it on to a PhD.  At that point I recognised that I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and research, so continued on to a lecturing career.  In other words, it wasn't planned in advance...

What was your journey to reach the role you are in today?

Undergraduate at University, followed by a PhD at University.  Then a short period as a post-doctoral researcher before taking up an academic role

Talk us through a day in your life.

 As the deputy director of teaching, with responsibility for student recruitment and admissions for Engineering, and also the academic representative on a University wide project, my days are highly varied.  Over the course of a year, where focus changes from one activity to another depending upon the time of year, I would be: monitoring, planning and taking part in student recruitment activities; meeting with my research and project students to discuss the work they are doing; preparing and/or delivering lectures/tutorials/laboratories/workshops; presenting papers at international workshops; meeting with partner Universities (for example a recent trip to China); advising on project progress; preparing applications for funding; and occasionally interviewing applicants. for employment.

Was this your planned career when you were 18?

No.

What did your parents want you to do?

They were very supportive to let me do what I was interested in doing.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?

Look to see how to get the best training, with as broad an experience as possible. Engineering is not a field where work is done in isolation, so having an
appreciation of other areas is very important.  I'd also recommend working hard at Mathematics and Physics/Chemistry as these are the most relevant school subjects for the academic material.

What other career directions could you go in?

I could have gone into Industry, or business.  Others in my field have gone into finance. Essentially, an Engineering training is a good basis for any job requiring project management, or analytical skills, particularly those requiring good numeracy.