International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Meet our International Engineering Ambassador: Cheuk Ying Tam

Name: Cheuk Ying Tam

Department: Material Science and Engineering

Hi, I am Cheuk Ying Tam. I came from Hong Kong to Sheffield last September to start my academic life as a materials science and engineering student. My passion of collecting cookware is possibly the reason I am interested in the science behind materials in the first place. But this was not a readily available choice of subject in the universities in Hong Kong so I tried to apply for overseas universities. I was excited that I got a place here. Yet I was struggling back then. It was hard to choose to leave the city which I had been living in since the day I was born to a totally different place. Now, I am glad to say that I have made the right decision.

Maybe it is not that fair to compare Sheffield with Hong Kong (definitely one of the busiest city), but I still find this city makes me feel calm and relaxed. My new hobby is to walk around in Sheffield. This balances out the stress from school and the frustration of thinking of what to cook for dinner every day. Nevertheless, Sheffield is closely connected to a number important improvements in the history of material development, especially steel. Isn’t this great?

Speaking of my course, yes, I know this is confusing because of the name but it is really an engineering course rather than a science one. Except for the fact that I need to explain the background of my course whenever I meet new friends - this course has what I need to be a decent engineer. We have lessons with students from other engineering courses. I have plenty of chances to interact with students studying other professionals. And we have interesting labs almost every week. Most of our labs take place in the Diamond, which means that we can get our hands on those newest and advanced tools. The session I like most this year is the sand casting of aluminium. My hands were shaking when I was standing in a huge sand pit and pouring red hot molten aluminium in to a sand mould.

Despite of the wide variety of activities available in the university, I think the skills week and the global engineering challenge (GEC) week are the two that engineering students will never forget. They provide rare opportunities to widen our horizon and show that the university values our potential to be future engineers. During skills week I had the opportunity to visit a steel factory near the city and I was astonished by the scale of the industry. This has become a trigger that urges me to apply for a summer internship in related industry next year. In the GEC week, I had a chance to work with students from other faculties of engineering on a project about food storage technology and brushed up on my soft skills.

And for sure, there are also lots of non-academic related activities. I feel that I can achieve many things here. I am looking forward to the coming two years and maybe I will want to continue my fourth year of study by then.

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