Site and Initiatives Execution Leader at Proctor & Gamble

The highlight of my time was getting to know other people at the university that have now become lifelong friends. University is so much more than just getting a degree and while stressful at times, I’d do it all over again. I think the chemical engineering course manages to bring such a strong sense of community. Everyone has to work so closely on various group work and it makes such a difference.

Sophie whitworth

Why did you choose to study Chemical Engineering?

At the beginning of sixth form, I hadn’t considered engineering and had a few different degree options shortlisted. Once I began to research what was out there, I discovered engineering. Engineering appealed to me mainly because I wanted to study a degree with practical applications which had good career prospects. I remember reading through the whynotchemeng page on IChemE and realised how diverse and varied engineering really is – even now I’m still shocked at the scope of job opportunities, it can take you anywhere!

What attracted you to study at the University of Nottingham?

Nottingham wasn’t initially my first choice – I tried to look a little further from home, as you do at 16-17 years old with your first glimpse of freedom. I then came to a offer-holder day and was really impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the staff in the department here. I remember it having a really different feel to the other engineering departments I’d visited. The staff were really keen on driving a community feel. I knew I would get the right level of support from lecturers that were willing to help and share their passion for various specialist fields of chemical engineering. I knew I made the right choice soon after starting.

What were your lecturers and fellow students like?

There is a strong sense of community. During my time studying, I played on the ChemEnv Netball Team within the IMS league which I really enjoyed – it was the best way to get to know course friends in both my year and those above.On a course like chemical engineering, it is so rewarding to have a close-knit group for support and to be able enjoy playing a few social games of netball together every Wednesday against other course teams. 

I also completed roles on the ChemEnv Society which I was proud of balancing alongside studies, including the organisation of Nottingham’s trip to the annual Frank Morton chemical engineering sports day. Frank Morton is a UK wide sports day and night out for all chemical engineering departments across the UK – another perk of the course!

What advice would you give to current engineering students at Nottingham?

If you enjoy exploring the way things work and have a passion for solving problems, you should consider studying and working in engineering. The wide range of opportunities at the end of an engineering degree means it is a great path for anyone looking to study a subject with both practical and theoretical applications. Equally, you could decide to take advantage of the graduate employment prospects and enter a different field. The skills developed on an engineering course are highly sought-after.

The Salters’ Award was a huge honour and something I really never thought my department would nominate me for. Given a challenging five years, it felt such a nice way to end my time at university and I am incredibly grateful to the chemical engineering department at Nottingham for nominating me for this. I am proud to have been shortlisted for the award and selected as an award winner. It was great to take part in the virtual awards ceremony held and to see all the well deserving award winners. I’ve already gone to one alumni event and look forward to expanding my network and engaging with the Salters’ institute in the future.



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