Nottingham Summer Engineering Research Programme

Another great way of finding out if NSERP is right for you, is to hear some experiences students from previous cohorts have had.

This should give you an honest and accurate idea of what a typical day as an NSERP student is like and give you some indication of the value these students have taken from participating in these projects.  

You will also be able to see the posters created in previous year's here as well.

Student at a research conference stood in front of a research poster.

Advice from Past Students



Above: Summer 2017 NSERP student Guy Lawrence talks about his experiences of NSERP


Above: Summer 2017 NSERP student Melanie Jegu talks about her experience of NSERP


Being on NSERP has made me realise how crucial interdisciplinary research is to tackle today’s real-world problems. Studying the behaviour of an oil droplet in an aero-engine using CFD simulations has been fascinating. I was able to push myself out of my comfort zone and work independently. By talking to the project group, writing reports, giving oral and poster presentations have greatly improved my interpersonal skills.

Overall, I enjoyed the NSERP social event and also working with the G2TRC research team. It allowed me to know my peers and understand their research interests. I have now gained the confidence to try something new and re-evaluate my career goals to consider a PhD.

Bhavani Chinnathambi, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, NSERP Student 2019

My favourite part of NSERP is that the whole programme made me realise that I really enjoy doing research. Other than that, the support given from the NSERP staff... is really great.

The NSERP project has definitely helped me develop my critical thinking and analytical skills. I think the NSERP programme has helped a lot of students to decide if they really want to do a PhD. It is a very meaningful programme and I am really happy to be a part of it.

Siew Lem; Chemical and Environmental Engineering; NSERP Student 2019

My favourite part of NSERP was working on a real engineering project for a company alongside experienced, qualified engineers and knowing that the research will be used to enhance their manufacturing processes so has a real life application and isn't just hypothetical.

I was able to learn technical skills e.g. using new equipment and software we don't get given access to/ have the need to use as an undergraduate.

Sarah Potter; Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering; NSERP Student 2019

Chyi Chung
I found working in a cross-disciplinary environment, and talking to others about their research valuable, as well as knowing that the work you are doing at a small scale has the potential to make an impact.

Chyi Chung, University of Birmingham, Chemical Engineering

Read more about Chyi Chung's NSERP experience...

My research is based on a novel microwave microfluidic sensor, as part of a double split-ring resonator. It forms the basis to potential biomedical (e.g. non-invasive blood glucose meters) and chemical (e.g. online analysers for microreactors) applications.

I modelled dielectric measurements from the sensor, as means of identifying different liquids and concentrations of three liquid system, including glucose solutions and methanol-water mixtures.  
My project was under Microwave Processing, a field I was previously unfamiliar with. It took a few attempts to familiarise myself to the lab equipment.

The initial weeks were challenging, but it became easier the more I read up on it and with the guidance of my supervisors.

Chyi Chung - N-SERP project

It was different to what I have done so far in my undergraduate degree, as I had to plan and organise work for myself rather than being directly told what to do. I think this independence is valuable, especially for progressing into my Masters next year.

I am planning on applying for a PhD upon completion of my Masters.

N-SERP has taught me to be resilient and to learn troubleshooting skills. I have learned to not be afraid to ask for help, as researchers and postgrad students are keen to share their knowledge.

My advice to future students on the programme is to be open to learning beyond your degree, ask questions when in doubt, and always have pen and paper on you to jot down stuff so you remember to look them up later.


Researching and testing the behaviour of a group of engineering materials has been an interesting and truly enjoyable experience. I think the most important thing I have gained from this placement has been proof that I do have the ability to do a PhD, and that I definitely want to pursue a career in materials engineering.

I have gained a great amount of confidence in my own abilities as both a student and a researcher… For anyone considering an NSERP project, I 100% recommend it; it’s far more than just something to put on your CV.

Matthew Elsmore, Mechanical Engineering

This confirms my decision to apply for a postgraduate programme (either a masters or PhD) after graduating from Nottingham. The discussion with my supervisor and lab mates also gave me some ideas for my future career.

“It has been an amazing experience to work on an energy related project in the Energy Technologies Building on Jubilee Campus. 

Chen Chen, Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

e: N-SERP@nottingham.ac.uk