Heriot-Watt is Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort. We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities. With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry.
The School of Engineering & Physical Sciences has an international research reputation and close connection with the professional and industrial world of science, engineering and technology. Our research ranges from fundamental sciences through to engineering applications, all of which are supported by strong external funding. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.
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The Heriot Watt Life after lockdown bursary, provided the unique opportunity for students to take part in a remote research internship during the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed selected students to make the most of their summer, gaining insightful experience, which many were unable to do given the circumstances. The bursary itself allowed fellow students and I to fully commit to the internship, removing any financial pressure. The ALIGN-CCUS project is a national funded research group uniting 31 research institutes and industrial companies with the goal of quick and cost-effective deployment of carbon capture technology. Carbon capture itself had been an interest and focus point of mine during my university career, therefore being able to spend 6 weeks contributing to such research was a great privilege. My role during my internship consisted of preparing, modelling, and analysing experimental data of the MEA solvent to then be compared to that of a new benchmark solvent CESAR-1. These tasks over the 6-week period allowed me to develop skills such as time management, coding, data analysis and self-critic. In regard to what I took most from the internship, the project allowed me to develop an understanding how the knowledge learned in the lecture hall is applied to real life scenarios and the focus required to do so. The ability to have a holistic perception of a project whilst focusing on a small detail is a crucial skill within the research world. The internship provided the opportunity for me to further develop specific skills in chemical engineering such as coding, plot analysis and comparative writing. More significantly the internship gave insight into the true engineering world and more so how such crucial research is carried out across a well communicated team, even during a pandemic. I grew an appreciation for the individuals and great minds that work on such project and how such research requires patience and perseverance. The ALIGN-CCUS project allowed me to gain crucial experience which will be carried into my university and employment career, and I know has made me a better engineer. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Heriot-Watt and ALIGN-CCUS project specifically Dr Garcia and Dr Charalambous for the continued support and help during the internship and I look forward to any future collaboration.