What our students say
I chose to study Energy Engineering because I want to be part of the solution in combating the potentially catastrophic changes that climate change will have on the world in the coming years. The University of Exeter has one of the best renewable energy programmes in the UK and the chance to live in Cornwall for 4 years made it the only place that I wanted to study.
One of my biggest achievements so far was during Activities Week when we were tasked with designing and building a micro-hydro electric turbine from scrap. Our group made a small undershot turbine using an old bicycle wheel, with a bike chain leading to a motor. We managed to keep the turbine running unassisted for over an hour, producing around 2W which we were delighted with.
I am looking at companies that I would like to complete a summer placement with and I’m learning how to best tailor my application, just as I would if I was looking for a job after graduation. The course has good industry links and we’ve visited a few companies in and around Cornwall, as well as had industry representatives come in and discuss some of our projects with us. My eventual career goal is to work in the development of community energy schemes throughout the world, to help communities become more independent and self-sufficient with regards their energy needs.
I’ve always been interested in renewable energy but I didn’t realise you could study it as a degree course! In the future I hope I can play an active role in ensuring that people are educated about renewable energy.
I love living in Cornwall - there’s a slow and leisurely pace of life down here and the people are lovely. It’s fantastic living near the sea and the beaches.
After graduation I want to work in the energy and business sector. The programme has many employability skills classes and workshop that will definitely help me enter the world of work.
My advice to anybody thinking of choosing this course would be to stay open minded as there are many ways of generating energy from renewables beyond the technologies that you may have already heard about. I would also advise you to have fun and make lots of friends!
The renewables programme at Exeter is one of the best in Europe. It doesn’t specialise straight away leaving you a great opportunity to see what interests you before specialising yourself in the final year. The facilities and links that the university offers, vastly exceeds similar programs I had looked into.
Falmouth has something for everyone. I can't stand living in big cities, so the peace and quiet of some secluded beaches or countryside is a great escape from uni work. The town of Falmouth is great too if you like bars and pubs, some with live music too, which is a bonus.
The course doesn't just teach you bog standard engineering and renewables modules, but also puts on CV and Linkedin workshops alongside seminars from professionals in the field with meet and greets, which is great for networking and getting an understanding of the 'real' world.
I want to work in the construction industry building sustainable homes that aren't just architecturally pleasing but are also good for the environment and energy efficient.
I have had a passion for renewable energy technologies for many years, so this course was an obvious choice for me. Studying at a top university like Exeter is simply a bonus.The relaxed atmosphere of the town really helps ease the stresses of university. Not only this, Cornwall is a great location to study Renewable Energy due to the vast range of sites and the green mindset of the area.
We have employability sessions on topics such as how to build a good CV and tips on how to perform well in an interview. We are also strongly advised to find a summer internship in between 2nd and 3rd year; the university offers help in finding these internships. We also have multiple group projects which build our team work and leadership abilities.
I would advise anybody starting this course to never neglect tutorial sheets or sessions, they are a huge help when it comes around to revision for exams. Also, lecturers and personal tutors are there to help and are always happy to help if you are struggling or to answer any questions.
Stephanía Barón Espinosa
I chose the Renewable Energy programme at Exeter because it offers everything I wanted; management and policies in energy, engineering modules, but above all, everything is focused on renewable technologies. As an international student, I didn’t know much about the University of Exeter so I was happy to learn that this is one of the best renewable programmes in Europe.
What I really like about Penryn Campus is the fact that my education seems more personalised; lecturers and professors know your name and have a closer relationship with their students. I’ve been involved in multiple talks with recognised professors on different topics such as the implementation of renewables in third world countries and sustainable architecture principles. I think these experiences are important as they reflect what I want to do in the future. The Campus itself promotes the use of alternative sources of energy and has one of the most sustainable buildings in England.
The University is preparing me for employment in one word; professionalism. All our coursework, such as lab reports, presentations and essays, is graded within a professional spectrum. This encourages us to become punctual, disciplined, enthusiastic and logical; doing your best is part of being professional and becoming ready for employment.
After graduation I would like to continue my education with a Masters in renewable energy policies and management. My ultimate goal is to return to Colombia and guide my country to a better future.
I was always very interested in engineering but did not want to follow the traditional engineering routes. I had a site visit to a small city called Masdar (UAE) that is almost entirely powered by renewable energy and my interest in this subject was sparked from there.
Cornwall is an amazing place to study and I have enjoyed it so much. The people you get to meet are awesome, the opportunities available to learn are unlike other universities and the place itself is a beautiful part of the country to be in.
I will be starting my professional career with a 100% renewable energy supplier called Bulb. They are based in London and I am very excited to join the team. I am also currently working alongside two classmates in starting a clean-tech business called ChargedUp. Check out our Instagram page: @ChargedUpWorld to keep updated with our journey!
For any future students studying Renewable Energy/Energy Engineering, my biggest piece of advice would be to make the most of the support that is available. I believe there is way more support from lecturers at this campus than most others in the country and they can be very helpful in developing your skills over the course of your degree.
Margalida Ortega Adrover
What has been the highlight of your time at Exeter?
We worked on a broad range of project types, all fitting within the big picture of our degree. However, I must say that the highlight for me was that most practical projects we did were for a real purpose or client, as well as hands-on activities where we had the chance to learn the ins and outs of day-to-day engineering.
What will you miss the most about University?
The friendly but academically stimulating atmosphere on campus and particularly in our department. The familiarity: being more than just a number, and being surrounded by welcoming and helpful people.
What did you enjoy about your particular programme?
The feeling in and outside lectures that we were on a good track to change the world for the better. The variety of modules and projects, allowing you to specialise in a topic without losing sight of the big picture.
What advice would you give to current and future students?
Keep working hard. It feels like it never ends, like it’s too stressful. But when you hand in that last piece of coursework and finish your last exam, you’ll realise every minute of it was worth it. You’ll come out with an excellent degree and with an invaluable experience. So keep going and don’t doubt yourself.
What are your plans now that you have graduated?
I am currently undertaking an internship looking at energy efficiency of Melià Hotels. I am really enjoying it and it is flexible enough that I might even pursue a second degree in physics in my spare time. I hope that in the long run I’ll earn enough knowledge and experience to eventually set up my own company and specialise in energy efficiency and renewable energy in historical or refurbished Mediterranean buildings.
BEng Renewable Energy Engineering
Toby tells us what it's like to study in Cornwall on our BEng Renewable Energy Engineering course, and his internship.
MEng Renewable Energy Engineering
Jasper tells us about what it's like to study in Cornwall on our MEng Renewable Energy Engineering course, and about his internship and industrial placement.
MEng Renewable Energy Engineering
Sterren tells us what it's like to study in Cornwall on our MEng Renewable Energy Engineering course, and about his internship.
Renewable Energy Society
The Renewable Energy Society (RES) is a social group aiming to bring together individuals with interests in renewable energies and sustainability. Combining practical workshops and talks with laid-back social events, we have something for everyone across all years and fields of study.