Sebastian Aedo MalujeHola! My name is Sebastian and I’m from Chile, South America. Currently, I’m finishing my MSc in Earthquake Engineering, part of the Advanced Structural Engineering cluster, at Imperial College. Before my MSc, following my BSc in Construction and BSc in Civil Engineering with a diploma in Structural Engineering at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, I worked over four and a half years as Structural Engineer in Chile, Argentina and in the United Kingdom. I enjoy discovering/travelling to new places, catching up with friends with a cup of good coffee or pint, and go swimming every now and then.

Why did you decide to do an MSc with us?

After some years working on the industry, I decided to update and improve my skills and knowledge related to structural and seismic design. Also, I was looking for the perfect match between an intercultural city and the best university, where Imperial met the conditions that I had on my mind.

What does a typical week look like for you?

In a normal week, you could have classes in the morning or in the afternoon (depending on your schedule and MSc), which is distributed during the week. Normally, each subject is divided in 2 hrs lecture and 1 hr tutorial session, where you can ask and find answers to your doubts related to coursework, tutorials, or lectures. In addition, Wednesday afternoon is booked as a personal time, where you can spend it on personal study time, seminars (ICE, IStructE, SECED), or just taking a healthy break in the middle of the week.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

In my opinion, the main challenge was to manage my own time between lectures, coursework, personal study time, and the rest of my life. It’s hard to keep the focus and quite easy to spend your own time inefficiently.

What have the highlights been so far?

Undeniably the people that you can meet here at Imperial. I’m not only talking about the networking with your professors, visiting lecturers, and people from the industry, which is part of your duties as a graduate student, I’m talking about your group of friends, where you share every day, in each submission, lecture, and mostly the entire MSc, supporting you with advice, listening or just laughing.

In addition, I was awarded the Basu Prize, which is a funding for a field trip abroad as part of my dissertation. In my case, this prize allowed me to travel to GeorgiaTech, in Atlanta, to go deeper into my research and learn about machine learning for my dissertation ‘Seismic response estimation of timber buildings via advanced data science methods’.

What advice would you give someone considering doing an MSc with us?

If you are a person, who like challenging yourself, enjoy meeting new people from different backgrounds, and with really good analytical skills, do it! You will receive all these aspects and more.

My personal advice is that managing your time from the first week, making your own schedule, arranging and prioritising the important things from the urgent stuff but, please, do not forget to take care of your wellness. Sometimes is important to rest, sleep and spend time with others.