Lillian LiuMy name is Lillian and I am from China. I studied Civil Engineering at the University of Sheffield for three years. After completing the BEng programme, I came directly to Imperial and started on the MSc in Structural Steel Design in Advanced Structural Engineering 2017/18. I enjoy visiting museums and art galleries as well as different local markets, so London is an ideal place for me.

Why did you choose to do your MSc with us?

Sheffield built up my foundation and basic understanding of Civil Engineering and in the final year, I found my particular interest in structures. This motivates me to take one step forward and focus on structural engineering. One of my favourite lecturers, Mr Richard Harpin, recommended Imperial to me as he had studied there in the past. Imperial has a wonderful reputation but most importantly I found the programme syllabus had a very good focus on what I wanted to learn. Some modules are essential for structural engineers which I never had a chance to learn before, whilst other modules covered topics I’ve always been interested in e.g. Design of Bridges. This convinced me to apply for the programme.

What would you have done differently? 

I would prepare better before coming. I was told a thousand times that this would be a tough year, I still didn’t understand it until the semester began. From BEng to MSc is a big shift, especially when I chose Imperial. I would do some revision about structural engineering during the summer before this MSc, as well as reading some recommended books to build up the basis in subjects I have not studied previously. 

What did a typical week look like for you?

In semester one and two, there are lectures on all weekdays, sometimes 2 hours (with an addition one-hour tutorial), sometimes both in the morning and afternoon. I spent most of the spare time on weekdays revising lecture slides, organising notes and working on tutorial sheets. Some modules have coursework to keep me busy even when new material teaching is finished. Weekends are absolutely free, I prefer to go to Hyde Park and different gardens or museums, and of course, try new restaurants in Chinatown. In the third semester, I chose to do the Detailed Bridge Design project. During the first few weeks I stayed in the computer lab six days a week. I had time to take Yoga classes at Ethos (the College gym) which helped me to relax the body and the mind. As for the additional “cheat day”, I normally use it to explore London with my friends or go for a day-trip somewhere nearby. In the last four weeks, I have to spend all time working on the project to meet the deadline with good quality of work, so that was a bit challenging. 

What are you doing now?  

I am studying a second MSc programme in Marketing at the University of Strathclyde, to prepare myself for Civil Engineering industry.