Louise BenardI'm Louise and I am going into my third year of MEng. I'm French but I've lived in London my whole life. I really enjoy cycling, making art and spending time with my friends and family. I am part of the Civil Engineering Society (CivSoc) committee as Wellbeing Department Representative.

Why did you choose to study with us?

I chose to study at Imperial because I liked the fact that the Civil Engineering degree included Environmental Engineering, which is not the case for most universities. I knew coming here that I would be getting really high-quality teaching from research staff that are leaders in their field. The fact that Imperial has a campus in South Kensington was also an important factor in my decision as so few London universities manage to create a real campus feel. Finally, having grown up in London, I wanted to study in a university as international and diverse as the city. It makes for a really enriching university experience to study alongside people from all over the world!

What are you hoping to do after your studies?

Once I finish my degree, I am hoping to work in Flood Risk Management, in particular in the implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems. I feel like working in this field is relevant as surface flooding is bound to become an even greater problem in the future and I like that it is solving real-world problems in a sustainable and resilient way. Over the summer, I'm doing an internship with a consultancy that does precisely that so by the end of it I should have a better idea of what it actually means to work in that field.

What have the highlights been so far?

The highlights of my first two years definitely include going on the CivSoc Tour to Belgrade and Seville. Going abroad with students from all four years is not only a really enriching experience but it also creates a really strong sense of community within the Department. I also really enjoyed the Constructionarium field trip during which we built a fully functioning concrete footbridge as a team of 23 students in a week! Actually, having a lot of group projects has been really good to get to know people from my year and two years in I've worked with almost everyone from my year! The CivSoc events that take place throughout the year are also great!

What does a typical week look like for you?

In second year, I had either lectures or tutorials every day of the week but I had Monday and Wednesday afternoon's free. As I lived at home I would cycle in every day and on Wednesdays I would go to my Shaolin Kung Fu practice with a friend. Outside of Imperial, I give some tutoring lessons in maths, physics and chemistry to secondary school students that go to secondary school in South Kensington. On weekends, I would try to go see an exhibition or go to the cinema with friends or just spend some quality time with my family.