Dr Carmen Torres, Lecturer in Design Manufacture & Materials

I joined Heriot-Watt in July 2010, but I’m not new here: I came in 2003 to study for my PhD.

After my PhD, I worked at Heriot-Watt for 2 years as a teaching fellow. I then left and worked as a research fellow at another university before returning to Heriot-Watt in my current role.

I’m in a great position to be able to combine my research and links with industry when working with students

No two weeks are the same

My role is varied and no two weeks are the same, which is ideal for me: I enjoy both working with students and conducting research, and my current role allows me to do both.

I’m in a great position to be able to combine my research and links with industry when working with students.

As a result, our final year students are doing projects with industry, which gives them experience of working on real-life engineering design problems. This is the closest it can get to what they will have to deal with once they graduate and get their first job. It’s a win-win situation for all involved: the companies come closer to the University and share interests and goals; it equips our students with great skills to enter the job market following their studies.

I enjoy dealing with people, working with students and research collaborators, and figuring out the best way to work with all of them at the same time. It is important for me to add value in all I do. Whether it is teaching or research-related, it is important to leave a dent, to be noticed and bold. Things are more fun that way!

Dynamic but close-knit

The Edinburgh Campus is beautiful, and there are also great opportunities at the Dubai Campus, which makes Heriot-Watt unique.

Having previously worked and studied at Heriot-Watt, I knew I liked the University and the atmosphere. It's an open and transparent environment, which makes it easy to speak with people who are in the senior team; it's great to have that contact.

It's also a dynamic University with a can-do mindset, which I find really inspiring.

Unique opportunities

I really enjoy working with colleagues in other Schools and in Dubai. It has been an interesting learning curve so far.

The Dubai Campus is very unique, and we have to be aware of the different culture and the way things are done there to be able to liaise with them in a meaningful way.

Our campuses in Galashiels are Orkney are also marvellous. There are a lot of opportunities for interdisciplinary research and fascinating things will come out of those collaborations.