Robert graduated from the MSc Structural & Foundation Engineering programme in 2016 with a Distinction. As a Chartered Engineer working for Mouchel Consulting in Belfast he designs and project manages the delivery of road-bridge projects in the UK and Ireland.

Why did you decide to come to Heriot-Watt over other places offering similar courses?

I selected Heriot-Watt because of its reputation as a leading Civil Engineering University in the UK. Heriot-Watt offered several MSc courses which are closely aligned with my areas of interest and which could be studied via Independent Distance Learning (IDL). This provided me with an opportunity to deepen my knowledge and understanding of Structural Engineering while continuing to work full time.

Do you feel your degree has prepared you well for a career?

Yes. The programme has allowed me to maintain the currency of my skills which has greatly helped my career. The course content was selected in consultation with the Industry Advisory Committee. This consultation is reflected in the structure and content of the course and ensured that what I learned is relevant to the design office.

Has your degree programme helped you develop links with industry?

Yes. I developed good working relationships with several of the Heriot-Watt academic staff and in particular my dissertation supervisor Dr Benny Suryanto. Dr Suryanto and I published an academic paper based on the results of my dissertation research findings which was focused on the accuracy of reinforced concrete beam shear strength predictions using European, Japanese, American and Canadian design codes. I will incorporate Dr Suryanto's own research developments in low-cost structural health monitoring systems and smart concrete in my future projects.

What was your experience of studying your degree online via Independent Distance Learning?

Excellent. The course content was delivered through an online learning environment which was straight forward and easy to use. The course notes and other learning materials were clear, well organised and compiled with the needs of a Distance Learning student in mind. I found that responses to email queries were prompt and comprehensive. I did not feel disadvantaged by studying remote from the University campus.

The course notes and other learning materials were clear, well organised and compiled with the needs of a Distance Learning student in mind.