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Homepage / My Net-Zero Journey So Far…

My Net-Zero Journey So Far…


This time last year, I made the career-changing decision to pursue an MSc as opposed to finishing my undergraduate with an MEng. 9 months since starting my course, I can thankfully say that it has been one of the best academic decisions that I’ve made!

The Advanced Chemical Engineering course is quite like normal chemical engineering in terms of typical modules such as separation processes. However, it stretched my learning even further by its application to industry and added elements of computational modelling.

My first module required the use of MATLAB in modelling reaction kinetics for carbon capture followed by Computational Fluid Dynamics for industrial design. I was able to apply knowledge gained during my bachelors while also picking up brand new skills that I hadn’t yet encountered during this time. This really kept me on my toes as it was a constant learning process.

I recently completed my group project which was centred around using nuclear power to produce clean fuels. Nuclear generation is an area that I have a lot of interest in following a previous internship within the nuclear defence sector. I had previously completed a group project during my undergraduate however, Cranfield gave me the opportunity to work with students across the School of Energy and Power. This multidisciplinary approach exposed me to engineers outside of my own course while also giving me a real-life example of how engineering disciplines overlap within the workplace.

My Net-Zero journey also takes me outside of academia as I’m an avid advocate for STEM education. I was recently appointed as an Alumni Trustee for EDT (Engineering Development Trust), a nationwide charity engaging young people through STEM-focused experiences. Furthermore, I sit on the executive board for AFBE-UK (Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers) where I work with a team to co-ordinate university programmes. Even though my days are filled with zoom meetings, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Ultimately, joining Cranfield has taught me the importance of finding and pursing your genuine interests during university. I’ve personally come an extremely long way from being a confused 2020 graduate to a motivated post-graduate with a passion for sustainable energy production.

I’ve recently began my thesis which will be based around the feasibility and techno-economics of exploiting geothermal power in contribution to ‘Global Net-Zero’ within developing countries situated across Eastern Africa. Furthermore, I’m super excited to start my new role in September as a graduate engineer in the nuclear division within Rolls-Royce!

Michelle Watiki

Written By: Cranfield University

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