My name is Owen, and I’m studying Environmental Engineering MSc. In fact, this is my second master’s here in Cranfield. The first one was Applied Artificial Intelligence MSc. I did it as a part of a double degree with a French engineering school called IPSA which specialises in aeronautics and space engineering.
After finishing my previous master’s, I was faced with either working for a year or two, or continuing with another master’s degree. In both cases, I wanted (and still do) to go for a PhD next year.
So, you may be wondering why Cranfield for another year, and why an Environmental Engineering MSc with my background?
Easiest answer first…why Cranfield? Well, I was already here and I knew the University, the University knew me, and they had the course I wanted. Seemed like a good opportunity!
But still, why Environmental Engineering? I think it was the most logical choice given everything.
Like I said, I would like to pursue a PhD, and I would like it to be on AI and the environment.
I have always been interested in the environment, and I was aware of climate change. I would like to help find a solution and reduce my environmental impact (I’m already vegan).
My thesis topic for the Applied AI MSc was on improving global weather prediction. It gave me some idea on the possible implementation of AI to improve the world (not doom it as usually seen in movies) and an idea on how AI can be used in relation to the environment.
But why did I choose Cranfield for my first master’s? It was one of the couple universities my French engineering school had told me about. Since Cranfield has a big reputation in the world, the choice was quite easy for me. Furthermore, unlike other universities, Cranfield is situated in the British countryside which was a plus as I grew up in the countryside.
Now, as Cranfield is not in a big city, you may be thinking that there is nothing to do! Quick answer: you are wrong! Long answer: it’s complicated. There is a lot to do if you know where to look. Even now after a year and a half, I am still discovering new things to do. If you’re into music, there are a lot of indie concerts happening in Milton Keynes and Bedford. On Thursday to Saturday evenings, there is Jazz Night at the Oso cafe in Cranfield village.
Around Cranfield village and campus, there are nice footpaths to go on for nice walks to clear your head after a day of lectures or working on an assignment. Be careful during winter, as they get pretty muddy.
In nearby Milton Keynes, you can go bowling, rock climbing, indoor skydiving, indoor skiing, ice skating and many other things. Also, on Monday evenings, there are basic ice hockey lessons if you’re interested; you can rent the skates, helmet, and stick.
What accommodation should you take, on-campus or off-campus? On-campus options can range from shared bathrooms to ensuite, to shared houses. Personally, I prefer off-campus as it allows me to not spend all my free time on campus, and I am closer to Marston Forest where I like to take a walk whenever I fancy. However, I would only recommend off-campus if you have a car or bike as the bus is not always on time. Of course, you can still walk, though depending on where you stay, it can take about 50 min, 10 min by car, and 20 min by bike.