My name is Marcel Gomes and I’m from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I’m studying the MSc in Advanced Motorsport Mechatronics at Cranfield University and, in this blog post, I will tell you my story, talk about why I chose Cranfield and offer my perspective on the future.
Professional experiences are very important for career growth but, in order to achieve your goals, it’s important to combine these with a solid academic basis. After finishing my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, back in 2015, I started working as powertrain specialist at a Spanish automotive company. During almost four years there, I acquired a lot of knowledge in areas including engine tests, pollutant emission assessments and powertrain electrification. However, I knew that, in order to dream higher in my career, a master’s degree from a world-class university would be fundamental.
So, in 2017 I started planning to study in the UK. I saved money, improved my English, and started looking for several courses and universities to apply for. I really wanted to improve my knowledge in automotive/motorsport engineering and, after some research, I found the MSc in Advanced Motorsport Mechatronics course at Cranfield University.
I decided to apply for this course for two main reasons. The first reason was that, during an exchange programme in Italy, I had already studied modules that formed part of an MSc in Automotive Engineering, so I wanted to complement this by focusing on motorsport in particular. The second reason was that, due to the present trend in the automotive/motorsport industry towards electrification, I wanted to learn more about important subjects in this field, such as applying control systems to vehicles.
The master’s degree courses at Cranfield are very demanding – and the MSc in Advanced Motorsport Mechatronics surely challenges you and pushes you outside of your comfort zone in all the right ways. Each module is taught during a single week, with the following week being used for content assimilation. This approach really helps you to dive deeply into a subject’s details, and you quickly learn that the best way of dealing with the huge amount of information provided is to fully learn it as you go along – otherwise, it would be almost impossible to get to grips with it properly.
Apart from the fact that the course offers a mixture of theoretical knowledge and practical activities, which is very effective for understanding how things work in the real world, the best part of it in my opinion is the close contact you get with people from the industry. Thanks to the course I had the opportunity to exchange ideas with important names in the motorsport industry, such as Pat Symonds and Nick Hayes from Formula One, and the feedback they provided regarding the course’s reputation just reinforced the idea that I made the right decision in choosing to study at Cranfield.
I have good expectations regarding my professional inspirations after finishing this MSc course. I know that my life will be a little bit more complicated due to the fact I am an international student and there are some issues regarding visa sponsorship, but I am convinced that my previous professional experiences, combined with a prestigious degree from an university like Cranfield, will place me in a strong position when applying for competitive roles in the automotive/motorsport industry.
As I stated before, a full-time master’s degree in Advanced Motorsport Mechatronics is intense and demanding, but at the same time it offers an exciting opportunity for testing yourself under pressure, by managing complex tasks in a reduced amount of time. After all, this is just a warm-up for the real challenges we will face during our professional life. The industry’s recognition of our capabilities provides extra motivation to stay fully focused and to always do our best and, at the end, all this effort will be rewarded.