Please tell us about yourself

From exploring aerospace engineering to flying a plane as part of his curriculum, it’s been a great take-off in studies for Suhaas Rajan at the University of Sheffield.

Travelling halfway across the globe from Chennai to the U.K. to study was a challenge, but settling in Sheffield has not been difficult.

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How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and fascinating career?

Born and raised in Chennai, I studied at S.B.O.A. School and Junior College. Since my childhood, I have been passionate about aircraft and flying. I was clear that I wanted to pursue aerospace engineering. The idea of studying abroad came to me when I was completing Class XII, and although most people suggested the U.S. as a better choice, I felt that the U.K. would be the right choice for me. Finally, I chose the University of Sheffield as it had all the elements I wanted, from an aerospace degree with a Private Pilot Instructions (PPI) course to state-of-the-art facilities for students.

Recognising my academic achievement, the university awarded me £5,000 under GREAT scholarship and another £1,000 as faculty of engineering excellence scholarship.

Tell us about your experience at Sheffield

So far, my experience at Sheffield has been fabulous. From flight simulation lessons to archery to scuba diving and baseball, the last few months have been amazing. My course is engaging and challenging as it has seven modules covering the basics of aircraft design, aerodynamics, the electrical and material part and my favourite — flying.

The university has advanced flight simulators with real-time surroundings and weather which enhances the experience of flying a plane. The new Diamond Building houses the aerospace design labs where we have 3D printers, laser cutters and various instruments with cutting-edge technology which we use for ‘Project Space’ where we design a Gyro Car. A unique part of my course is the PPI which allows me to fly a plane as part of my curriculum. It is a dream come true as I always wanted to study about aerospace and simultaneously pursue a flying course. I will start my PPI training from the second year and continue working on my commercial pilots licence. After graduation, I want to be engaged in the aviation sector and would love to become a commercial pilot.

With 50 clubs and over 300 societies, from a tea society to Pokemon society, volunteering societies such as the UNICEF and Amnesty International, Sheffield offers a range of interesting activities. The Indian Society has been the best as the people are warm and friendly. It has conducted several events including Diwali celebrations, and we have plans for Christmas and Holi as well. Although the weather is different from Chennai, the ambience has been welcoming, making Sheffield my home away from home.

The writer is pursuing Aerospace Engineering (Private Pilot Instruction) BEng at University of Sheffield, U.K.