Iran Blog

Learn about life at Surrey from a current Iranian student

End of the second semester

Hello everyone,

I hope you are well and enjoying the summer.

First of all the weather doesn’t look good in the UK at all, it is about 14 degrees and raining. I can imagine you guys experiencing a more summary weather.

Today I am going to talk a little bit about the end of semester in Surrey. So as you might know the exams are finished couple of weeks ago and everybody is gone either back home or on holiday. Few of my friends have already started their placement year with different companies in so many different industries such as oil and gas, pharmaceutical, waste water treatment, energy and even food. This is the best part of chemical engineering degree that you don’t limit yourself to only one or two industries; almost any company would take a good chemical engineer.

Although most of undergraduate students have finished, master students of other disciplines and PHD students are still on campus and busy with their dissertation for the whole summer. I may have mentioned before that engineering student don’t write dissertation but only a final project which finishes in middle of June this means they can enjoy the summer a bit more 🙂

Ok since this is holiday time, I don’t want to write too much, hope you guys are enjoying the summer and have lots of fun plans ahead. I am heading off to get lunch after the gym and a bit of shopping 🙂

Have a good day.

Zohal

Design Project

Hi everyone,

Hope you are all doing well. I know it has been long since my last blog. The reason being is that I am currently working on my design project which is equivalent to the dissertation. The design project is taking the whole semester with the final submission being in June which is less than five weeks away from today. The project depends on the discipline of study.
Every department assesses the last semester of studying in a different way. Most disciplines will write a very long essay on a particular subject with takes around three months.
I can tell you a little about the sort of projects that Department of Chemical Engineering is asking the students to complete. At the beginning of the second semester, the department specifies groups, which are consist of five to six people. Each group works together on one design project allocated to them by the faculty. The projects are mainly developing a chemical plant which could be natural gas plant or PVC plastic polymer plant or Methanol plant and so on. By the end of the process design, the team develops a business plan including all the capital and operation cost calculations which should be presented to the senior academics towards the end of the semester to see if the plant designed, would worth an investment or not. After that, each pair of students will go into much more depth to design one piece of equipment used in the process such as a reactor, condenser or distillation column and so on.
The whole process is very intense and can get very stressful. The best thing to do is to be organised and start the work from day one and by splitting the work into sections; it is easier to check the progression of the work. Also, because the nature of the group work, it is such a good practice for future.

Okay, guys that it for today. I am going back to the library and hope you enjoy your rest of the day:)

Surrey Sports Park

Hello everyone:

Hope you are all well. As I promised last time, today I am going to introduce you to The Surrey Sports Park.

Surrey Sports Park is a £36m excellent training venue own by the University of Surrey, which is located about 15 minutes walk from the campus. It is interesting to know that the Park is hosted 16 Olympic and Paralympic teams for pre-London 2012 training camps, this includes team Great Britain (GB) Basketball, USA Triathlon, Singapore and Chinese Synchronised Swimming team. Champions Harlequins Rugby Union permanently trains in the Park, for this reason, there are sometimes in the week that small area of the weight training is reserved for the Rugby players, but this usually won’t cause any inconvenience.

There is a 50-meter Olympic standard size swimming pool that is opened to the public, so if you are a swimming fan, this would be ideal for you.

If you are not a swimming fan don’t worry, there is a lot more to do; gym and strength and conditioning area is the most popular place where you can use the machines and weights. It is very spacious and clean by the way. For indoor activates there are six squash courts, two large exercise studios which are suitable for basketball, volleyball and badminton. Also for those who are interested in group activates, classes such as kickboxing, Yoga, Body Balance, Body Combat and Zumba are very popular. They are many more classes that you can join if you wish.

My favourite one is Zumba and balanceJ

Also, for outdoor activates there are tennis and football courts around the central complex. I will add some photos of the Park for you as well. Most of the students are a member of the Park, as a student we get a superb discount for annul membership which allows you to use all the facilities at any time of the day and many hours as you want. Also, if you are good at a particular sport, at the beginning of each year there is a selection day that you go and play, and the coach decides if she/he would take you to play for team Surrey against other universities.

 

Ok guys stay active and have a good day.

 

 

 

Activities in Surrey

Good afternoon everybody.

 

I hope you all had a great week and are looking forward to the weekend ahead.

 

Today I am going to talk about different activities that you would be able to do when you join the University of Surrey.

 

Usually, the fist week of the year which is called “fresher’s week” is just for students to get themselves familiar with the university and the area around it. There aren’t any formal lectures, so you have lots of time to find out about the Uni in general. Mostly people just party and have lots of fun. By the end of the week there usually is fair in the vast green field, which as you can imagine is called fresher’s fair. The aim of the fair is to introduce the students to different societies held at the University, for example, there are sports societies if you are into sport. You can join as many societies as you want, however, in reality, you can only manage to attend one or two of them regularly during the semester. Other societies to introduce are like Baking, Islamic, Dance, Sailing, Gaming, Skating, Yoga many more. I don’t know how many exactly, but I do know there is a society for everyone if you are interested. By joining the society of your interest, for example, tennis, you can learn and play tennis weekly, and if you are really good, there is a chance to join team Surrey and play against other universities in the UK. I totally recommend joining, at least, one society, it is fun, and you can meet new people and make lots of friends.

 

By the way, one interesting fact about Surrey University is that it is right next to the Cathedral which in fact is very famous and historical. I have recently found out by one of my colleagues that the opening scene of the Omen 1976 movie was filmed in that Cathedral. I am not a fan of horror but for those of you who are intrusted I am sure you know which movie I am talking about. check the link bellow and you will find the church yourself. In fact, all the graduation ceremonies by the University are held in that church.

 

Ok guys its Friday afternoon and I don’t want to talk too much, thats it for today.

I wish all a good friday evening. Next week I will introduce you to Surrey Sports Park.

 

Chemical Engineering

Hello, everyone. I hope you are well and had a great Christmas holiday.

I have just finished the final exams and ready to start the new semester. For today, I would like to talk you through Chemical Engineering (ChemEng), here in the UK and what actually you would be studying if you pick to study Chemical and Process Engineering. A lot of people mistaking ChemEng with Chemistry. It’s a common confusion that people think Chemical engineers go to the lab and mix samples of chemicals to invent new material. This is absolutely not what you would be doing in the course. Ok, so the question is what we actually study. As a ChemEng student, you would be studying a lot of heat and material balances, fluid mechanics, Thermodynamics, learning how to design cooling towers and distillation columns used in refineries all around the world, learning about heat exchanges and so on. Along with these main modules, you would also be learning how to work with programming packages such as Matlab as well as learning to work with simulation packages like Aspen Hysys and ChemCad which are essential for the final year when we are working on the design project. Most of this stuff are used in the actual world of design mostly in oil and gas sector. But that’s not all, as part of this degree at the University of Surrey you would be learning about the business part of the design such as calculating capital and operation costs and how to minimise the cost in order to maximize the profit of a plant or a specific equipment. You will also be learning about soft skills such as teamwork and time management since there are a lot of group projects and coursework that has to be done within the time frame.

The course itself is very academically demanding meaning that it requires a lot of self-study hours, however, the best results are achieved when working together to solve the problems. Most of the course requires lengthy calculations which need in-depth understanding of the subject, so my advice to you is, revise after each lecture and do every single question that is provided to you with the help of your friends. That’s when you actually learn.

So why studying Chemical Engineering? Chemical Engineers are highly employable across all industries such as Oil and Gas, Pharmaceuticals, Food and Beverage, Consumer Good Products, Energy and so on. Every industry that manufactures something there is a need for Chemical Engineers. So the future looks bright, but it requires hard work and passion.

 

Ok, everybody that was a very brief introduction to Chemical and Process Engineering and I hope it was useful to anyone thinking to go down that route.

 

End of December

Hello everybody and welcome back to my blog.

Today I am going to write very briefly about the last week of December here in Guildford.

As you may know, it’s Christmas day in two days time on Friday 25th of December. The University feels empty and quiet at the moment since most of the students have gone home to spend the Christmas day with their families. Very few students, mostly international students are staying on campus.

Although the campus feels a bit quite compare to the rest of the academic year, the town in opposite is very busy. Everybody is doing the last minute shopping for food and presents. Only from tomorrow evening, all the shop will be closed at 6 pm and reopen again on Boxing Day that is on Saturday 26th of Dec. Just to clarify Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and some other countries. Boxing Day originated in England in the middle of the nineteenth century under Queen Victoria. For years in which the holiday falls on a weekend, the celebration is moved to make sure workers still get a day off. In the UK, it’s classified as a Bank Holiday. But more recently Boxing Day is becoming a shipping day because almost all the retail shops offer a very good discount to their customers, so most people wake up early on the day to go shopping and get the most of the bargain. I just stay home and watch TV ;). So for a day and a half, there is literally nothing to do neither in town or campus, I would suggest you plan to spend these two days somewhere else rather than the campus.

I have checked the library’s closing time for those of you who are very keen on studying. They will close from tomorrow 24th of Dec at 8 pm and reopen again on 27th of Dec from 8 am – 11 pm. Surprisingly they are even open on 31 of Dec day and 1st and 2nd of January when everywhere else is closed apart from few restaurants in town. During these two weeks the library is very quiet, so it is the best time to revise and make the most of the peace, from 4th of January all the students will be back to prepare for the exams and so it will be packed and busy.

Ok, I am going to wrap up and continue with my Christmas shopping.

My Christmas Tree

Have a good Christmas from all here in International Office:)

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