Jenna Lakshita Seetohul

Biomedical Engineering BEng

The course is challenging but very rewarding.

Why did you choose to study biomedical engineering at Kent?

My dad worked in Canterbury and he said it was amazing. When I visited Kent for the open day, I felt that the people were really welcoming and it felt like home. After some research I found that Kent had a good reputation for biomedical engineering.  

How’s your course going? 

It’s definitely matching up to my expectations, because I really wanted to use my passion for medicine and at the same time experiment with numbers. It’s challenging but it’s very rewarding. We have started several new modules this year like biomechanics and human physiology. It has given me good insight into what a clinician would do in a hospital. 

Do you have a favourite module? 

At the moment, I am quite enjoying the computer interfacing module. I was the team leader for a group project we are currently working on. We are developing a mock lie detector. I’m working on the galvanic skin response sensor, which means that when someone is under pressure or certain stress, you can detect changes in their sweat. We are working with students from different programmes, so we have students from electronics and computer systems engineering. We are all able to share our skills and ideas, and it’s so enriching. It also develops your communication skills, because I was really shy when I started, but working this way really helps. Learning from different people – I think that’s the best way to learn.  

How would you describe your lecturers and what do you think of the level of support that you receive? 

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA) is like a little family to me. It’s a really small cohort, so you get that one-to-one mentoring from your supervisors. I can sit down and have a cup of coffee with one of my lecturers and talk about my future, my studies and anything that’s happening in the School. I’m also a student representative, and when I go to meetings I might find myself sitting next to the head of school and talking to him about my future and any potential research projects I want to do. 

I also had an academic peer mentor last year, which was really helpful for me, because starting university can be daunting. She’s always been there for me throughout, and she’s actually my best friend now. I feel like we are supported from all sides.

And what about your fellow students?

Everyone is very friendly and you get to learn a lot about other people’s cultures. Everyone has their own field of interest so you get to share a lot of ideas. 

Are you planning to do a year in industry next year? 

Yes, I have applied to several companies, biomedical as well as engineering companies. I got a lot of support from EDA’s employability officer. She takes care of us and helps us throughout the whole process: the CVs, the application process, telephone interviews, assessment centres, etc. Fingers crossed, I will get a placement but the whole application process has been educational. It’s really going to help in the future when I’m going for graduate interviews as well.

Can you tell us about the facilities that are available to you? 

EDA has 22-hour access and you’re allowed to go in and work on your projects. You can use the computers and the labs. We recently got a 3D printer, we have facilities for laser-cutting, and the technicians in the workshop are always available if you need any help. We have specialist technicians who are trained in AutoCAD and LabView, the software that we use to design circuit boards.

I’d say the computer suites are well equipped with all of the software that you need. A couple of those applications are also available in the library, which is also open 22/7, so engineering students can work there. To be honest, though, you could just work in Jennison [the EDA building] all the time because there’s always plenty of space and final-year students or postgrads around to help if you need it. 

Tell us about your involvement in the School outside of your studies. 

I recently did my induction to become an academic peer mentor, which involves helping students in the earlier stages of their degree to tackle any specific issues they are having with their studies. Also, as a student ambassador, I do a lot of work for the School at open days and applicant days. Last year, three of us went to the Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham to showcase a project to kids between the ages of 5 to 16. It was so nice to see so many young girls drawn to STEM activities. I’m a strong advocate for encouraging girls to pursue their dream career and the fair gave me the opportunity to speak to these budding talents.  

What social activities are you involved in on campus? 

I’m not in any societies at the moment but I did attend several socials and events organised by the Hindu Society and I do want to try out the Yoga Society at some point this year. The School of Biosciences organises mindfulness sessions as well. Engineering does get overwhelming, especially when deadline season kicks in, and just being able to step out of that zone and do something that’s really relaxing is good.

What do you do if you just want to hang out with friends, on or off campus? 

We go to town for shopping, or for dinner sometimes. On campus, we tend to hang out in the library café or in the tea bar in Jennison and it has lots of vegan and vegetarian options. Engineering students can also get a discount there. For a drink or a night out, there’s the Venue, the campus club. There’s literally something for everyone on campus, which is something to look forward to for any prospective student.  

Do you already know what kind of career you would like to follow once you’ve completed your studies here? 

I would like to go into research. I am quite interested in nanotechnology and robotics. Nowadays everything’s about nanotechnology, trying to shrink everything down. One of the recent research proposals that caught my eye is the organ-on-a-chip, a nano-substitute of a normal organ. I would like to go down that kind of route, which is something that hasn’t really been explored enough.

Have you got any advice for somebody thinking of coming to Kent?

I feel like you should be open to challenges, open to the fact that you’re at university to grow as a person, not just academically but also holistically. Join societies, do things that will challenge you because when you come out of university, you want to be an all-rounder and able to deal with any challenges that come your way. So, when you get an email saying ‘Would you like to be a student ambassador?’ or ‘Would you like to be a student rep for your course?’, just go ahead and try your luck, because I did it and it worked for me, which means it can work for anyone. Also, as deadlines start to pile up towards the end of the term, don’t worry – just try to be really organised, really disciplined in what you do.