Lucy Malone – BEng (Hons) in Robotics and Automation

Name: Lucy Malone

From: Offaly

School: Ardscoil Rath Iomghain, Co. Kildare

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choosing your degree?

When I was younger, I was very inquisitive, wondering how and why things work in certain ways. I was always building and making things typical of what almost any engineering student would say. During my school years I took part in CTYI in DCU where I was advised to take the engineering course as my teachers and parents said it would be the best fit for me. Ever since this I never looked back it was always engineering that I was going to do in college I just didn’t know which discipline. I applied to ATU through Civil Engineering. However, first year of any engineering in Sligo is general which I found greatly beneficial. The general first year gave me the chance to try out elements of many disciplines and it was from this that I realised maybe Civil Engineering wasn’t for me. At the end of first year/start of second year I transferred to where I am now (Robotics and Automation).

What specifically about the degree do you particularly enjoy?

The course although challenging is extremely interesting, and when you progress and/or complete tasks, for example finishing assignments or progressing in a project there is a great sense of achievement which kind of drives you to keep going.  As well as this a good atmosphere among peers and lecturers has been developed through constant communication due to various group projects and labs.

What is the best thing about your course that you think new applicants should know?

The degree is very team orientated, although there is often individual work to be done you are never truly alone in doing this. Lecturers often encourage you to work with classmates to figure things out and when this cant be done the lecturers are very willing to help you themselves.

What are your favourite modules on the course?

Throughout the course so far, I’d have to say maths has been a very enjoyable module, it’s challenging but almost every topic covered in maths from first year up until now has appeared in some way in a separate module on the course.  This shows that the module is extremely practical and necessary making it more enjoyable.  This current semester is the first semester since starting first year that we are not taking a maths module. Therefore SCADA is my favourite module currently. It provides a great understanding of the LABView programme which is used across many modules throughout the degree.  There is a lot of work to be put into this module, but it pays off in the end as it is fully continuous assessment. SCADA is the first module we have taken that has no final exam, our grade comes entirely from lab reports, quizzes and a final project.

If you were speaking with a first year student about to start your course, what advice would you give them?

Talk to your peers and lecturers as much as possible, in order to develop strong connections and friendships. Doing this will make you feel more comfortable in the degree in future when the workload increases and things become more challenging. Having a strong base of connections to stand on will benefit you, as communication will come more naturally for group projects, and you will have multiple people to turn to and ask for help if you need it.

Along with this do not be afraid to ask questions or for help if you need it, there is no point sitting there struggling in class you may as well ask the questions you need to.  More often than not when you ask a question it will benefit others in the degree too. Finally, don’t be afraid to utilize the maths/engineering support centre that is based in the library. If you feel you might be falling behind in a certain module you may as well ask for the help and see what they can do for you.

What are your plans after ATU Sligo and any long-term goals you are aiming for?

The degree itself is very broad and could lead to multiple job prospects all depending on what direction industry is going at the time of graduation but one thing for certain is after I graduate, I plan to travel for a bit. The end goal would obviously be to get myself a good job, working in my studied field but there are so many applications this applies to that I’m not sure what exactly I would want as of yet. I feel that placement will help me get a better understanding of what exact route I’d like to head down. Another thing to consider of course is a masters, as of now I’m not certain if a master’s would be on the table straight away after graduation but I could imagine myself doing this a few years down the line.

Find out more about AU941 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Robotics and Automation