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Work-based learning Engineering MSc at Ricardo UK

Pieter RoosPieter Roos is a 55 years old 'young' mechanical engineer, initially specialising in the military and automotive sectors.

He moved from South Africa to England in 2001 to fulfil his dream of working in the motorsport industry, especially Formula 1.

Today, Pieter works for Ricardo UK Ltd in Leamington Spa, a global engineering company in the automotive, energy and rail industries with an emphasis on environment-friendly technologies.

He is manufacturing engineer in the division that designs and manufactures high-end racing transmissions and components for motorsport vehicles such as Le Mans type sports cars, World Rally cars and Formula 1 cars.

To keep abreast with the fast growing technologies in the industry, Pieter realised that he needed a qualification which covered the full spectrum of product development from market research through to design, costing, manufacture, marketing and final implementation into the industry.

He was acting as industrial supervisor for an MSc candidate from Kingston University at work and found the interaction with Kingston's Faculty of Engineering very enlightening. Luckily, the opportunity then came up for Pieter to take on a work-based learning masters degree. He graduated in January 2011.

Pieter describes the suppport he received whilst studying:

"The study/work balance was not a problem at all and Kingston staff were very understanding in helping me through difficult times where work priorities clashed with completing requested goals."

Pieter believes that his qualification improves the credibility and saleability of his expertise to industry and he is now a more efficient and cost effective engineer.

Pieter also comments:

My MSc has helped me tremendously in becoming more efficient in solving complex technical challenges within budget and importantly also ensuring commercial viability."

With the rise in university tuition fees, deciding to take time away from work to do an MSc is a tough decision. However, at Kingston University, professional employees are able to achieve a work-related masters degree tailored around their jobs.

A general opinion of sending a 50-something year old to university to study for an MSc while he/she is working could be seen as a potential disaster!

Pieter says:"Well with Kingston University as your partner, life changes to major opportunity and success – it worked for me!"

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