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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

Adam Smelt

BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
Graduated 2023

Adam Smelt

How did you end up at Solent?

I finished sixth form and then tried finding a job I liked; after a year I realised I wanted to really challenge myself and study engineering.

I chose Solent for two reasons. First, it was the closest uni to my home – I’m a local and was born and raised in Southampton. Second, I’d had a pretty bad experience in education prior to uni and sixth form. I left school with only two GCSEs, but Solent allowed me to study engineering, provided I complete their science and engineering foundation year.

How did you find studying at Solent?

During university I’ve had the good fortune meet some wonderful lecturers. They all have their own quirks, but they have a great level of experience and provide a great space to learn. From my course leader, Janet, who provided endless help and support, both academically and on a personal level; to my CAD and design lecturer, Fayyaz, who inspired me to pursue a career in mechanical design engineering; and my materials science lecturer, Rob, who helped me get overcome difficult academic subjects and get through my third year.

From my very first year at uni, in my foundation year, I tried to be like a sponge! I absorbed every bit of knowledge I could, and I tried and tried and tried my luck at networking constantly. As the saying goes, it’s not just what you know, but who.

In my second year I realised my passion and ability for computer-aided design (CAD), even starting a CAD workshop in the third year to share tips and tricks and knowledge. And through networking I managed to get a freelance job creating technical drawings for companies sending their products to be manufactured. This was my first taste of working in industry.

Then last December, again through networking, I managed to get an interview with a luxury boat building company. They weren’t looking for someone with my skillset but saw the potential benefits and skills I would bring to the company. So, in January I started working for Falcon Tenders as an intern mechanical design engineer. I was immediately thrown in the deep end, getting stuck straight into big design projects.

I spent the majority of my final year at uni chaotically balancing my studies and my internship. This was immensely challenging but eventually I managed to find my feet. Sometimes you have to run before you can walk!

I now work full time for Falcon Tenders as their one and only mechanical design engineer, helping bring mechanical engineering skills and knowledge to the design team and bring design concepts to a practical and functional reality.

How was life as a Solent student?

I have been very lucky to have made some truly great friends at Solent. I hope and plan to stay in touch as we move onto the next chapter in our lives.

Studying at Solent, you’re right in the centre of Southampton, so it’s very convenient. Southampton has given me all the best opportunities in my life! Plus it’s my hometown, which was great … and I could go home every day to see my dog!