Dear SEMS Students,
It’s been three years since I graduated from Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science, and the years I spent there remain the most rewarding of my life. It was at Queen Mary that I discovered my passion for engineering – and it was also the place that gave me the support and guidance I needed to channel my energy, work hard and turn enthusiasm into success.
After graduation, I joined Dyson as a graduate research engineer before moving into the cost engineering team. My time there has been hugely valuable – but in recent months I felt increasingly that I wanted to put my engineering skills to a good cause, and help people. I’m therefore hugely excited that I have been selected for a prestigious, yearlong placement in Tamil Nadu, India with Engineering Without Borders UK, working on a voluntary basis as a research and development manager for social enterprise Prakti. It is this opportunity that has motivates me to write to you, as I am hopeful that Queen Mary students and staff may be able to support me in my efforts to fundraise for this placement.
Every eight seconds, someone dies from illnesses caused by inhaling open flame cook smoke. That’s the equivalent of losing the entire population of New Zealand every single year. At Prakti, I’ll be working on fuel efficient cookstoves that produce 80% less smoke - allowing the world’s poor to live dramatically cleaner and healthier lives without changing the foods they cook or fuels they use.
I hope that, as an alumnus dedicated to putting the skills that Queen Mary gave me to good use you will consider donating to my fundraising campaign: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/navsproject365. I have just five days until this campaign comes to an end, so any contribution that any of you sees fit to spare would be much appreciated.
If you would like some careers advice from someone that has been in your shoes, please just contact me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Navjot Sawhney MEng Aerospace Engineering, 2013