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UA Alumni - Yusuf Shauq

Yusuf was a Highly Commended Entrant in the Engineering category in 2020.

Since he was awarded, Yusuf has completed his Integrated Master's Degree (MEng) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Surrey and is currently working at Crown Holdings, which is a world leader in packaging solutions.

What are you doing now and what has happened since the award?

I currently work as a Development Engineer at the state-of-the-art Crown R&D facility. My role involves developing packaging solutions, working to solve customer issues and enhancing manufacturing line processes. I have had the opportunity to lead my own manufacturing trials and work with customers from across the world.

Where do your interests lie?

I have always had a keen interest in designing and creating things. Throughout my degree, I was able to build on this interest and learn about designing and manufacturing within the engineering industry. I also have an interest in sustainability and how engineering solutions can be used on a global scale to reduce our environmental impact.

In my spare time, I like to practice karate, which I have been doing since I was 6 years old. Whilst I was at Surrey, I was a keen member of the university karate club and was elected as President and Men’s Team Captain. I am still training and teaching classes, with the hope to open my own karate dojo one day! I’m also a keen photographer, with my main subject matter being architecture.

What do you like the most about what you do?

I like that I am able to work with cutting edge technology to develop innovative products and designs. It is really rewarding to take a project from the concept stage through to development, prototyping and then finally to having a finished product as an end result.

Working with beverage packaging, the materials we use are 100% recyclable, which gives me a feeling of satisfaction knowing that our company is creating products that don’t harm the environment. Crown has also pledged to become Carbon Zero by 2040, which is 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

What are your plans/dreams for the future?

I am currently working towards achieving my goal of becoming a Chartered Engineer. I hope to achieve this qualification within the next few years and develop my career as a leader in the industry.

I have been a STEM ambassador for 5 years now, a role in which I have attended schools to give talks and participate in career fairs to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM. I hope to continue my work and inspire the younger generation of engineers.

How was your experience as an undergraduate student?

I really enjoyed my time as an undergraduate and having the opportunity to study such a range of engineering topics. I especially like that I was able to tailor my degree to my skill and interests, and have a focus on design and manufacturing. There were definitely some days when it was a struggle but studying something I was passionate about always helped to motivate me.

What advice would you give current undergraduate students or recent graduates?

My best advice would be to make the most of every opportunity that you come across to get the most out of your time at university. Completing a degree is always going to be a challenge but never give up and give it your best shot. One day you will look back and be proud of yourself for everything you have achieved!

Has receiving an award for your hard work helped?

Finding out I had been selected as a Highly Commended entrant was a huge surprise, I never expected to win! Being chosen as among the top 10% of over 4000 submissions worldwide gave me a great boost in confidence and self-belief. It is one of the proudest moments of my university career. I had always considered pursuing a PhD or EngD, so this award has given me confidence in my academic skills and that if I choose to further my education, I would be able to do it!

Interviewing for graduate jobs was very difficult, especially during the pandemic. Having this award on my CV made for a great talking point in my interviews. I’d like to think having this award helped me secure my current position at Crown!

Why should students submit their work?

I would definitely recommend students to submit their work. You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain! When I entered my work I never thought I would win, but that little bit of faith in myself has led me to win. One of my lecturers congratulated me for winning this award but also congratulated me for having the initiative to put myself forward. You have to be in it to win it, so make sure you are. You never know, you could be the global winner!

You can find out more about Yusuf by reading his other blogs including

University of Surrey Blog

University of Surrey Careers Blog

University of Surrey Graduate Profile

Target Jobs Blog

You can also find Yusuf on LinkedIn