UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Spotlight on Engineering and Architectural Design MEng student Kaia Wells

14 July 2020

Engineering and Architectural Design MEng student Kaia Wells shares her experience of studying at UCL.

Engineering and Architectural Design MEng students on a field trip

Image: Kaia with her EAD classmates on a trip to Gothenberg.

The Engineering and Architectural Design (EAD) MEng is a four-year programme run jointly by UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering with the Bartlett School of Architecture and the UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. Kaia decided to study the MEng after interning for three months at a local architecture practice and because the course reflected her love of both the arts and sciences. She said that the course explored areas of architecture that she hadn’t come across before:

The course reaches into subjects far beyond my first impressions of architecture. There is a space for everyone’s interests to be nurtured - you just need to find your own balance within it.”

One of the highlights of the course for Kaia has been the access to resources:

The resources available to students can seem endless: material testing labs; environmental analysis softwares; 3D printers; but by far the best one is the Bartlett workshop. The Bartlett workshop is filled with machines, but its best features are the workshop staff who are also design fellows, meaning they become valuable tutors who will help you become proficient in both designing and making.”

Once she has graduated, Kaia plans to work for a few years in industry before doing a Master’s in Architecture so she can register as an architect. She hoped to work in an area that focusses on helping those in need and uniting communities because of her interest in architecture as an aid to social reform. She believes that studying EAD gives an extra edge to its graduates when looking for jobs in both engineering and architecture because of its multidisciplinary nature:

Considering that engineers and architects work closely together, the fact that both disciplines are traditionally trained with little understanding of the other means that this course is perfectly placed to bridge a dangerously large gap in industry.”

Offering advice for future EAD MEng students to get the most out of their experience, she suggests:

Throw yourself into your curiosities and into every aspect of the course. Allow yourself to find things very hard, persevere through it, and find joy in overcoming challenges. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself - it is contagious and makes people want to work with you!”

We’d like to thank Kaia for sharing her experiences studying Engineering and Architectural Design at The Bartlett UCL and wish her all the best in the rest of her studies and her future career.