Amir Ashraf bin Ahmad Izham

MSc Mechanical Engineering Design

Year of Graduation: 2017

The Mechanical Engineering postgraduate course at Manchester has definitely equipped me with the knowledge to become a competent engineer upon graduating. With the skills developed throughout my enrolment here, I am keen to apply what I have learned and launch my career in engineering industry of interest such as the manufacturing industry, R&D, oil and gas or even the healthcare sector.

Facilities

I was drawn to Manchester because of the overall reputation of the institution as a top rated university that is recognised globally. It was basically the prime reason why I decided to pursue my postgraduate studies here. 

I have utilised the high quality facilities in the University of Manchester extensively for my dissertation as well as assignments. Personally, the most memorable experience here was the assignment that explored the field of robotics under the Experimental Method unit.

I was given the task to programme a robot and navigate it through a maze as quickly as possible using the LabVIEW software built in the computer clusters in the university and unlike any typical engineering assignment I have previously experienced in my undergraduate; this assignment required me to compete with the other teams where the team who completes the maze in the fastest time will be awarded all of the marks!

It truly was a remarkable experience as it was a blended learning approach where not only we had to apply our engineering skills and knowledge but to unleash our inner competitive spirit whilst incorporating superior team working skills to solve a problem as engineers.     

My Research

Diabetic Foot Ulceration statistically affects 3 out of 20 diabetics and a further 6% of them require hospitalisation where the UK spends about £650 Million pounds a year on its treatment. Patients who suffer from this medical condition would lose sensation such as pain which is mainly caused by poor blood circulation in the veins from glucose accumulation. As a result, the nerve tissue undergoes degradation gradually over time. If cyclic repetitive stress were applied to the feet, in which in this case the patients would not be able to frequently sense the pressure applied to the feet, this would cause the breakdown of skin and results in ulceration.

One of the novel ways to overcome this problem is through the application of an in shoe monitoring system that has the capability to continuously measures the temperature of the planar tissue through an array of infrared sensors, as it has been shown that a temperature difference of 2.2 °C between both diabetic feet will result in the formation of ulcer within 1 week.

 Prior to developing a fully functional in shoe monitoring system, it is important to consider the necessary factors that might affect the performance of the system.  Therefore, my research project aims to assess the thermo-mechanical properties of a shoe insole which is sandwiched between the patient’s foot and an array of sensors, by optimising its thickness. This is to maximise the heat transfer between the foot and sensors for data acquisition purposes whilst ensuring the integrity of the insole, which is determined by its mechanical properties, to protect the sensors from the patient’s bodyweight.  

Opportunities for students

I have had the opportunity to work with classmates from various parts the world in my group project where I have fabricated an Ice Crusher machine made of 3D printed materials within 22 weeks. On days with less coursework demand, I would volunteer on events held such as the British Science Week as well as the Y8 Challenge Day held at the University of Manchester to encourage children in pursuing STEM-related subjects in the near future. 

Plans for the future

The Mechanical Engineering postgraduate course at Manchester has definitely equipped me with the knowledge to become a competent engineer upon graduating. With the skills developed throughout my enrolment here, I am keen to apply what I have learned and launch my career in engineering industry of interest such as the manufacturing industry, R&D, oil and gas or even the healthcare sector. 

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