Ed Klinger

Vice-President of the Oxford University Engineering Society (OUEngSoc)

Ed KlingerI absolutely love exploring new places and living in different countries. Last summer I spent 12 weeks living and working in China and South East Asia. I felt like I had to see first hand what life is like in the East, where things are so vastly different from the UK, and the culture is so varied, interesting and challenging.  I had an inexplicable and insatiable urge to see China, so I leapt at the opportunity when it arrived… to work as a lecturer at Chinese universities in Hong Kong, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Then I took a motorbike through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

I was lucky enough to be awarded a travel scholarship from Wadham College. This covered all my expenditure abroad. The flights I got for free from the company I was working with inside China, along with a small wage. I came back to London exactly the same (financially) as when I left!

I want to be an Engineer with a global outlook; it’s important to understand different cultures and environments, not just my own. I feel that seeing the world, and exploring as many ways of life as possible, is not only great fun but also essential for a profession such as engineering, especially since I want to travel and work abroad when I’m older.

I absolutely love designing and building and always have done. It was in the last few years of school that I realised that my main abilities were in Maths and Physics – so this lead to the natural conclusion of Engineering. I want to be involved in large-scale projects when I leave Oxford; projects which will significantly benefit the lives of the people they affect. This might be through working with green technologies, or on civil engineering projects, or even with the human body in the rapidly evolving area of biomechanics.

I’ve chosen to study on the Engineering, Economics and Management (EEM) course here at the Department of Engineering Science because it not only allows me to concentrate on a predominantly scientific discipline, but also to write essays, and debate more ‘subjective’ ideas in Economics and Management.

My 3rd year project is to design a myoelectric prosthetic limb for a man who has lost his left arm from the bicep down. It’s absolutely incredible; I think it’s the most interesting thing I’ve ever been lucky enough to study. By the end of it my team will have a fully functional design, which will allow our patient to do almost everything he could do with a human arm!

My biggest inspiration (and genuine life long hero) is Elon Musk, founder of Space X, Tesla and Solar City in the USA. He dreams big, and has the talent to make his dreams a reality. I was lucky enough to meet him last year when he spoke at the Sheldonian Theatre. I wonder if he remembers me!

It’s hard to say exactly what I’ll be doing in the future. I absolutely love project management and I see myself as quite entrepreneurial; I can’t imagine myself sitting in an office from 9 til’ 5… I would love to start my own company or help to set one up, maybe in the states, or somewhere in Asia!