Sam Attias

Sam Atkins

I graduated with my MEng in Engineering Science in 2017. Unlike many of the engineers in my cohort, I chose a very broad range of modules as I was intent on establishing an expertise across various fields within engineering. I really appreciated the freedom to explore a wide range of interests offered by the course at Oxford. The modules I studied ranged from biomedical engineering to advanced structures, and automotive engineering.

Studying this wide range of disciplines led me to choosing to work on my 4th year project within the Multifunctional Materials & Composites group within the Department of Engineering Science led by Prof. Jin-Chong Tan. My project was aimed at assessing the feasibility of a new optically-active nanomaterial as a photonics-based sensor for detecting biomarkers for the diagnosis and monitoring of type-1 diabetes. The project, as 4YP projects often do, evolved in unprecedented ways and has led onto the further exploration of avenues by which to commercialise this technology.

In my second year at Oxford I was President of the Oxford University Engineering Society (OUEngSoc). During my tenure, I introduced a new range of speaker events with the aim of broadening student awareness and interaction with engineers across different sectors. This included hosting talks about directional drilling from our sponsors at Schlumberger, a trip to visit the automotive engineers at the Oxford BMW plant, and a talk by John O’Connor the distinguished inventor of the Oxford Knee. I also established the society partnership with the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) who are closely tied to the 2013 cohort as the first recipients of the IETs Diamond Jubilee Scholarships, myself included.

Alongside my degree I found the time to pursue both my personal interests and gain valuable industry experience. I was able to achieve my long-term goal of attaining my Private Pilots Licence. During my final summer, I interned at Schlumberger in Norway, working within their Drilling & Measurements department. This provided a significant amount of practical context to the theory I had studied at Oxford and highlighted the real-world design considerations that are often overlooked when designing tools for use in tough offshore conditions. I would strongly advise all the undergraduate engineers to spend at least one summer working within an engineering role in industry.

I am always looking for new and innovative ways of applying technology to tackle global issues. My search for such solutions led me into a role with Oxford Entrepreneurs during my final year at Oxford and the start of my pursuit to eventually launch my own startup.