Personal Profile

I am enthusiastic about a career in engineering because I have always had a fascination with how things work. My hobbies, interests and education relate to a broad range of engineering disciplines, inspiring me to work in this challenging field at university. I am looking forward to consolidating my learning and putting my degree skills into practice in a career in engineering.

Basic information


PhD — Utilising Robotic Inspection to Examine the Integrity of Parts for Aerospace Applications

  • University of Strathclyde
  • 2018 –
  • Glasgow, Scotland

By making use of intelligent robot systems and machine learning, it is possible to detect defects in composite structures automatically, speeding up the process. I have undertaken several training courses, including the programming of KUKA robots and in the CIVA ultrasound simulation software. Also, as part of this degree, I have completed university-run soft skills classes, as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development programme.

MEng — Electrical and Mechanical Engineering with International Study

  • With merit
  • University of Strathclyde
  • 2012 – 2017
  • Glasgow, Scotland and Singapore

This was a five-year integrated Master’s degree course.

  • In my first, second and third years of this course, I obtained passes at distinction level.
  • During my second and third years, I took part in an interdepartmental project that was staffed by engineering students from different years of study, as well as PhD students. The project aim was to create technology solutions for developing countries. We designed various prototype devices to monitor the condition of power systems in remote installations and developed an interface to visualise the resulting data.
  • My fourth year was undertaken as an exchange student at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, one of the world’s top universities in engineering. During this year, I worked on a computer vision project which resulted in a paper (\cite{cowan_performance_2016}) which was presented at a conference, \textsc{icarcv} 2016. I also took the opportunity to study various specialised topics such as composite materials and non-destructive testing. I particularly enjoyed the experience of being in a new environment and culture, and I adapted well to my new surroundings.
  • During fifth year, I was part of a group project to design a sustainable energy solution for the town of Bowmore on the island of Islay, part of the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. Among my contributions to this project was the successful creation of an attractive and engaging platform to display our results at our final trade show. This included the development of both an Android app and a Web app using the Flask framework. GIS software was also used throughout the project, with data gathered from a variety of sources.

In addition to typical engineering classes such as mathematics, dynamics and circuits, I took specialist classes in subjects including fluid mechanics, composite materials, non-destructive testing, flight systems and turbofan engine design.


General IT

I have significant IT skills, with use of a multitude of office-like packages including Microsoft Office and LaTeX. I have also made extensive use of Linux systems for over 15 years.

C Programming

I have over 10 years experience of C, being completely self-taught. At university, I programmed microcontrollers using the C language.

Python programming

I have written many programs using Python, including the code for my individual project.

Other programming languages

I possess knowledge of other languages, including Java and Fortran. I have also recently gained experience with KUKA robot programming via KRL and Sunrise.

Engineering packages

I also have in-class experience with several engineering systems including MATLAB, PTC Creo, Mathcad, IAR Embedded Workbench and Xilinx ISE.


Teaching Assistant

  • University of Strathclyde
  • 2018–2021
  • Glasgow, Scotland

I have teaching assistant for a class titled Instrumentation and Microcontrollers. Due to my programming experience, I was heavily involved in assisting students with microcontroller exercises. I enjoy this work, being able to help people with their problems is very gratifying, and it reinforced my own knowledge in the area.

Volunteer / Volunteer Assistant Manager, Oxfam Bearsden

  • 2012–2018
  • Bearsden, Scotland

I have worked as a volunteer at the local Oxfam shop outwith university semesters. %Oxfam is a global charity organisation. I enjoyed being part of a team and taking part in a worthwhile activity, helping to raise money for charity. I was able to work under pressure, and I was particularly adept at multitasking.

Following several years of reliable service, I was entrusted with additional managerial responsibilities in 2017, while the shop manager was on long-term leave. These included:

  • Providing customer service
  • Merchandising the shop
  • Cashing up and handling financial details
  • Managing other volunteers
  • Monitoring stock and making orders when required


Member of the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology, MIET).



I have always had a fascination with aircraft. From an early age, I learnt how to tell different types apart. Later on, I learnt more about how they operate and the processes involved in the aviation industry. At university, I studied many subjects related to aeronautics.


I am an enthusiastic photographer, making use of a digital SLR camera. My favourite subjects include wildlife, landscapes and aircraft. Several of my photographs have been used in the media, for example being featured in the \emph{Guardian} newspaper, and set dressing for a film. I particularly appreciate the combination of technical and artistic challenges of this discipline.


I have developed practical sailing skills in cruising yachts in the Firth of Clyde and off the west coast of Scotland. I enjoy the beautiful scenery and the exciting wildlife, but equally I enjoy the challenge of navigation in adverse weather which requires determination and composure when under pressure.

Secondary School

  • Douglas Academy
  • 2002 – 2007
  • Milngavie, Scotland
Advanced Higher
Mathematics (B)
Chemistry (A), Computing (A), Mathematics (A), Physics (A)
Standard Grades
8 including Biology, English, French and Geography


Available on request.