Heather McLaren

I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde and graduated with a BEng honors degree. During this time I decided that materials science was the aspect of engineering that interested me the most and I went on to graduate with an MSc in Composite Materials at Luleå University of Technology in northern Sweden, where I had spent a year of my undergraduate degree as an exchange student.


The course incorporated a wide range of subjects as the study of composites is very multi-disciplinary. It was there that I first heard about tribology, when I chose a semester-long project based around investigating the material properties of a polymer Nano composite. My master’s thesis investigated the degradation in a polymer composite when aged at an extreme temperature.


What attracted me most to the iT-CDT was the emphasis on preparing the students to work in industry after the PhD was completed, as well as the group aspect. I love multi-disciplinary work and being able to use lots of different knowledge to solve problems; I believe I will get to do this as part of the iT-CDT and afterwards, as I plan to work in industry.