22. February 2017 Lukáš Mácha

Learning for Life

Testing day at the Silverstone in mid-September and garages shared with testing riders from Porsche, first overnights, dismantling of a 1.8l 16V 4-cylinder engine from Mazda Miata, second overnights, lectures, tutorials, seminars, academic consultations.

So far so well summed up the first semester at the University of Derby which started by a sensation at the Silverstone and finished by an arrival at the Vaclav Havel airport in Prague (the Christmas holidays spent by finishing all the coursework and preparation for January exam with a familiar style: “you can sleep when you are done” were dead easy with a breakfast made by my lovely mum).

The library is being filled up by students as the semester goes on and bookshelves are half-empty, no problem since every assignment is to some extent open-minded and it is every student´s opportunity how he decides to solve it. This kind of an assessment does not tolerate any hesitation and the earlier one decides what he wants to do the higher chance of no compromise being made. For an example, in an assignment from testing an engine on a dynamometer one opportunity is to describe a design of a combustion chamber and write about how an increased compression ratio can lead to more efficient combustion. The other opportunity is to write a report about the first and second law of the Thermodynamics and use that within an internal combustion engine. This is where the title comes from.

Since the syllabus covers the raw theory from all aspects of an engineering, the above mentioned way of doing stuff enables students to be more focused on what they want to do in their further study and look at it in a good depth and detail. This self-assessed improvement also made me to swap the course from the BEng Motorsport and Motorcycle Manufacturing Engineering to the BEng Motorsport Engineering which offers more opportunities in further research and development which is the way I would like to go.

However the study in the UK may seems to be the hard bit, with a good time-management and set priorities one can have a lot of hobbies along the academic responsibilities as well and I find myself very good at this and the “Hashtag” UK “EvenBetterHashtag” Unilife suits me well. I found myself “stress-proof” and the lack of sleep became my very good friend who gives me more time to work even harder. When it comes to the harder bits, these are certainly moments at the airport at 0400 in the morning, saying bye to beloved people with thoughts about returning in a half a year. These moment are the ones which make the abroad study unique and which form everyone´s personality and make him stronger.


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