Jack Durkacz - MEng Mechanical Engineering

Jack Durkacz
Jack Durkacz (23) from Findhorn is the first person from his family to go to university. Coming to RGU from Forres Academy, Jack has worked hard to earn a Distinction in MEng in Mechanical Engineering and he is proud of his achievements.

It was his love for STEM subjects that led him to choose this degree, “Even though my parents had not gone to university, my strong interest in maths, physics and engineering science subjects lead me onto a degree in engineering. I saw engineering as a good way of encompassing all my academic interests and also the steppingstone to a career of real-world problem solving as an engineer.

“Once I decided to go to university, I began aspiring to work in the energy industry. My father worked as an ROV supervisor in the industry and doing some research I saw the potential for a career dealing with difficult problems and large-scale projects.”

Jack was fortunate to receive a scholarship from Canadian Natural Resources International during his first year of study which supported him throughout his time at RGU, both financially and through a mentorship program. “Through the mentorship program I was put in contact with Gavin Mann, a senior engineer at CNR, who provided guidance and a placement opportunity with CNR. These were crucial in my development as an engineer and the transition from university to industry.”

Like all students in his cohort, Jack’s final year of study was disrupted by the pandemic. Despite this challenge, Jack went on to win the School of Engineering Prize for his academic performance, and was part of a group that gained funding from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for journal publication and presentation at a prestigious international conference. The group also received best presentation for their session on the day. Jack credits his success to skills acquired while at RGU.

“I could have never expected a better experience in terms of preparing me for my career. Academic areas are tailored for potential use in your career, but I feel it’s the other skills RGU develops that prepares you for the workplace. For example, RGU develops people skills through multiple group projects, project management modules and even a final year group dissertation for masters. These experiences of dealing and working with others teaches the importance of teamwork and how it ultimately leads to success.”

Armed with a degree, Jack has already embarked on his dream career with CNR who provided him with the support he needed to complete his education. “I am currently working as a Graduate Subsea Engineer at CNR. Leading on from my summer placements over the past three years, this meant a smooth transition from student to graduate.”

For future students coming to RGU, he has sound advice, “Ultimately your time at university is what you make of it, but it helps having a university like RGU opening doors and providing you with opportunities to better yourself.”

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