Undergraduate study

Our students

Manuela Rodler

BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering with Disaster Management

Throughout my stay, I was given profound support from my School to enhance my studies. Combined with the broad range of social activities on offer, it was the perfect student experience.

Manuela Rodler

What brought you to study at Teesside University?


I wasn't being fulfilled with my previous profession and it was important to me to do something that mattered. Recent years have shown that the scale and consequences of disasters are increasing. I have always been interested in natural disasters and, since the field of disaster management is still a developing area, it seemed to be the perfect choice for me. I would be helping people and have the chance to participate in further developing and improving an important field of study.

I would also be able to work in different countries. Disaster management was not offered at many universities - I had only a limited choice of universities. And in comparison to these other universities, Teesside was the best choice for me.

What was the course like?


Very early in the first year I realised that disaster management was the right choice for me. So, apart from a couple of stressful periods, I loved every bit of it. My favourite modules included Risk Analysis, Contingency Planning, Management and Logistics and especially International Studies with its vivid discussions about world politics, enhanced by our lovely and always encouraging course leader Steve Wilks.

Even though I was a very determined student, I also enjoyed the flexibility of student life which enabled me to have a fulfilling social life as well. The University and the Students’ Union offered a great variety of activities encouraging students to meet new people and have new experiences. As a member of the International Society I met people from different countries, many of whom I am still in contact with.

As an international student, I enjoyed and very much gained from living in a new and interesting country. Going away from home – especially for the first time – puts your thoughts and views into new perspectives. I learned a lot about myself and the world I live in. The open-minded and friendly people in the North East made me feel welcome from day one.

Throughout my stay, I was given profound support from my School to enhance my studies. Combined with the broad range of social activities on offer, it was the perfect student experience.

What are you doing now?


Since October 2014 I have been working for the London Fire Brigade as an emergency planning officer in a team supporting emergency planning and response of local authorities in Greater London.

Between graduating and starting my present job, I worked as a project Leader at the Munich Fire Department. I worked in a team with other project leaders, developing new and existing tactical plans for the fire and rescue services, where I was responsible for the disaster management plans.

My current role is fulfilling. I definitely want to stay in this job for a while to get more experience. My dream job would include lots of travelling to see parts of the world I haven’t been to yet.