Student overcomes horror snowboarding accident to graduate with top honours

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

A talented student has graduated today with a first-class degree and two awards despite suffering a horrifying snowboarding accident in her second year, which left her hospitalised and in physio for months.

Emma Sykes, from Huddersfield, is now an Architectural Design & Technology graduate from the University of Salford. As well as her degree she has been awarded the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists Outstanding Graduating Student prize and the Charted Association of Building Engineers (CABE) best final year student, after impressing staff with her dedication and progress through her time at Salford.

Emma now has her heart set on a career with a big architectural design studio in Manchester or London. But it could have been a much different outcome when she was being stretchered off a mountain in Andorra while on a skiing trip.

Emma said: “I was part of the snowboarding and ski society. I had an accident while on a society trip in my second year and suffered nerve and muscle damage.”

She had to undergo six months of physio and had to wear a neck brace. But it didn’t stop her getting on with her studies and she finished with an average of 83%.

Emma added: “I had such a great time at Salford, I would advise anyone to get involved with student life and join societies and also work at your degree and you’ll get the rewards. I love developing 3D designs and turning architects plans into images that really show what a building will look like.”

Dr Colin Richard Stuhlfelder, her lecturer at the University of Salford, said: “During Emma's time as a full time student on our programme, she has demonstrated a remarkable exponential trajectory in her performance and understanding of architectural technology, moving from enthusiasm in design and environmental issues, through detailed and technical curiosity, to a graduate who is a more than competent future technologist.

“Emma has also been an excellent Course Representative as well as becoming involved in the reformation of the North West Regional AspirATion group.

“She is a graduate I and the team are proud to send off into the Construction Industry as an ambassador for the University of Salford.”

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