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MSc Biomedical Engineering student Megan Frazer from Co. Derry~Londonderry, graduates todayafter successfully managing to balance her studies, a full-time hockey career and a few injuries along the way.

Fresh from Ireland’s historic hockey Olympic qualification success, Megan spoke to us about what graduating means to her, and how her passion for health and fitness played a crucial role in deciding which course was right for her.

“Biomedical Engineering is a fascinating topic; medical and sports technology is rapidly advancing and to have the opportunity to see where it is heading and the potential impact it could make to people's lives is exciting. Athletes strive to improve their performance, so I chose to focus my MSc project on a sensor to measure heart rate and work rate during exercise to evaluate how it can be made more accurate. I hope one day I will be able to apply this research within a sporting institution.”

Extremely ambitious and driven by all things sport and exercise, Megan was determined that she would overcome the difficulties faced when balancing a busy workload both outside and inside of the library.

“I found it difficult to focus on academics when there is so much commitment required for hockey. Travelling constantly, on top of training, gym and conditioning sessions, unfortunately left little time for assignments and study.”

Full steam ahead in hockey, winning two back to back Irish Senior Cups and the European Champions Challenge II in 2016, Megan didn’t let success on the pitch steer her away from her course and recognises the exemplary pastoral support provided by Ulster University:

“Ulster University were very supportive and accommodated me whenever I needed to miss classes to play hockey when representing the Ulster Elks or Ireland. I chose Ulster University having wanted to go since attending the university open day I went to when in secondary school. When the opportunity arose to do my MSc at Ulster University I jumped at the chance and I wouldn't have been able to complete my degree without their support.”

With great success, came disappointment for Megan who in 2016 unfortunately sustained an ACL knee injury that kept her out of playing action and Irish selection for roughly 20 months. However, this injury has not deterred Megan, who is determined to play a leading role at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics following the team’s recent historic qualification.

“I had a serious knee injury which kept me out of the game for two years and required three surgeries. It has been up and down with setbacks, but I am excited now for the beginning of our Olympic training.

As Megan returns to full fitness and continues to go from strength to strength, she looks ahead and hopes to put her well-earned degree to good use in the future,

“Post-graduation I will be training full-time for the Olympics. Eventually I would like to work in the Biomed industry, and I am keen to get involved in as many internships as possible to gain some experience in the area while still being able to fully focus on training.”