Portrait of Xenia mutter

Xenia Mutter

Please tell us a bit about yourself, your background?

I did my Textile Engineering & Management undergraduate degree in the Netherlands, where I am originally from. I chose that course as I had an interest in fashion, but this of course opened up a whole new world to me. At the time I was not aware of the technical and processing area in textiles. I became interested in textile product management, which I eventually specialised in. The specialisation included looking at products from a materials point of view and technological innovations. I finished my MSc degree in the School of Design in September last year and started my PhD research here in November. 

What made you want to apply to your MA course and to Leeds?

After I finished my undergraduate degree I wanted to know more about conducting research and also wanted to be able to make an impact using my knowledge. 

At the time when I was planning to apply, there was no existing course related to my field of study in the Netherlands. For that reason I decided to apply to the University of Leeds as it provided the modules that I found were most interesting to learn about. 

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

I love the fact that there are so many aspects to textiles. Whether you are a creative person, you like to work in fashion, you are interested in technical textile materials or in textile chemistry - it doesn’t matter! Textiles are related to so many industries.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?  

I feel like the most interesting thing I have done this year was completing my dissertation research. I have learned so much and was able to develop myself and produce a work I never expected to be able to. 

What would you say about Leeds as a city?

Leeds is a very energetic city, perfect for students. There are many amazing restaurants and bars. Whether you like to go for a quick bite, coffee or a night out, you can find it all in Leeds. The good thing is that most things are only a short distance away and even if you don’t want to do the 10 minute walk into town from Leeds University, the campus and its surrounding areas provide enough facilities to visit.

What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?

The School of Design provides a variety of facilities and equipment required for whichever research you’re interested in pursuing. I like the fact that if you need any equipment that is not available in your own school, there is always the possibility of finding it in another school.  

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

There are a lot of activities available throughout the university. I myself have been on a day trip to the Lake District and on a weekend trip to Edinburgh. I am also part of the LUU Jiu Jitsu Society in which I also have committee duties and I occasionally attend other martial arts societies’ sessions and go to classes and to the gym at the Edge. The variety of sports classes and societies is amazing. Coming to the University of Leeds you are sure to find a society that matches your interests. It is an excellent way to meet new people. 

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

You will not regret it!

What do you plan to do now you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

I’ve just started my PhD research, so I will be staying at the University of Leeds for at least another 3 years.