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Mechanical Engineer Harvey on the right track

Harvey Barnes from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, is celebrating today as he graduates with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University. 

Harvey started university as an endurance road cyclist, finishing 10th in the Junior Commonwealth Games 2017. Shortly after he started University, he made the decision to switch to track sprint cycling.  

With a busy study schedule, Harvey worked hard to balance books with sport.  

Today he is graduating with a Second Class Honours, a full-time job as a Mechanical Engineer and has been crowned Senior National Champion of Ireland eight times, as well as holding the Irish national record in the team sprint.  

He comments: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of University life, living away from home and meeting new people and making new friends.  

“During my degree, I completed a placement at Hyster-Yale Craigavon, which is one of the world leading forklift manufacturers. I was very lucky to have been given a lot of flexibility and was able to gain a lot of experience across many departments. This gave me a good insight into exactly what a Mechanical Engineer does on a daily basis and the vast range of jobs I could do with my degree.  

“I started in the fabrication department and then moved onto projects within welding, paint, assembly and new product. After a somewhat successful placement experience, I was happy to have been accepted back to the company when I graduated for full time work. I’ve now been working there for six months and I’m really enjoying it.” 

For Harvey, cycling has always been an important part of life and he was delighted when he was able to develop this further at Queen’s. He explains: “I made the move into track sprinting but it was not a very popular sport within Ireland. Expert knowledge in training was few and far between so for the first four years of university I coached myself from what I could find on the internet and what made sense in my head. 

“In first year, I managed to get onto the sports academy within Queen’s and progressed onto the elite athlete programme in second year. This opened many new doors for me from top class S&C, physio, nutritionist and deadline flexibility, which was a great help when it came to balancing competition and exams. 

“I was able to train in the gyms at the PEC and Upper Malone Road. I got to train alongside other aspiring athletes which was a good environment to help stay focused and committed.” 


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