Thursday, 22 August 2019

88 Pianists, 1 Piano, and a new World Record!

Jack Trethewey, Cohort 2018

If I was to get you to write a list of what you would expect to see at a major conference, you would probably write down things like, smartly-dressed executives, immaculate business cards flying all over the room and leather-bound briefcases and handbags. You may even note down a plethora of delicately arranged “nibbles” and drinks, acting as a safety net for any executive keen to break free from conversation. What I wouldn’t expect you to list is a life-sized wooden giraffe, a brightly-coloured rainbow-shooting unicorn, an extendable, enlarged and multicoloured wooden hand, or a giant rabbit on a catapult - all playing the piano. Objects at the mercy of 88 primary-school children arranged in a semi-circle, under the watchful eye of Julian Lloyd Webber. Yet, fantastically, this is exactly what I saw, thanks to the work and commitment of The University of Sheffield’s Dr Candice Majewski, SELA cohort members James Rayson, Robin Watkins-New, James Whitehead and many other fantastic engineers and musicians from universities all over the country.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Energy Insights: My Placement at Professional Energy Purchasing

Mark Harris, Cohort 2018

During summer 2019, I completed a 7-week placement at a company called Professional Energy Purchasing, working as a social media analyst. So first of all, you may be thinking that a social media analyst isn’t exactly something an engineering student might do, but hear me out. This opportunity came about mostly by chance, but that’s not to say it was a complete fluke.

Like the rest of the 2018 SELA cohort I was involved in Get Up To Speed with STEM (a big Science and Engineering event, to inspire 3,000 young people about their potential to succeed through engineering), and during the day we were all given the chance to look around the rest of the exhibits and do some networking.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Conferring Benefits: How integrated learning projects developed my skills

Ben Sharp, Cohort 2017

It was approaching the end of my third year in Sheffield when Gary Wood (Head of SELA) approached Dan Habbershaw (Cohort 2017) and me to co-author a paper for education conference ESLTIS 19 (Enhancing Student Learning through Innovative Scholarship). This meant that both my time with SELA and my Bachelor’s degree were concluding at an alarming rate of deadlines, reports and exams. But I bit Gary’s hand off at the opportunity to co-author a paper on Integrative Learning Projects. Despite my finals, I was coping and managing my workload effectively because of the Projects that I had been involved with in my time in SELA, that were integrated into the series of workshops and guest talks that Gary had organised.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Head of SELA awarded National Teaching Fellowship for outstanding impact in higher education

Head of SELA, Dr Gary Wood, has been honoured with a national award in recognition of his work to transform student and academic learning.

Dr Wood is one of three academics from the University of Sheffield to have been awarded prestigious National Teaching Fellowships by Advance HE, recognising the outstanding impact of their teaching and support for learning in higher education.

From his innovative work around teaching linguistics, to his exceptional contribution in embedding enterprise education into the curriculum and most recently, his success in championing skills and leadership development among engineering students, Dr Wood has consistently had a transformative impact on the students he works with.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

SELA Skills Lead to Sports Success

Zak Nicholls, Cohort 2018

Alongisde SELA, Zak Nicholls this year led the delivery of the Institute of Chemical Engineering's Frank Morton Sports Day in Sheffield, and was delighted that this event was recently recognised as Event of the Year in the Sheffield Students' Union Activities Awards. Here, he reflects on how learning from SELA helped him succeed in planning and hosting the event.

The journey of planning, the IChemE Frank Morton Sports Day, a national event for undergraduate chemical engineers, was a mammoth task, bringing together the two biggest student-led events Sheffield has ever seen. We took on the challenge with support from Sheffield Students Union (SU). As Sports Coordinator, the organisation of the daytime fell to me and my friend Sophia along with guidance from the SU Events Manager. It was a great opportunity to practise and use skills I learnt through SELA.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Top Three Reasons to Attend Research Conferences

Tahira Resalat, Cohort 2018

In April, I had the opportunity to present my Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) research project from last summer at the British Conference for Undergraduate Research (BCUR) held at the University of South Wales. BCUR is an amazing platform for students looking not only to disseminate their undergraduate research but also learn a great deal about research work being done from all over the world.

As engineering leaders, many of us are often faced with the difficult decision of having to pick career paths between research and industry. Last summer, when I decided to do a 10-week SURE research placement, I never thought my work would get me this far. There are many misconceptions about research, and attending the BCUR conference definitely put them to rest for me in my mind once and for all. So, here are the top 3 things I learned about research and the importance of attending events such as conferences which cater to the dissemination of research work.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Taking Climate Change and Internet of Things into the National Curriculum

Members of SELA Cohort 2017 have created and delivered a programme of lessons for school students, exploring the Internet of Things, linked to current affairs in climate change.

The programme of work was designed to be part of a wider scheme of work being taught on the David and Jane Richard’s Family Foundation’s Big Data course. It draws on a project SELA members have been undertaking with Urban Flows Observatory, a research centre at the University of Sheffield.