Saturday, 18 January 2020

Summer Placements: Five top tips for application success!

Jack Trethewey, Cohort 2018

’Tis the season to be applying for placements and as a well-versed applicant, offer-receiver and rejectee, I thought it prudent to share with you some key pieces of advice I have accumulated over the past three years. I hope this article may serve as a confidence-booster for any aspiring intern.

1. Make your CV shine!


I cannot stress this point enough. The first glimpse that any manager or interviewer gets of you is in that document. So, always check your CV before you submit it. Is it up to date with the correct contact details, qualifications, references and experiences? Is it concise, yet closely matched in language and tone to the job you’re applying for? Is the layout easy to follow? You must remember that your recruiter has potentially hundreds of CVs to look through, so getting to the point and showing all your experience as quickly and concisely as possible is key.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

On a Mission to Inspire Learning

Dr Gary Wood is Head of Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy (SELA), and has recently been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by Advance HE. Exclusively for the SELA blog, we met up with Gary so he could tell us more.

Hi Gary, lovely to see you! We hear you’ve had some good news recently, do tell!


It’s been quite an exciting time as I was announced as one of this year’s National Teaching Fellows by Advance HE. It is a really prestigious award that only 55 people are recognised with each year, so I am really humbled to have been selected alongside two other colleagues at the University of Sheffield.

Monday, 16 December 2019

How six different leadership styles helped me deliver a successful Pop Up University

Armand Keyworth, Cohort 2018

From 20-22 September 2019, Cohort 2018 delivered an outreach programme at the Pop-Up University event in Sheffield, with the aim of inspiring young children and students to realise their potential through engineering. The event was a big success, with over 2,000 people attending and interacting with our exhibit. However, the Pop-Up University for me started back in June. Having put myself forward for project leader, the main objective was to produce a successful project, despite members of the Cohort being away on summer placements in industry.

Having recently attended a SELA workshop on leadership styles, I realised that I had used different styles at different points throughout the Pop-Up University project. In this blog I want to show what these six types are, when best to use them, and how I utilised each one so to deliver a successful outreach event.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Factories of the Future: Our visit to the Smart Factory Expo

Sam Maxwell & Rob Bowland, Cohort 2018

On Wednesday, 13 November we had the chance to visit the Smart Factory Expo at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre alongw with Mo-anna Tucker from our SELA Cohort. Our aim was to understand the current innovations in industry surrounding data and the Internet of Things, to build context for our second year SELA project. This year our project is based on data-driven manufacturing. We are looking to show how data can accelerate improvement in manufacturing processes; for example, performing quality control on the machining of very high tolerance jet engine blades.

Smart Factory Expo brings together companies from across Europe to showcase the latest developments in technology: from Cybersecurity to Additive Manufacturing, all the technologies involved in Industry 4.0 can be found here. As well as finding the giants of the industry – Siemens, PTC and Autodesk, to name a few – start up businesses developing very innovative and targeted technologies can also be found at the Expo (along “Innovation Alley”). Ultimately, this was a fantastic event to get some fresh ideas on how data can drive continuous improvement in a business, and to build contacts to help with our project.

My aim with this blog post is to share some of the great ideas and technologies we found at the event. So, here are our highlights of Smart Factory Expo 2019.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Ten things I learnt from SELA Bootcamp

Sadan Al Shweikini, Cohort 2019

I am a member of the newest SELA Cohort, having joined the programme in September. I am delighted to be part of this community, that provides the perfect environment to grow and become the excellent leaders we want to be.

I am currently a second-year Structural Engineering and Architecture student. I joined SELA not just to become a future leader, but to also improve my personality by becoming more confident, better at public speaking, and improve my self-awareness and negotiations skills.

We went for two days on a residential weekend to attend the annual SELA Bootcamp, where the Head of SELA, Dr Gary Wood, welcomed us and we took part in a series of workshops, supported by mentors from industry, to explore and build our skills. These two days were very beneficial in terms of learning new skills, gaining knowledge and getting to know each other in the new cohort.

Here are ten lessons I learnt from SELA bootcamp, I would like to share with you…

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Pop-Up University Engineers Tackle Climate Change

Bertie Knight, Cohort 2019

From September 20-22, SELA Cohort 2018 ran the first-ever undergraduate-led installation in the Pop Up University – the University of Sheffield’s city-wide engagement event. Throughout the weekend, the Cohort showcased engineering, in all its disciplines, helping visitors of all ages to see how engineers create and shape the world around us. The event utilised many of the stands that our cohort used for the ‘Get Up To Speed With STEM’ event at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, back in late March. The exhibition included a pinball machine, a marble run activity, a cog puzzle and an electrical engineering-related joystick game – all built by students from the cohort – as well as robots and lab demonstrations.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Insight into Defence Technology: My Placement in Colombia with Tecnolgías Marte

Bertie Knight, Cohort 2018

Right now, I’m halfway through working for the defence technology company Tecnologías Marte in Medellín, Colombia for my first summer placement as part of the SELA programme. From when I started writing my application till now, I’ve received a tonne of support from plenty of people associated with the academy, so I deemed it only fair to write a blog or two about what I’ve been up to. I want this blog to provide some details about the project I’m working on out here. I’m also writing a separate blog to give some insight on what my first experience has been like in the developing world, and how it all ties into a wider and global engineering context - look out for it here soon!