Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Student-led Learning

Yun-Hang Cho, Graduate, SELA Cohort 2014 

When I was studying for my degree in Mechanical Engineering, I discovered that I quite enjoyed helping other students so when the chance came to use our training from the Sheffield Enigneering Leadership Academy to help facilitate some training sessions for the Transforming Society summer school, I leaped at the chance.

Monday, 14 January 2019

88 Pianists, 1 Piano: An engineering challenge to inspire the next generation

Jack Trethewey, Cohort 2018

If I was to tell you to gather up eighty-eight of your dearest friends and have them all play the piano at the same time, you would probably think I had finally cracked, that the stress of trying to achieve my own high standards had now caused me to demand the impossible. I wouldn’t blame you. When I was told about ambitious plans of the 88 Pianists project, created in honour of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo DaVinci’s death, I nearly spat out my cappuccino in disbelief. The idea of trying to smash the world record for the largest number of people playing the piano at the same time, seems an unnerving task on its own. However, combine this with expecting eighty-eight primary school children to use comically long mechanical fingers to delight an audience with joyous tunes, and you have an amusing spectacle that appears doomed to fail. But this daunting prospect did not faze The University of Cambridge’s Professor Julian Allwood, who still appears inspiringly optimistic that the record will be broken. This positivity was emphasised within The University of Sheffield by Dr Candice Majewski, a lecturer within the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who is coordinating Sheffield’s collaboration with the project.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

City Metabolisms: Discovering how research can enable resilience

Megan Naylor, Cohort 2017

Recently, I made the journey down to Birmingham, with fellow Cohort 2017 member Kyle McLean, to attend UKCRIC’s annual Future Research Leaders conference.

In the second year of the SELA programme, stretch assignments involve both the leadership and project-management skills developed on the programme, and the technical knowledge developed through our degrees. Our stretch assignment this year is in partnership with the Urban Flows Observatory, a branch of UKCRIC.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

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Last week, four members of SELA participated in the UK’s first ever accessibility make-a-thon, hosted by Hackcessible. Hackcessible, in its inaugural year, presented challenges from eight individuals with different disabilities and accessibility issues, enthusing teams of engineers and designers to work together to come up with innovative solution.

Our SELA members describe their experience taking part in Hackcessible.

Friday, 30 November 2018

SELA Graduate named Railstaff Graduate of the Year 2018

We are delighted to congratulate SELA Cohort 2014 graduate James Featherstone, who has been named Railstaff Graduate of the Year 2018. This award recognises the impact James has made in his first year with Network Rail, and in particular, his Fast Trackers outreach initiative and mentoring of current members of SELA.

Fast Trackers engaged over 200 young people, inspiring them to recognise and realise their own potential, and to see careers in science and engineering as real possibilities for their future. In leading the programme, James demonstrated his continued commitment to the SELA Foundational Attributes, and especially enterprise capability and inspiration.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Alumnus credits SELA for Graduate Awards Shortlisting

James Featherstone, graduate of SELA Cohort 2014, has been shortlisted for multiple graduate awards following his outstanding achievements and progression since embarking on the Network Rail Graduate Scheme in 2017.

RailStaff Awards, and Construction News Talent Awards, have both recognised James’s ‘exceptional focus and dedication throughout the delivery of the [Fast Trackers] project’. Fast Trackers has seen James working alongside CEOs, directors, clients, teachers, students, and volunteers on a demanding project that inspires young students of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects to continue their passion into through a career in STEM. James’s Fast Trackers team is also up for the RailStaff Awards Charitable Team of the Year, a Construction News Talent Award, and Graduate Initiative of the Year.

James’s nomination for the RailStaff Graduate of the Year Award was supported by SELA, after James mentored new recruits at SELA Bootcamp 2018. 

Monday, 29 October 2018

"If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough": A Project Management workshop with Dyson

James Whitehead, Cohort 2018

Initially, the title of this post seems to be a risk-inducing quote. In fact, this is part of the philosophy that Dyson lived by in order to be the thriving, successful company that is is today. Impressively, the company has tripled its workforce over the past five years and is undoubtfully a leader in innovative product development.

SELA Cohort 2018 had the delight of welcoming Richard Wheatley from Dyson to share some of his insight, at a recent workshop on Project Management. Richard, a Sheffield Electrical Engineering graduate, is Global Head of Verification and Test with Dyson. Something I learned from his talk was that to develop amazing products, you must exceed the boundaries; you must embrace and take advantage of risk. However, it is essential to understand the risk itself and never lose sight of the consequences.

Here are my top three tips I took away from Richard.