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.

Monday, 22 October 2018

SELA x Teecaake: Where Leadership Meets Entrepreneurship

Tahira Resalat, Cohort 2017

I began my last blog post with some very wise words from a special guest speaker, Gareth Griffiths, ‘Be a self-starter. A go-getter.’ I have tried to live by those words ever since. Following my knit-composite factory visit in Bangladesh in January 2018, I decided to visit a much smaller factory this time, with slightly different plans. My initial interest in international industry visits were for research purposes. However, taking Mr Griffith’s advice on board, I decided to combine the knowledge I had gained with my entrepreneurial skills to create a project that I can only name, ‘SELA x Teecaake’.

In my spare time away from being a materials engineer, I am a freelance illustrator. Since becoming a member of SELA last year, I have learnt a lot of ways to cope with challenges which have come my way in the form of balancing different streams of work and maintaining a high standard of professionalism in several aspects of my life. SELA has given me the confidence to go forth and make the connections both within and out of the university and network with other entrepreneurs or experts in female-led businesses.

Monday, 8 October 2018

The Start of Our SELA Journey: Bootcamp Extravaganza

Jack Trethewey, Mark Harris & Mariyam Bi, Cohort 2018

SELA Bootcamp is our residential induction weekend for new members, providing a chance for new recruits to get to know each other, and to begin reflecting on their personal strenghts and areas for development, with the support of mentors from industry and academia, as they start their SELA journey. Here, three members of Cohort 2018 reflect on the experience.

Jack Trethewey

Upon arrival at the secret location for our Bootcamp it was impossible not to be left awestruck by the unrivalled levels of grandeur and professionalism presented to us. For me, one thing was particularly clear. SELA meant business. Throughout our stay, we were spoilt with delicious food, serving as the perfect companion to stimulating conversations over fine wine with our experienced mentors.

Training sessions were presented effectively and with professionalism by an array of highly qualified guest speakers. The sheer prestige of the Bootcamp was enough to give every budding engineer a tantalizing glimpse of just how successful they could be. Dreams of managerial positions, networking opportunities and global travel began to tease my mind and the notion that I, a young student, could one day lead the next generation of engineers started to become an exciting prospect.

Monday, 17 September 2018

How Studying Abroad Develops Leadership Skills

Jack Cundall, SELA Cohort 2016

Leadership involves connecting with a wide range of people, from inspiring employees to building business relationships, to keeping stakeholders happy. However, you might find it harder to build rapport with someone if you don’t understand what makes them tick, and this is especially hard if they are from a different culture.

A big part of studying abroad involves meeting people of different nationalities, not only from the country you are living in but also the community of other exchange students who you will spend time with. This is very interesting on a personal level to learn about different cultures. But job applications often look for candidates with good communication skills and spending every day with people whose first language is not English definitely develops this skill. If you can learn a language while studying abroad – even better.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

What the MATE Competition taught me about leadership

Khaled Saad, SELA Cohort 2016

Since last year, I have been leading the first team from England to enter the MATE ROV, an annual, international competition to design and build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The competition focuses on developing technical and entrepreneurial skills. All participating teams are required to act as a company and to approach the competition as a project provided by a client. Teams are also required to raise their own funding, market their vehicle, and to carry out outreach activities.

I decided to join the competition to put the skills that I gained from SELA into practice, and to gain more experience in managing people and resources within a technical environment. Over the course of the project, I learned a lot about what it takes to be a successful leader and I will summarise some of those key lessons in this post.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Going out of this world to inspire next generation of engineers

SELA and Sent Into Space, a company run by two Sheffield PhD graduates, have partnered in a bid to inspire young people into engineering by sending schoolchildren’s cards to the edge of space.

At the ‘Think Inside the Box’ event in April, held at the Magna Science Centre in Rotherham, over 2,000 young people from across the South Yorkshire region were able to engage and learn about nine different engineering disciplines through SELA’s interactive exhibits.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Urban Flows Sensor Competition Success for SELA Graduate

SELA Graduate, Yun-Hang Cho, has won the Sensor Build competition with the Urban Flows Observatory. Yun was an active member of the inaugural SELA cohort, and is currently studying for a PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Sheffield.

The competition, sponsored by Siemens and Autodesk, invited engineers across Sheffield to present their innovative sensor designs on improving air quality, health or energy efficiency. It was Hosted by the Urban Flows Observatory, which is part of a wider group of UK Urban Observatories, addressing issues of infrastructure development. The Urban Flows Observatory aims to bring together fixed, mobile, atmospheric and satellite data that measure a range of environmental and physical criteria across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. This will provide the opportunity to deploy advanced data fusion techniques to create a dynamic understanding of the flows of energy and resources in the city that is globally leading.