Thursday, 2 November 2017

Summer Placement: Robotical

Khaled Saad, SELA Cohort 2016

Over the summer I have worked with Robotical, a startup based in Edinburgh that designs and builds a robot called Marty. Marty is aimed towards teaching programming, mechanics and electronics.

Being part of a very small team meant that I got involved in a variety of areas and had a big responsibility. I was in charge of expanding the robot capability through both software and hardware by providing the user with more programmable features as well as sensors. I also worked on writing documentation and guides for users. My role was primarily technical but I also got involved in other areas, such as logistics and business planning. Here are the lessons I learned. 

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Between the Details

Adrien Gallet, SELA Cohort 2016

What do you make of the following paragraph?

A fine undrained soil at the end of a jacked displacement pile is preloaded beyond its in situ conditions. Hence, the now preconsolidated soil exhibits an unload-reload loading pattern with a slight hysteric loop, resulting in higher Young’s Modulus values.

Chances are that unless you’re a practising geotechnical engineer who designs pile foundations, you did not understand much of it. That’s perfectly reasonable. It’s full of technical jargon that takes students an entire year to fully understand. And yet therein lies the largest problem engineers face.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Summer Placement: Texecom

Ronak Sharma, SELA Cohort 2016

When asked what is an engineer’s role, I had always struggled to provide a satisfying response. So, to find its answer, I became part of Texecom as a summer intern and got the opportunity to contribute to their work as an engineer. Texecom is a security sensors designer and manufacturer and has been in this industry for the past 20 years.

I have always been fascinated by programming and controlling machines and this internship offered me something that aligned both with my interests and my degree (Computer Systems Engineering).

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Summer Placement: Sunway Constructions, Malaysia

Wai Lau (Lucas), SELA Cohort 2016

The advent of technology has finally caught up with the construction industry and has set the tone for the industrial-wide implementation of digital technology within the construction process. The Building Information Modelling (BIM) system has revolutionized the industry.

The system, which incorporates the integration of information systems and computational models, is used to coordinate and manage efforts between architects, engineers, specialists and clients throughout a structure’s lifecycle. This innovative information system, through its significance in expediting construction efforts, has prompted an industry-wide implementation in the EU and has even extended its influence to the Malaysian construction industry.

Monday, 2 October 2017

SunbYte at the European Space Agency

Joycelyn Fontanilla, SELA Cohort 2017

At one point during the application process to join Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy, I was asked to speak about a project that I was passionate about. While there were quite a few enriching experiences in my first year at Sheffield, I chose to talk about Project SunbYte.

Project SunbYte is a student-led project in collaboration with other universities and industry partners: Northumbria University, Queen's University of Belfast, University of Hull, Andor and Alternative Photonics. Our goal is to deliver a low-cost, high resolution method of imaging the sun in the upper atmosphere where atmospheric distortion is minimised. This will hopefully allow us to see the sun's spirals and prominences, thus giving us more insight into the solar flares that threaten our satellite telecommunication and navigation systems. To do this, we are designing and building a two-axis gimbal to be integrated with a solar telescope and actuation system with sun-tracking software. The experiment will be on board the BEXUS balloon as part of the REXUS/BEXUS programme.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

SELA Bootcamp 2017

Leonardo Marchiori, SELA Cohort 2017

On a dreary Saturday morning of September, our adventure as SELA Cohort 2017 started by getting on a bus which would take us to a mysterious location – the only clue we had was that it was somewhere in the Peak District – to do an equally mysterious “Induction Bootcamp.” Everybody was tired as it was relatively early, especially considering that some, including me, had just moved back to Sheffield after spending the summer home or abroad, so on our way there the minibus was rather silent, apart from the occasional chat prompted mainly by our curiosity to discover the location. Nobody was expecting anything special, so there was a general expression of amazement on our faces when we entered the gates of the actual event. We were immediately welcomed by Gary, Head of SELA, who led us to the room where the activities would take place. After a brief time to chat and get to know the people with whom we shared the table, the workshops started promptly.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Summer Placement: Deloitte

Jack Cundall, SELA Cohort 2016

All engineering projects operate within a business environment. If they do not make sense financially then they will not go ahead. Therefore, it is essential that a leader understands the whole of the business and not just the technical side. This is not usually taught on an engineering degree, which is why so few CEOs are engineers by background.

My placement was with Deloitte, which is not an engineering firm but a professional services firm. They provide advice and services to companies across many different industries, including engineering and technology companies.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Summer Placement: Argent

Deven Darshane, SELA Cohort 2015

Over the summer I have had opportunity to work as an intern for 8 weeks at Argent in London, a construction company specialising in mixed-use development. They are best known for their efforts in regenerating King’s Cross station and the surrounding area into a vibrant new quarter for the public, transforming the once negative reputation of the site.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Summer Placement: BuroHappold Engineering

Rhona Kerr, SELA Cohort 2015

For the second summer running, I have been working for BuroHappold Engineering on an 8-week placement. Being a Civil and Structural Engineering student it was great to have a placement with an integrated engineering consultancy, to see how different disciplines interact. My placement was based in BuroHappold’s Leeds office with the Structural Engineering team. I received a warm welcome on returning to the office and it was fantastic to see how the project I had worked on last summer had progressed.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Industry insight: why internships bring you further than just a university education

Adrien Gallet, SELA Cohort 2016

When taking into consideration that the 2016 SELA cohort were just fresher's two years that had just begun their university education, it is quite humbling to realize that some of us got to work on some engineering projects this summer which have a direct impact on the world around us.

As a second-year engineering student, I had the fortunate opportunity of working for 7 weeks this summer at BE Design, a Civil and Structural Engineering consultancy that operates in a broad range of industry and residential sectors. Personally, I helped design the sub-structure of a 200m x 70m distribution centre, and you'd be amazed by the quantity of work that goes into just that.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Three reasons why I joined SELA

Germayne Williams-Sylvester, SELA Cohort 2017

Since starting my first year at the University of Sheffield, I’ve tried my best to look beyond my course, Material Science and Engineering, to broaden my horizons and get as involved as possible with any opportunies that became available to me. First year is where you set the foundations, and build the habits that will follow you into your subsequent years; it is not to be squandered. How you set yourself up, and the environment you put yourself into, have a huge influence on what you can and cannot achieve in future years.

I’ve become entangled with the dancing societies, learning dances such as salsa, bachata and kizomba at every opportunity. I’ve become the chief projectionist for the Film Unit society, and, towards the end of the year, I was ecstatic to find that I had been accepted into SELA. With my enrollment on this programme, I feel as though I have fully achieved what I set out to do this year. SELA has the potential to boost my university experience in an extraordinary way, and here I’ll outline the 3 things I hope to get out of my journey with the programme.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Getting to Grips with Innovation

Holly Nicholson, SELA Cohort 2014

Four current and former SELA members attended a workshop at Gripple’s Riverside Works in June, to get wired about the future of UK manufacturing.

‘We are constantly investing in innovation’ Gripple’s Gordon Macrae is proud to point out. Indeed, the industry’s leading provider of wire tensioners and fasteners did not get where it is, and stay there, without taking risks and doing things differently. Hugh Facey started manufacturing wire fasteners in Sheffield in 1985 after a conversation with a Welsh farmer about the difficulties of tying fence wire led him to innovate a device that would do the job better. Gripple Limited was founded in 1989 and the company has gone from strength to strength since then. The driving force behind the growth is innovation.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Community Impact Award for SELA Member

Kate Drury, SELA Cohort 2016

Over the last academic year I have been the Outreach Coordinator for Sheffield’s Engineers Without Borders society. Engineers Without Borders UK is a national charity, which aims to inspire, enable and influence global responsibility through engineering. The Sheffield society is a student-led branch of the national charity. Our society runs various projects that promote sustainable development and give students hands on experience of solving real world engineering problems.

As the elected Outreach Coordinator, I was responsible for the Outreach Project, which aims to make engineering accessible to everyone. We achieve this by working in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering, Sheffield Volunteering, local schools and the general public.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

SELA in Singapore

Jake Brown, SELA Cohort 2014

As part of my year in industry with Rolls-Royce, I was given the opportunity to spend three months in Singapore, working in the Customer Regional Team. This was a great opportunity for me at this stage in my career as it has allowed me to experience engineering in a new culture and develop both my technical and soft skills. My role in Singapore is to provide technical support to our customers; this role has been challenging and pushed me to develop new skills. I have had to adapt to a new working environment which is very different to the one I left in the UK, however this has been a great chance to learn how to work effectively in a foreign environment.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Leading the Way to a Green Future

Connor Round, SELA Cohort 2015

Connor Round is about to embark on a trip to Hawai’i with The GREEN Program, and shares his story in the first of a series of posts.

I’m soon to embark on a trip to Hawai’i with The GREEN Program. This two-week experience will see me delve into the world of sustainable food systems and energy. I’ll be attending lectures and site visits to develop a Capstone Project to deliver at this year’s World Youth Congress being held at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Each year the World Youth Congress brings together leaders from around the world to explore different themes, from poverty eradication to sustainable development.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

An Engineer's Guide to Enterprise

Robin Hartley, SELA Cohort 2014 

When I first came to Sheffield, I thought that engineering and enterprise were two very separate things – engineering is massive projects like the Channel Tunnel whereas enterprise is about Dragon’s Den pitches and investment, right?

Well, maybe not.

As a former SELA member and engineer with some experience in startups, I’d like to make the case that an understanding of business and enterprise is a highly valuable asset for engineers which may put you ahead of the competition.

So without further ado, here are three key lessons that I think engineers can learn from the startup world.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Offshore Energy Challenge

Sebastia Despuig Reid, SELA Cohort 2015

After being awarded a research bursary from SELA during summer 2016, I had the opportunity to explore a new field of my own choice. Given the challenges faced on the offshore wind energy industry, and the opportunity to have a positive impact in society and the environment, I chose to focus my research on improving the design of wind turbine foundations.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Racing with Gibson Technology!

Henry Mansfield, SELA Cohort 2016

On Wednesday, 8 March, SELA attended a site visit to Gibson Technology in Repton. From the minute SELA informed us of the visit to Gibson, I was filled with excitement and anticipation. Being an avid fan of motorsport and the automotive industry within engineering, I knew of Gibson as a renowned leader in motorsport engine manufacture. Hence I was incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunity to gain insight into the company and witness how it continues to hold its reputation for engineering excellence.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Making Ideas Happen

Igor Gawron, SELA Cohort 2016

Igor Gawron co-designed and delivered a recent Excellence Hub workshop ‘Making Ideas Happen’, with two other members of SELA. He writes about his experiences below. 

I had the pleasure of being one of the designers and deliverers of the Making Ideas Happen workshop which took place on the 15th of March. The workshop aimed to help develop enterprise skills of young people and give them a taste of what an engineer’s job is about. Despite some unexpected circumstances it worked out great and I couldn’t be happier!

What I was expecting to be an easy two- day task turned out to be a several- week long process. Even though it cost me a lot of stress it was a great experience and I am really happy I took the challenge. Even though I have worked in education it’s the first time when I really felt I had an impact. As soon as the young people realised it’s not another boring school exercise, they immediately started engaging and stayed focused for the whole, six hours!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Women in Technology at IBM

Fiona Lambert, SELA Cohort 2016

Leaving Sheffield Hallam University at 6am on Thursday 16th March 2017, 19 students from both Sheffield Hallam and University of Sheffield departed for the long journey south to the IBM Headquarters at Hursley, near Winchester. I was lucky to be one of two SELA members joining the trip. On arrival, we were greeted by Emma and Waleed, who were graduates of Sheffield Hallam and the University of Sheffield respectively. They gave us a warm welcome and a quick introduction before going for lunch. After lunch, we had a talk from a Senior Software Engineer and Master Inventor, followed by a series of 5-minute lightning talks from female interns and graduates in Technology, Design, Offering Management, Sales and another Master Inventor. These talks were especially inspiring and empowering as all the speakers emphasised the excellent work-life balance that IBM can provide with flexible working hours and you can still have time for a family and a successful career, something I would want. The talks also helped me improve my personal vision and being able to see some of their career goals has encouraged me in setting my own targets for the future. Many of the speakers also talked about their self-awareness and that whilst working for IBM, there are plenty of opportunities to improve learning by attending extra-curricular activities and setting up their own events, such as being part of a mentoring scheme.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

SELA members engineer virtual reality video trail

A group of Engineering students have launched a new project to showcase everyday marvels of innovation as part of the Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering 2017.

Available until 31 March 2017, Engineering 360° is a series of videos that people can watch on their smartphones as they walk around the city.

Created by students from the Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy (SELA), the 360° videos use virtual reality technology to reveal how engineers create the world around us. Each video focuses on a distinct area of engineering, something that the organisers hope will help to challenge people’s perceptions of what modern day engineering is.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Networking 101: We've been Kintished!

Sion Cowdy, SELA Cohort 2016

On Wednesday afternoon, I participated in a SELA workshop led by Will Kintish on the topic of Networking. Going into the workshop I had little understanding of what networking was and even less so about the importance of networking events. Due to my lack of knowledge, I feared it was going to be a long afternoon answering questions about something I had little idea about. However, by the end of the session my worries had been addressed and I now feel confident, well informed and excited about future networking events.